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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

21 Things I Learned By 21.


1. You still won't have it all figured out no matter how old you get. 
2. No one can give or take away your self worth. You control it. And the quicker you accept that, the happier you will be.
3. You are going to have choices you regret making, and choices you regret not making.
4. Trial and error and your choices build who you are. You would not be who you are today without choice you have made.
5. You will become a happier person when you embrace the person you have become. (then you can change if you want.)
6. Don't fully believe a drunk person. Just don't.
7. Know your limits and learn to say "no".
8. You don't have to please anyone but yourself.
9. Find the few true friends you hand stick with them.
10. Some people may walk out of your life, you can't control it if they do. Go ahead and accept the apology you never got. Or you will be carrying that hurt for years.
11. Being alone can be one of the happiest and most peaceful times.
12. Real happiness does exist, when your soul is completely at peace I believe that is it. Don't settle for less than true happiness.
13. Make your choices for you.
14. There is always a bigger picture. Even when you don't see it.
15. Speak your feelings and your mind. Don't bottle them up.
16. If you want to better yourself, go out and do it. Complaining solves nothing.
17. The past is the past. Dead and gone. But every mistake can be used as a lesson.
18. Love and lust are not the same thing. Not even close.
19. It doesn't matter how other people see you, it's between you and God.
20. You probably won't be where you expected a year from now.
21. Keep the things that make you feel alive and happy, closest to you.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer 2013

      I was at dinner talking about blogs with friends and I said I haven't blogged all Summer, now here I am at almost 3am completely captivated by God and His love and this AMAZING spiritual peace I have. There's a reason I haven't blogged all Summer. The last thing I said was how I wanted a "summer romance" and I wanted to go chasing after things I didn't need. But I said that I wouldn't do something rash and impulsive and that God had much better things planned for me. I did everything I said I wouldn't. One of the reasons I didn't blog was that I wasn't in favor with God. And I knew it. I've always had a problem surrendering to the wrong things. Sometimes it was because I felt I "had" to or because I thought it would fill a void. Rash, Earthly, and physical impulses fill those voids, and quite honestly they felt great for a little while. But when it fades away, you are emptier than when you began. I got myself involved in places and situations I shouldn't have been. I knew how things would turn out, but I just wanted to make those impulsive choices SOOOOO bad.
      Now I'm not saying I went on a bank robbing, drug-snorting, sex-having spree this Summer. None of those things happened. But I did trade out God's amazing love for "love" I was trying to get from people who had no intention of giving it to me. Ladies, (And guys) if the person you are pursuing isn't insanely on fire for God and driving you to dive deeper in your walk, then you don't need to get snuggly and close with them. You can't change them. Period. I've been that girl so many times thinking that I can be that good influence and I can help them turn their lives around. What really happens? I compromise and surrender my beliefs and standards to be with them. So Summer 2013 I was not bettering myself and my relationship with God, because I wanted to spend time with who I wanted, I wanted to kiss who I wanted, and I wanted to try my hardest to make certain people fall for me. (Which didn't work AT ALL.) In the sermon tonight our pastor Matt was preaching from 1 John 4 and talking about how God is love and that's why He have unconditional love for us. He said that real love and God's love is experienced by surrendering. But if you surrender to the wrong things, then you allow yourself to be placed in bondage. Which is exactly what was happening. And exactly what I came out of about 10 months ago. (Not the same struggle,) And I never want to allow something to control me again. I was sick and miserable before. I've blogged about it before. I don't owe anyone anything. I don't have to surrender anything to anyone. Especially if it's something that dampens God's light and causes me to move farther away from the person God wants me to be.
      Now I do not have it all together at all. I never want anyone to think I do. I'm a lukewarm train wreck of a christian. But tonight, God re-lit the fire in my heart and set my soul at peace because I let Him. I am just so incredibly in awe. God's love has NOTHING to do with who we are or what we do. It is ENTIRELY based on Him because He is love. That's something that I have always grown up in church hearing, but right now it has such a heavy meaning. I don't feel like I deserve this love at all. I feel like the prodigal son. I only deserve to be hired help for my father, yet I am welcomed with open arms. No love on Earth will EVER match that. And don't get me wrong, Christianity isn't a bed of roses. It's an up hill battle for me right now as I try to realign my life with God and get back on track. I've been praying since last week for God to help me get back where I need and not to do all the things I shouldn't. But this week, I started praying for God to make me hate how I was living and the things I was doing. Because honestly, part of me doesn't want to stop. I've gotten hurt emotionally on and off for weeks, (all my doing for putting myself in those situations) But I am human. We love what makes us happy and the time, even if it isn't the best thing for us. So I am having to pray multiple times a day for God to help me shut those doors and to hate everything associated with those doors in order to help me walk away and get back to who I need to be. This is going to be a daily thing and I know I have to work at it. But when you are in love with God, it isn't work anymore. I know God has SOOOO much more planned for me. I mean I got accepted to Respiratory Therapy. And that was God's plan. I know we're going to do big things together. So I just wanted to share my incredible peace and happiness tonight. I have not felt this relaxed and at peace all Summer. And it's all because God and He is reworking and re-lighting my heart on fire. I have a hunger and a thirst again that's been missing for months. I am so incredibly thankful that Jesus still loves me and wants to use me. I know God will use my whole story for His glory and that He has this amazing plan for my life. Pray with me for purity and the fire to stay strong. Love you all! Casey.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fall In Like.

