Saturday, March 7, 2015

Second Chance

When I think of the phrase "second chances", I think of the song by Stellar Kart:

And that's a great song and I love Stellar Kart, I was also recently introduce to another song called "Second Chance" by Rend Collective.

Oh your cross, it changes everything. 

I love the beauty of the cross and the beauty of our God. I love the beauty of grace.
And I love that the cross changed everything.
I love the redemption story. I love the Redeemer, our Lord, our God.

My word of the year has been relentless. And my phrase that I have been continuously reflecting on is "Jesus changed everything".

Countless second chances we've been given, at the cross.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Are You Pregnant?

Let's just start this off with me answering with a "I'm not", before going on.

I had to ask my friend: "Are there other ways to get pregnant that I don't know about?!" (She actually had a really funny anecdote and the answer was yes.) (Another note--both of these are in joking format. Sort of).

So, here's a little bit more context:

Recently, I made the mistake of saying "I have something to tell you" to some individuals and more than a few of them immediately responded with, "ARE YOU PREGNANT?" or "YOU'RE PREGNANT!"

No. No, I am not. What?! No. Just, no.

When the boy and I broke up, someone asked me if it was really lonely in bed now. I was utterly confused, because I, having the dirty mind of an 8 year old (so, like...not at all) just said, "What's the correlation? I don't get it.." And they said, since you're not sleeping with anyone now, it must get lonely.

Another person asked me a similar question in reference to the break up, about how it has to really suck to not only losing a partner in any other sense of the word, but especially a sex partner.

Someone else asked if my bed felt empty.

People actually seemed to be more concerned about the fact that I was "no longer sleeping with someone" rather than anything regarding my heart/emotions/thoughts/feelings post breakup.. Not all people, but some.

And now, I'm totally single, not in any kind of relationship with any kind of man, and I'm still getting the question of whether or not I'm pregnant when I say "I have to tell you something". Granted, I shouldn't start things off that way, but when you have to break news to people, some variation of that is the typical lead in. And my news had nothing to do with sex or pregnancy.

If people ask you if you're pregnant, they've already assumed you've had sex. Unless there really is another way to get pregnant that I don't know about.

Sex and Pregnancy

So this is why I had to ask my friend if there were other ways to get pregnant that I didn't know about. Because despite what apparently a lot of people assumed (found out via post break up questions), I didn't sleep with the boy. Ever. He never slept over. We didn't have sex. So to answer all of those questions and to explain why I was so confused with the questions (by the third time I got a question, I was less confused and more annoyed): No, I don't get any more lonely in bed now than when I had a boyfriend. No, it's not weird waking up without the boy next to me. No, to any question asking me about anything related to me sleeping with him.

And not only with him, but any guy. Statistically, there are 11% of 25 year olds who haven't slept with anyone (I'm almost there). And get into a little bit older ages (which is slightly unfair data since fewer people are older and not married), about 3%. Most studies I see estimate no more than 5%, on average.

Because of those statistics, people just assume everyone is having sex, I guess. I don't know. I assume the opposite, but it's because again, I have the dirty mind of an 8 year old and I just don't understand, really. My friend told me about a time when her boyfriend had taken her to the doctor and the doctor asked if there was any chance if she was pregnant. She said, no. And the doctor said, "I thought that was your boyfriend". (There's more to the story, but the basic gist within context). And at that moment (okay, way before that moment, but still) I knew that this friend understood. (And she gave me two other stories that solidified it.)

I would probably guess that most of my friends who haven't had sex probably know the struggle. It's not just a struggle of not having sex (it's not always easy, even if we make it seem like it is). It's not just a struggle of feeling kind of left out sometimes. It's also a struggle of people not totally believing us.


I got to talk with my friend about some of the things we felt/thought when those questions were asked.
Confused, annoyed, mad, angry, hurt were just a few. For me, my first reaction was confusion. But my immediate reactions following were more synonyms of frustration.

I was frustrated that people thought I was having sex (with and without a boyfriend). I was frustrated that the Church wasn't different. I was frustrated that people didn't believe me when I said I hadn't had sex. I was frustrated that people didn't know I wasn't having sex. I was frustrated that people were shocked when I told them I hadn't slept with my boyfriend. I was frustrated that people assumed my relationship was a typical, millennial relationship. I was frustrated that a typical, millennial relationship is defined by having sex.

I was also frustrated that I didn't always have the courage to say I didn't sleep with him. I was frustrated that I didn't talk enough about my actions (or lack thereof) and the reasons for them. I was frustrated that I sometimes liked being thought of as a person who was having sex. I was frustrated that I just laughed along. I was frustrated that I didn't always say anything.

Really, I was frustrated with myself, with the Church, and with each person that asked any question with the underlying assumption that I was having sex. They never asked in a judgy way, just in a way of normalcy... And I wasn't necessarily frustrated in the angry way, more in the annoyed way.

I want my relationships with people, especially men, to be different. I want the Church's relationships to be different.

And I don't want a thought in the back of someone's mind be, "Is Ashley pregnant?" when I say that  I need to tell them something. Because if you made it to my list of people to tell, you should know me well enough to know that pregnancy isn't an option. And if you don't, that's on me.