What you might be shocked to know about my trip to Zambia…

Two weeks from now I’ll be flying over Africa somewhere, headed to Zambia where we will serve God at Lifesong for Orphans. What’s really awesome about this trip is that Janeth, one of my best friends, will be going on the trip as well! But there’s something you don’t know about our friendship.

Let me tell you about Janeth. Janeth is amazing. Although just a young grasshopper, she doesn’t mind being friends 488122_3188445239546_496056400_nwith an old woman like me (she’s 24 and I’m 32). Never once has age stood in the way of our friendship. She always makes me laugh, and since we became friends almost a year and a half ago, she’s been there for me whenever I’ve needed her.

Even though Janeth is in Texas and I’m in Indiana, she’s managed to be my rock this past year, especially when I had my heart broken. Her advice and prayers got me through some pretty rough times.

What I love about her the most is that she’s such a Godly woman. She is so spiritually mature for her age, and I have learned so much from her beautiful heart for God and her passion for humanity and the earth in general. She is, quite simply, one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known.

Janeth is also the reason I even know about the trip to Zambia! The day she suggested I go was one of the coolest things ever. I’m so excited to serve God on this trip and to do it with one of my best friends.

Here’s what you don’t know…

Janeth and I have never met.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

No, we didn’t meet on FriendFinder.com (is there such a thing?), or some sort of Christian website. We met right here, on WordPress.

A few years ago I had a blog that none of my family or friends knew about. It was very personal, and for some reason, lots of people found it interesting. Janeth was one of those people. She followed my blog, I followed hers, and one day in February 2012 I posted a comment on one of her posts. She sent me an email with the subject: “Hi from Texas :-)”

We were both going through some heartache at the time, and her words in that email were so comforting and helpful. She was very open about her relationship with God, and what she was going through. Little did I know that a little more than a year later I would be going to Africa with her.

532521_3195916786330_513696476_nWhat’s weird to think about is that GOD knew. He orchestrated this entire friendship. I have never been so sure of anything in my entire life. God has used Janeth in a major way to help me grow as a Christian. I believe He’s used me in the same way for her.

Janeth and I will meet for the first time in London when I meet the rest of the group going to Zambia. We’ve text and Skyped before, so we’re definitely not complete strangers. Like I said, she’s one of my best friends! We talk pretty much every day!

I know plenty of people will find this all rather bizarre, and that’s OK. I think it’s all pretty awesome that God would use someone so far away to help transform my life. Just one of the many amazing things He’s done for me!

This verse definitely sums up my friendship with Janeth:

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Thank you, Janeth! Can’t wait to serve God together in Zambia!

Advertisements

“Some of your friends are… terrible!”

I’ve heard that phrase quite a few times from my out-of-town friends since I’ve moved to Fort Wayne.

“Isn’t she supposed to be a good friend of yours?”

“None of my best friends would ever do that to me.”

“What’s with these people you know in Fort Wayne? Some of your friends are… terrible!”

Becca, me and Heather - these two girls are two of my true best friends. They know the meaning of the word "friendship."
Becca, me and Heather – these two girls are two of my true best friends. They know the meaning of the word “friendship.”

Of course at first you don’t want to see it. It’s hard to believe that you have “friends” who are actually the people in your life pulling you down, holding you back, and stabbing you in the back while they’re at it.

I think about some of my female “friends” here in Fort Wayne, and I kind of see what my out-of-town friends mean.

More than a year ago I was the best of friends with someone here in town. She was very manipulative and took advantage of me and my kindness on many occasions. She didn’t know the meaning of the word “loyal” by any means. This girl was a liar to me and to the people around me, and she destroyed relationships I had with other people because of her lies. She also tried to hook up my ex (who I was still in love with at the time) with his ex-girlfriend (who she barely knew). Wow. Some best friend. When I told an out-of-town friend this, she was shocked. Not one of my best friends from IU would ever, EVER do something like that. I believe my friend’s words were, “Why do so many of your friends suck?!”

Well, I ended that friendship more than a year ago, but it appears I’ve still got some snakes in my life. This weekend I was telling a friend of mine in Texas about a conversation I had with a “friend” this weekend. She was like, “Are you serious? Isn’t she supposed to be your friend? Why on earth would she say those things to you?” And she was right. Those things shouldn’t have been said to me, and they wouldn’t have been said to me by anyone who was a real friend.

It’s very sad to me that so many of my out-of-town friends have pointed out that some of my female friends here in Fort Wayne are pretty terrible friends. (There are other times it’s come up with other people, more than the two I mentioned here.) I know there will always be selfish people with ulterior motives in the world, but how did I become “friends” with so many of them? And forget trying to explain to a guy that another woman is a bad friend. That’s just a waste of everyone’s time – especially if the girl is “hot”.

Sure I’ve been burned in relationships with guys before, who hasn’t? But in the past couple of years I’ve really, REALLY been burned in female friendships, and it has me putting my guard up with any woman I meet who could be a potential “good friend.” But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe guarding myself a little more when it comes to friendships is exactly what I need to do.

The “disease” people just don’t understand…

Hello. My name is Natalie. I suffer from a disease known as “Singleitis.” I have had Singleitis for 32 years. While most people are rid of the disease at this point, I still carry it with me. I am single.