      This is one of those blogs that supports my "Show all your emotions on social media" theory. I don't have a perfect life or have it all together. Right now I'm in a mood where I want to play darts with knives or go get a big tattoo. Which you should NEVER make rash decisions when in a bad mood! I'm in this weird place in my life. I'm finally at a place in my life where sometimes I think I want to date someone. When I say that, I really mean I want to "Fall in Like" with someone and have all the good feels. I'm not holding a big sign saying "Single! Lonely! I'll date anyone!!" I am still content. But there's a few guys that I am kinda like, "I could see myself with them maybe dating. That would be fun." And the day dreaming commences! Really it's Fall Out Boy's fault. (Yes I am a fan of their new cd and no it's not a Jesus cd. Hate on it.) They have a song called Young Volcanos (I'll post a link) that for whatever reason, makes me want to fall in like. I'm a sucker for catchy beats. lol.
      Now when I say fall in "like", let me explain. I had a teacher who told our class this in middle school. When you get your new boyfriend or girlfriend you're like "OHMAYGOSH I just LOVE them!" but you really don't. Heck, I've seen college students do that. But what you really are is in "LIKE." You like that person, you want to spend time with that person, etc. But you are not to a point where you reallllly LOVE that person.. And some people date just for that feeling ^. That's where I am. My heart, mind, whatever has decided that I neeeeeed a Summer romance. This isn't Grease tho.. None of the outcomes work. I mean these few guys are not people I could ever see myself marrying. Some are friends that I love dearly and respect, but they aren't who I am supposed to marry. I know that. But my heart/brain/whatever is like "Shhhh... Let's watch the adventure montage I made of the two of you this Summer again." And yes the montage is complete with hipster glasses and all. (In case you wondered.)
      So what I'm trying to say is, do what YOU know is right. No matter how bad your brain/heart/whatever says you need it. Don't jump into something only because you want a feeling. Everyone has those lonely nights and moments. That's why I'm sharing, in case someone needed to know they weren't alone in feeling like this. It's pointless for me to take on these "relationships" or try to make one happen. I know I'm not going to marry these guys. (Unless the universe take a severe turn later on lol.) It would be great and filled with happiness and it could be fun in the now. But when it's over? It's only gonna cause drama and possibly ruin the friendship I have now. So I may not have that "summer lovin," But I am happy in me and being single. It took a LONG time and a lot of crazy events to get here, but that's where I am. Sometimes I wish it was a little different, but then I get over it and say "Meh." My life is awesome. Don't fall for the trap of falling in like. Love who you are. Don't accept less than you deserve. YOU are AWESOME! :)


ps. there is one not so nice word in this. 1:28. sorry.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Conviction.

