When is it no longer a rebound?

So what is the appropriate time before one person can enter into another relationship after a break up?

I’ve heard such statistics:

Take the time of the previous relationship, divide it by two, and that’s the estimated amount of time the person needs to get over the other.

But is that really true?

So a person coming out of a 1 year relationship needs 6 months, a 2 year relationship needs 1 year, 5 year relationship needs 2.5 years to be able to enter another relationship? Otherwise, it would just be a rebound?

Can people really judge each other like this?

What if that previous relationship wasn’t a healthy one? Or ended in a horrible way? How would other people know if the person is ready to go into another relationship yet?

Is it nice or rude of them to call someone’s next relationship a rebound? Its nice, because it seems that they are looking out for you and making sure you’re making decisions responsibly and clear-minded. But on the other hand, is it also a bit judgmental and rude? Telling you if you’re ready or not, making that judgment call for you, because “you are impaired to make any judgment now”. Is that something friends should say to one another?

I really don’t know. I face this dilemma myself, as the friend. I have friends that are getting out of long relationships, and they are going nuts, some are hurting, some are going on cruise control. And I’m not sure what to say to them.

No, I’m not about to get into a rebound relationship. Don’t panic, friends. But I was just thinking about this topic. When am I ready again? Is it up to me to decide? Or do I follow some formula? Or do I follow some expectation that the world gives me?

Can I defend him?

Last night, me and 20 friends went to sing karaoke. Crazy!

At Yakitori Boy, we ran into some more friends. Someone innocently asks how my boyfriend is, I smile and gently tell her that we’ve broken up. She’s beyond shock. She is angry. She is speechless. There were a few other friends with us, and they already know. I pat her on the back, telling her its ok, I’m ok, everything is ok. She shakes her head. We, as the group, keep talking about something else. She’s still staring at the floor and speechless. I guess since I haven’t seen this girl in awhile, she has no idea of anything that has happened in the last 2 months.

I glance at her and realize that her mouth is half opened, ready to say something. I ask her, whats up. She shakes her head and starts “I thought he was Christian, but how…? why? wh….” Her voice trails off, and all she can do is shake her head.

I explain that my now ex has been going through some tough times. And we are all sinners. Being Christian doesn’t mean we’re perfect. And that we all sin and hurt people in different ways, hopefully accidentally and not intentionally… But regardless how I try to comfort her, she has a look of disgust, and she shakes her head. And then grabs me to give me a hug.

I’m not sure if her reaction is to “support” me? or is it hitting her with such impact and shock?

Is it strange that I defend my ex? And help explain is actions? And calm down my friends when they get upset at the turnout of our relationship? Is it also ironic that I’m comforting others when I was the one that this breakup affected the most?

Or maybe… maybe I wasn’t the person most affected by this breakup. Is that possible?

Retreat Part 3 (how to focus on God at a retreat with your ex there)

God gave me healing during this retreat.

Even though the very person who brought all the pain was standing within 50 feet of me through the whole time. (Love is so heartbreaking)

God gave me songs, words, sermons, discussions that strengthened His message for me. He very interestingly gave the song “Blessed Be Your Name” during worship time, multiple times; with an emphasis on “You give and take away.” (Blessed Be Your Name) He allowed one of the speakers to speak about pain and tribulation: about how we are like a sponge, and when pain and tribulation squeezes us, we want to let out a fragrant scent, not a pungent stench or even no smell at all. We are branches that are in Christ’s vines. And when pressed from all sides, I want to let out that frankincense scent. When I taught the classes and led the teachers in the meetings and such, as I quoted scripture or prayed for them, I was also reminded again how those words meant for my life and I also was reminded how those prayers are also effective in my life as well.

God used every single opportunity to reach out to me and reminded me that He saves me and heals me. He reminded me that He gives freedom. He saves us. And He WILL rescue me and allow me to soar with Him, right now.

Retreat Part 2

In the past years, when I went to help out at the retreat, I always felt like the girlfriend, coming to volunteer and help out.

But this time, I had my own identity. I realized my identity wasn’t defined through him. And that people at the retreat and the students and teachers and pastors saw me as a unique individual, not as a side-kick that came with my ex-boyfriend (like a buy one get one free deal).

I like that. I like that I’m being recognized and identified as my own person. Because I breathe and speak as an individual entity. I’m not just someone’s girlfriend. I’m my own human being. And what I bring to the table, what I offer at the retreat, and what I do at the retreat really has nothing to do with the ex. He does the music part and I do the teaching part. My value and identity is not from or through him.

Our relationship is lost and gone, but my identity is intact, as it always was and always be.

I’m glad that I was at this retreat with him. I think it was somewhat of a reality check, as well as a wake-up call, and a closure oppotunity. And most interestingly, I saw God’s awesomeness through it all. Shows me that nothing can thwart God’s plan and His love. I still have my identity in Him, not him.

Retreat Part 1

Crazy 4-day retreat. Was unable to get onto a computer till now. We have 250 students, and 22 teachers and 30+ staff. A huuuge group! Tonight is the last night. We are having the last sessions and groups tomorrow, and will leave/check out by noon.