IMG_0319
“Singleitis” is a serious disease that many people suffer from and others find confusing.

People view single women at my age in one of two ways: the spinster or the party girl.

The spinster’s only social interaction is with people at work, anyone she talks to in line at RedBox, and her cats: Taylor, Alanis and Adele. Hobbies include knitting, reading the classics, crossword puzzles, and playing Jewel Quest until the wee hours of the morning. It’s really no wonder why she’s single.

If a single woman isn’t a spinster, everyone sees her as a party girl. The party girl just wants to have a good time. Her social interaction is with anyone at the bar, anyone on the dance floor, and any guy she brings home with her. She is a drunk who wears little to no clothing even in the dead of winter. It’s really no wonder why she’s single.

So that’s it. If you’re a single woman in your 30’s, you must be one of these two things, right? You’re either a loser with no social skills and that’s why you’re single, or you have too many social skills and are a partier, and that’s why your single.

I see these stereotypes made of single women all the time! Sure there are spinsters and party girls out there, but not all of us fall into one of those categories.

When I was a high school English teacher, if my students asked me what I did over the weekend and I said anything along the lines of, “Met up with some friends for dinner, we went bowling and saw a movie,” they would give me a blank stare, and someone would say to me, “You do stuff?” To which I would respond, “Yeah…. do you think I sit at home and knit on the weekends?” They would all nod in agreement.

On the flip side, when I mention wanting to live in a bigger city because there’s more to do there, some people in my life hear, “I want to live in a big city so I can get drunk and party and make poor decisions that will keep me single for an eternity.”

I am not a spinster, and although I had my fair share of party-girl years, I am not a party girl. I am single, and contraire to popular belief, that doesn’t mean I have a terrible disease. So why do so many people treat it that way?

IMG_1718 (2)
Strapless dresses?! Martinis?! Single girls?! Clearly Kim and I are about to be drunk sluts in downtown Indy. (Note: Not the case at all!)

If you don’t know me and dont’ know my life, don’t make assumptions. If I post a picture on Facebook and I’m holding a glass of wine, don’t assume it’s my fifth glass. If I put up a new blog post, don’t assume I sat at home all weekend by myself writing it. If I am tagged at a dance club in town, don’t assume I’m wasted and going home with a guy. Maybe me and my girls just wanted to dance!

I know we all make assumptions, but let up on the single people a little bit. It’s not easy out here. And if you think it is easy for a single gal in her 30’s to find a man in Fort Wayne, Indiana… you find some guys and send them my way. I know of a few great girls who are looking, and would love to get rid of their disease! 😉

Good fun in 2012…

I had a lot of fun with my friends in 2012. Here are some of my favorite moments with friends from 2012:

Being in Indianapolis the weekend of the Super Bowl was one of the best weekends of 2012 by far!
Being in Indianapolis the weekend of the Super Bowl was one of the best weekends of 2012 by far!
Becca was a wonderful host when I stayed in Indy for the Super Bowl festivities. We had a blast!
Becca was a wonderful host when I stayed in Indy for the Super Bowl festivities. We had a blast!
In May I went to my first Indy 500! It was the hottest Indy 500 on record, but we still had fun while we were melting.
In May I went to my first Indy 500! It was the hottest Indy 500 on record, but we still had fun while we were melting.
One random summer night I went to Cheddars with Ashley, Automne and Bender. We had a blast with drinks and girl talk!
One random summer night I went to Cheddars with Ashley, Automne and Bender. We had a blast with drinks and girl talk!
Nikki's bachelorette party in Indy was a great time! Especially meeting some of the new Cotls!
Nikki’s bachelorette party in Indy was a great time! Especially meeting some of the new Cotls!
Ken and Nikki's wedding was a good time- probably the craziest night of 2012!
Ken and Nikki’s wedding was probably the craziest night of 2012!
Went to a lot of Snider and Northrop football games with Nikkie and Daylan in 2012! The Green family even came out for a Snider game!
Went to a lot of Snider and Northrop football games with Nikkie and Daylan in 2012! The Green family even came out for a Snider game!
More than 20 people showed up at Flanagan's for my 32nd birthday! I am so blessed to have so many amazing friends!
More than 20 people showed up at Flanagan’s for my 32nd birthday! I am so blessed to have so many amazing friends!
Pretty much any time spent with Nikkie was a great time in 2012! We had fun out for her 30th birthday, but we have just as much fun at home playing Sorry with her son Daylan!
Pretty much any time spent with Nikkie was a great time in 2012! We had fun out for her 30th birthday, but we have just as much fun at home playing Sorry with her son Daylan!
Tawny's birthday was quite a night! Love this girl!
Tawny’s birthday was quite a night! Love this girl!
One of the best things about 2012 was getting closer to my cousin Laura. She's the best! We had some good times in 2012!
One of the best things about 2012 was getting closer to my cousin Laura. She’s the best! We had some good times in 2012!
One of my favorite weekends of 2012 was the women's conference I went to with my friend Ronna. Not only was it spiritually uplifting, but I got to meet Lisa Welchel from The Facts of Life and more recently, Survivor!
One of my favorite weekends of 2012 was the women’s conference I went to with my friend Ronna. Not only was it spiritually uplifting, but I got to meet Lisa Welchel from The Facts of Life and more recently, Survivor!