      Who here likes confrontation and the sinking feeling you get when you messed up? Anyone? No? Ok, me either. I'm a total baby about it. I'll do almost anything to avoid dealing with confrontation, and that is a reason for past sin in my life. It was easier to sin than make things awkward or say no and risk "hurting someone's feelings." Geezz.. how old are we? 4? But so you can see that I HATE conviction from God in the sense of I feel guilty. I don't like how it makes me feel. I guess a lot of that goes along with the fact that with the way society works, we fail God and it seems like everyone else around us has it all together. So we feel worse and bottle it up so that no one else knows. (That's why we have a problem with accountability and LACK of in the church today..) BUT that is a different rant all together.
      Conviction is good tho if you take it in and make a change. Lately I felt like I was stuck and even back sliding a little in my life. I literally have been feeling a tug of war in my soul. Almost like I can look ahead and see this AMAZING and bright outlook for my life. I can't see what all is in it, but I can feel this amazing peace thinking about it. And then looking behind me, I see this enormous black, dark cloud coming in behind me faster and faster. That black cloud is the toxic past I was stuck in and all my old habits. Just thinking about it makes me feel depressed, weighed down, burdened. In my relationship with God I think that whenever I learn a powerful lesson, He gives me a chance to prove it shortly after. Call me crazy, but it happens like clockwork every time.  (Also makes me want to read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis again. Letters from older demon to younger one on how to break humans. Such a good read.) Anyways, the lessons have been a powerful thing in my life. Don't get me wrong, I've failed like 85% of them.. But I'm growing in God and moving on into this better person. It's a process. Veryveryveryveryvery few people quit smoking cold turkey and actually stick to it. Being a Christian isn't about a one time encounter with God and being forever changed. Yes, you will be forever changed, but it is a daily thing. It is a relationship. It should be every minute of every hour living your life to serve God's will the best you can. And I'm not on some high horse like, "Yeah guys, get it together and serve.." That's what we are called to do. And I am still so far away from that myself. But it should be a relationship. One that shows how humbled and at a loss for words at the grace and mercy God showed for me by sending Jesus. I do not deserve anything from God. And yet, He gave me everything.
      So these convictions, it's like God's way of keeping me on track. I've had several "tests" lately, and by "tests" I mean chances to screw up. Chances to go back to the old me. And the tug of war inside me has been insanely strong. But God is putting a bitter taste in my mouth for the old me. Quite frankly, God has been working on putting a bitter taste in my mouth for anything that doesn't bring Him glory. I've felt convicted about not spending enough time with God. I opened Crazy Love where some notes I had stuck in fell out, and the paragraph was saying don't lie to God and tell him how important He is to you. Tell Him the truth that you want Him to be the most important thing, but BLANK took His place. Tell him that you fail him and you know it, etc. I was blown away. It stuck the words right in my mouth. While having this whole Jesus moment, I posted a lyric "Your love overcame the grave, surely it will break every chain." on my facebook as well as the video for "Break Every Chain." And then I remembered that I had sent someone a joke in a Facebook message like two hours before that basically counteracted what I was just posting. I was insanely convicted. Having a relationship with Jesus really does mean every single aspect of your life being completely sold out to Jesus and His cause. I've definitely been convicted this week on things I need to change.
      Sometimes it is honestly still hard to make the right choices when faced with these tests. The old Casey is really stubborn. But I keep seeing that light in front of me. I see the bright future, even though I can't see into it and what all it holds for me I know that trusting God will pay off. I heard a sermon on that recently. God doesn't promise us anything specific, but promises us a "gift/reward/etc" for trusting Him. Honestly we may not even see that "gift" in our lifetime. It's like Let's Make A Deal. We can have a Brand New Lawnmower! Or we can blindly pick door #3 even though we have no idea what's inside. The lawnmower might seem pretty awesome, but honestly there is a chance it won't compare to what is behind door #3. But God PROMISES us that what He has for us is BETTER than the "lawnmower" we are chasing after in our life. I can tell you this, it gets easier some when you trust God. Being a christian really isn't easy. Life becomes spiritual warefare. BUT it gets easier when you trust in God.  IT's so easy for me to say no to certain things now because God's helped me grow with Him and away from negative things. I am so thankful for convictions and God wanting to build me into a better person.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Alone.