This retreat has truly been a blessing. I thought worshiping and singing would be hard, since my ex is the electric guitarist and is standing in full view on stage. But amazingly, God is so big and so overwhelming, that everyone in the room seems to melt away. Everything and everyone seems so small and insignificant in comparison. I can only sing and praise Him. I pray for my students, I pray for my teachers, I pray for myself, and I also pray for him. Despite all the pain he caused, and sin he did, in the end, we still worship the same God.

God is so much bigger than everything. (Deut 27 – 28) I was amazed. And every worship session, it was easy for me to just see God, and not my ex. God is greater than the air I breathe, the world we leave. (from a worship song… forgot the actual title…)

I’m thankful. There’s so much more praises and miracles that happened in the last four days. But that will come in the next few entries. Right now, I got to get back to my students and teachers! Its snack time! 🙂

12:05AM (yes, its past midnight. We extend their curfew, since it’s the last night~ 🙂 )

you intended harm, He intended good

6:03pm

As today is the last day of my trip in California, our family is just taking it easy. So I’m sitting with them as I start drafting handouts for this Old Testament class that I’ll be teaching in the church in fall. I’m working on Genesis. The last few chapters of Genesis is on Joseph. And I start reading/reviewing the material as I’m outlining my handouts.

Oddly enough, this morning, the verse that is sent to my inbox (I subscribe from ChristNotes to deliver a verse everyday to my inbox) was the verse spoken by Joseph to his brothers. But that was only faintly in the back of my mind.

As I’m going through the life of Joseph and how he suffered, yet God protected and blessed him greatly throughout the whole time, and even used the suffering to bless the very brothers that sold him, my heart started to stir.

I’m reading how this poor boy, a mere teenager, gets sold into slavery by his own brothers to Egypt. He is faithful and smart and gets promoted as the chief slave in a wealthy household. But then he gets framed for sexual assault and gets thrown in jail. He interprets someone’s dream and asks them to remember him when they get out. But once they get out, they completely forget about him. Until 2 years later, a desperate situation that begs for Joseph to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. After that, he becomes second-in-command under Pharaoh and is put in charge over the whole land of Egypt. And years later, his brothers are starving due to a famine and come to Egypt to ask for food, from none other than Joseph himself.

I’m reading through this, and thinking, how did Joseph still have hope? How was he not bitter? How was he not just against his brothers when they came to him? (Though he did kind of play with them a bit, taking one hostage, then sending them back and forth, and slipping a silver cup and framing them, etc…)

But something that I admire is that in the end, when the brothers begged for mercy, Joseph says:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

I’m so amazed. Because these brothers literally screwed up his whole life. Joseph had a father that loved him dearly. But at such a young age, he lived as though an orphan and in a foreign land, running into selfish and wicked people. Yet God blesses him, in a drastic, crazily prosperous way. But all this came upon during extreme suffering.

Am I able to say the same? Am I able to have the same amount of trust and confidence in my God? to loudly declare: You intended harm, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.

Even when I hear slanderous comments from him, even when I see him start dating many new girls, even when I see the posting of various pictures and comments… God, please, please, PLEASE give me the strength and faith to be able to see You in all this. That even if he did intend harm on me, my God, You have a plan in mind and You are my protector, and You intended it for good and for it to accomplish what needs to be done in the future, or even right now.

You are greater than all things, all men, and all things by any man.

I’m about to go teach at a Christian Youth’s Conference. And he will also be there, helping with the music team. Maybe this is God’s way of prepping me, my flight is tonight, and I get in tomorrow and go directly to the conference site.

Pray for me.

Comfort in a drawer

Yesterday, after driving back from Napa Valley, and after constantly talking to 15 members of my extended family, as I dealt with chaos in Philly through phone and email, at the same time juggling phone calls and making reservations to wineries and wine tours for my family… I needed some alone time and a bit of a break. So I retreated to my hotel room, as my family went out for yet another loud, fun, crazy dinner. (They were bringing food back for me. No worries, I’m not starving…)

So I went into the room. And after a long day of physical stress (traveling and phone/email chaos and gathering 15 family members to drive and stop and drive and stop again) as well as the emotional stress (disagreements within the family about planning, stress all the way from Philly as I appease that, and the weird anger/sadness from the breakup) I was drained and exhausted. I needed a break.

I came back into the room. Started to blog (yes, all those 4 entries that appeared at once: Ice Cream Family Time, Opening Myself Again, His iPod music, Cheating Father or Cheating Boyfriend) But before I even started, I started crying. I just couldn’t stop. For whatever reason, I pulled open the drawer at the desk that I was sitting at. And as many people know, there is often a Bible stashed somewhere in a hotel room, either in the drawer next to your bed or the drawer next to the writing desk. I usually flip the Bible to a certain passage or chapter which I’m looking for. But for whatever reason, I opened the front cover (I never do that). And in the front, there was a list of passages.

The Way of Salvation: John 14:6, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9

Comfort in time of loneliness: Psalm 23, Isaiah 41:10, Hebrews 13:5, 6

Comfort in time of sorrow: 2 cor 1:3-5, Romans 8:26-28

… (and 9 more topics after that)

I figured if I’m crying, I’ll look up the verses for loneliness and sorrow. And my tears of sorrow turned to tears of comfort and relief.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Hebrews 13:5-6 “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'”

Romans 8:26 “The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”