      I have an irrational fear of being alone. This is one of those honest blogs that shows that not every minute of every day is ok. Which I think we all need to see. In my past I would hold on to things for fear of being alone. I did a lot of things for attention. I could not even be interested in someone, but wanted to know that when I "needed" them, they would still be there. By doing this, I allowed myself into various situations that I didn't need or want to be in, but my fear of being alone always trumped what was best for Casey. I used people solely for attention because the void in my soul was so deep and only growing deeper. I was an attention whore. The "cry yourself to sleep" kind if she didn't have someone who thought she was awesome to talk to. Seriously. I've blogged about my past, but I was messed up emotionally. I was controlled and owned. I thank God all the time for saving me from that pit, because I never would have made it out alone.
      Recently, I was reminded of who I once was. I got to see first hand how I used to act, and it made me want to absolutely throw up. I had forgotten just how bad it was. I'm a photographer, and sometimes photographers will use Photoshop to touch things up. As humans, we constantly want to touch things up that are not pretty. I had forgotten just how ugly my old life was. I had "smoothed it over" in my mind to a much milder picture. I was overwhelmed, ashamed, embarrassed, etc. It made me long for my "Breakeven" tattoo even more, reminding me how much I had changed. (See Breakeven blog.) But later when it was determined that this small piece in my story wouldn't come up anymore, I felt a familiar feeling come over me. A feeling that didn't want things to end. I didn't ever want to go back to that person I was or have anything to do with that, but I didn't like the fact of knowing that it was forever over and if I decided to go back to that one day (which I never would) that option would never be there. How messed up is that? It's like this: I HATE cherries. Don't ever want to eat them. But if someone told me I would never be able to try a cherry ever again, I would be upset. What if they grew on me? Humans are such amazing creatures. I mean, we were made in God's image, but we are SO STUPID. It's such a beautiful thing with God, that He gives us free will. It makes the love story that much stronger. But the fact that we chase what is completely bad for us and we try to think that we know better than God.. Geez Louise.. But I am constantly guilty. This season in my life is the first time that I have ever listened to God this much, and that's not saying that much because it takes an incredible effort and I still fail 70+% of the time. Most of that time I am too busy or selfish and I make my own judgements. We all know how well that has worked out. (See other blogs lol)
      It's like the sermon from this week at my church. 1 Kings 19:1-15. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah had just kicked some major butt with God. In chapter 19, a woman named Jezebel sends a note to Elijah saying she will kill him the way that he killed the prophets. So what does Elijah do? He flees. After he had this amazing battle with God on his side, he forgets all of that and runs away. My pastor Matt said this, "Sometimes the reservoirs of yesterday's victories are not enough for today's challenges." That's super true and that's been heavy on my heart all day. I can have this awesome victory in God and be feeling so on fire, and then 30 minutes later I can be in tears about something that doesn't matter. And I feel like all the "Jesus" I had is gone. When I was feeling alone and like I needed to hold on to things to fill voids, I felt like this. But can I tell you something? The most alone I've ever felt is when I was outside God's will. Yep. Just writing this blog and talking God has completely cheered me up. I have been reminded how much I need God and how far we have come from the pit I used to reside in. I don't ever want to be that person again. I want to live a full life with God bringing glory for His name. Boom. The rest of the message talks about how after we run away, we try to find things to fill the void. (Check. Been there, done that.) And maybe we are missing the point because we are not going at God's pace. And when we are at His pace, even the wrong places can become the right ones for our lives. Boom. Double truth! Who sets the pace for your life?
      So. I felt pretty down about how I was feeling earlier. I felt like I had back slid about 3 years. I got a glimpse of what would happen if I allowed myself to become the old me again. Once thing I've realized is that I am not going the right pace. And I can tell you that I definitely need to slow down. Earlier today I asked God to show me something, and I think He did. He reminded me just how vulnerable I am on my own. Some people think I have it together, but I'm just like every one else. I am a sinner who still struggles with a lot of issues, but I have been blessed by the grace of God. I'm gonna have days where I feel alone, but once that feeling passes I can get back on track and pace with what God wants for my life. Anything He wants is far better than we could ever imagine. I have never felt so free.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Christian, Single, and Ready to Mingle!

      25 views in the last week?? All from Germany and Russia?? Shout out!! Find me on twitter you guys and let me know who you are! Casey1233. Now that is out of the way, whatcha think about the title of this blog? ^ I promise it's not as cheesy as it sounds. I just really wanted a blog called that. Actually it's gonna be a strong opinion as to why I'm not dating currently. Boom. This is probably going to offend some happy love birds. So don't take it too personally.

           1. You should be happy being single before you ever decide to be in a relationship. And DEFINITELY before you get married! I could not agree with this more. If you aren't happy being you and you FEEL like you NEED someone else to complete you, then you are not going to be happy period. I get it, We are ALL HUMAN and being wanted and wanting to be loved are all human desires. I was the worst about this. You can read my older posts. I would do almost anything to get attention and to fill those voids that were empty and aching for human connection. My last post Breakeven talks about some of that. I went from a lonely unpopular highschool girl, to a head-over-heels-way-too-soon clingy, overly attached girlfriend, to a single broken girl who was looking for answers and love. Now I'm not saying "oh that breakup drove me to make bad choices.." No. My human emotions overcame me and since I am insanely weak, I went on to make not so fantastic choices in search of something to fill that void. Looking back now, and seeing where and who I used to be is so different than where I am now. It's taken me 2 1/2 or so years to really figure out what a real relationship should be like. Family, friends, and significant others shouldn't be the main and only source of happiness. You should be happy with life and who you are. It shouldn't require having someone else to make your life complete. However, yes I do want to be married to someone who is like my best friend, but my vows will not say that they "are the reason I breathe or wake up in the morning." Promise you guys that lol. I do want someone who makes my life even more awesome than normal and someone who love going on awesome adventures with me. But I want THAT someone, not any someone who will date me. So I'm content and happy with me life, and if/when that someone comes along it will just be extra happiness to my life.   ** In my last blog I talked about the song "Breakeven" by The Script ^. I love it. They are one of my favorite bands. But it's one of my favorite songs because I used to be there. The song says, "What am In supposed to do when the best part of me was always you?" No.. No one else should ever be the best part of you. And yes I can say that, because I have done that and been that way.

           2. Friends with benefits NEVER works out. Yep. I learned this through trial and error. This is the quickest way to get your heart broken. And the guy will never love you because the texts you send or the physical things you do. You're always going to be that rebound friend, but never the girlfriend he shows off. You also can lose some of the best friends who meant everything to you because you got caught up in a few moments. This is probably the dumbest thing you could ever do. Really.
     
          3. It's better to have one really good relationship than a new one each month. This forever will probably make me laugh. I am glad that I was never popular enough in high school to be that girl. So what that I've only been in one real relationship, been on a handful of dates, and rarely seriously talk to guys? Guess who just saved herself a BUNCH of drama? (And money on my car insurance by switching to Geico?) Ladies, please keep it classy. #justsayin

        4. Just because I'm single it DOES NOT mean I am unhappy. Or DYING for a relationship. I feel like I hear this way more than I should. Given there is a running joke that I am going to be a cat lady. But GEEEZZ maybe I WANT to be a cat lady? I am at a place in my life where I am generally really happy being single. I still have lonely days, but honestly? I'm pretty content. AND just because I am single, it doesn't mean I need a man in my life and I will automatically accept your offer. In a relationship you are going to get married or breakup eventually. Period. Why go into one just because you want connection when you don't see the marriage option as an outcome..

       5. Girls and Guys are different. Ok well besides the obvious.. I was camping with two friends of mine that make an amazing couple, D and A. I swear this guy is the PERFECT example of a real man, but back on topic. We were talking about this while camping. Girls are all emotional and want guys to be all emotion. Guys have a one track mind and can literally only focus on one thing at a time sometimes. (Yes this has been proven. D zoned out while talking to A and I.) Relationships are going to fail if the girl is constantly looking girl qualities in a guy. I mean you can find some guys that are emotional and some that are really great listeners, but guys will still have moments where they do no understand girl logic about crying about nothing. Girls will still not understand how guys can not care so much. etc etc. Life would be some much easier if guys and girls accepted this about each other and remembered that.

        6. Real and good men do still exist! Like I said earlier, this guy D is pretty amazing. Not in a "I want to date him" way, but in a "I'm so happy A found an AHHHMAZING man that loves Jesus like that" kinda way. I want one my age!! This guy has it figured out. He's the one leading the guys are different conversation ^. This guy loves hunting, fishing, camping almost as much as he loves Jesus. And he's respectful! Not trying to sound all creepy. BUT meeting D and seeing how he treated A made me realize that awesome, respectful, pretty amazing guys DO STILL exist out there!! I know some pretty cool guys, but ladies, D completely redefines real man. Again, not to sound creepy. But really ladies, don't settle because there really are Godly guys out there. And I am confidently saying this while still single. And I am so at peace because I am no longer stressing about it. I don't have to stress trying to make something happen that isn't going to happen or going after relationships that in the long run won't work out. I used to be the queen at that.

      Now don't get me wrong, I kinda would't mind a relationship. I'm not bitter because I'm not in one. I just know that FOR ME, taking some time to find me and become who I need to be and be happy in myself and Jesus is what I needed. Yes, I want someone who comes to mind when "Ho Hey" comes on the radio. And I love the feeling I get when I'm "in like" with a crush that might work out. And I love late night texts. But if you aren't looking to actually marry someone, then what is the point? A christian speaker, Jefferson Blake, said it pretty awesome. "Dating with no intent to marry is like going to the grocery store with no money. You either leave unhappy or you take something that isn't yours." This dating thing has been boiling inside for awhile and I'm pretty ecstatic at where I am. Like I said in the Breakeven blog post, I am not who I used to be. I still am human and I have human longing and desires, but I thank God that I have been allowed to grow and change. Again guys, don't take any offense. This has just been a blog waiting to be written and certain facebook posts finally got it out. Just my thoughts and opinions. BAM.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Breakeven.

      I am at a place in my life that I could not be happier. All of my chains I had holding me back have fallen away. I've said this a lot lately, but 20 has been the craziest year of my life and it has been the best one. I've had ups, downs, pain, joy, love, hurt, and I know who I am and who I want to be now. If you read this blog, you know that the last couple months have been crazy, but they have defined me and built me into who I am now so much. I am so thankful for that. And recently I have gotten to see my life and where I am now vs where I could still be. I mean I'm even getting to see friend's lives grow deeper or go through a rough patch. As bad as it sounds, it's been an amazing reminder of who is moving forward in the same direction as me, and who is still standing around making mistakes and that it's a good thing I have distanced myself from that. This week I was even reminded what my path in life is and why. God has shown up in my life and set things back on the right path just when I was starting to waver. God takes amazing care of me, especially in the times that He knows I can't take care of myself. All of my chains have fallen away and nothing is holding me back anymore. It's kinda like God said, "Here, I know you need help with this and you probably can't do this alone. So I'm gonna take care of this for you." And just like that I am no longer attached to those things. God knows best for my life. ALWAYS.
      Now this blog is named "Breakeven" after the song by The Script that was released back in 2010. "When a heart breaks, it don't break even." Google it if you need to. 2010 seems like such a long time ago to me when I think about all the things that have happened in my life since that. I was a senior in high school and then graduated. I had a relationship that later ended that year. I got my first job. I started college. Back to that relationship. I dated a guy for a short period of time. We're still friends now and he's married to a wonderful lady. But we dated, I was head over heels for this guy, and then he broke up with me later that year. And the song "Breakeven" was literally the only thing I could think of in that moment. I laid in bed feeling empty with the chorus running through my head. So the memory is attached to the song. Looking back now, it was a ridiculous relationship. I was 17/18, overly emotional and attached, etc. And he was a guy with his problems too. At the time, it was SOOOO serious to me. And now, it makes me laugh looking back at the whole thing. So when I heard the song the other day it made me think about all this and laugh. And I thought about how good my life is and how incredible far I have come in the last few years. If you could hang out with 17 year old me and almost 21 year old me at the same time, you would be like "nope there's no way that's the same person." That's not a bad thing either.
      If you hang out with me in person or even read this blog, I'll probably mention C.S. Lewis. I LOVE his work. But there's a quote that helped me cope in the really rough days. "There are far better things than any we leave behind." That is something that has stayed with me since I read it. During a hard time, I tell myself that. And it made me laugh when I heard this song, because it made me realize just how far I have come already and how much better my life is.
      I actually wrote this blog the other night and didn't post it, and tonight it's still a recurring theme. So much that I might get the word "Breakeven" tattooed on me tomorrow. It's a reminder to keep moving forward. People and things are going to come and go. You won't understand things at the time, but you have to keep going because later down the road you will see how it all comes together and that it's for the best.