Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Change and a Mighty Work

I have come to this conclusion:

God is performing a change and a mighty work within me.

Right now, at this moment, things are the hardest that they've been in a long time. Over the past little while I have come to understand a little better the role that God plays in my life and just how involved that He really is. He sees who we are now and He sees who we can be in the future; He sees everything and is beautifully and mercifully prepared for each possibility and each choice that we make.

While I was unpacking a few weeks ago I came across a stack of filled and finished journals. I came across an entry and a description of a blessing that I had nearly forgotten about; one that happened during a significantly difficult time in my life. As I was reading this entry, everything that has happened to me over the past several months clicked into place and suddenly made sense. In this entry, God was giving me a warning. A caution against something that would not happen for almost two years.

What's beautiful about this is that He saw. He knew the lessons that I had to learn; the ones that I would not be able to learn any other way. Lessons that were essential to my eternal progression. He saw what needed to happen and how hard it would be and He jumped right in to preparing me for what was to come even though it was in the distant future. This revelation was a wake-up call. I was feeling uninspired, worthless, and confused about my future and confused about the reasons for some recent trials and why I "wasn't" given any reason behind them.

I was struggling. Struggling to heal from the trials and the unfortunate damage that had been done to me by them. Honestly, I was wondering if God really cared about me at all; if there was really any rhyme or reason to my trials or if they were just meaningless. And when I was at my weakest, God saw the danger that I was in, saw my sincere desire to know the truth and His will for me...... and then showed me what I needed to see so I could start to heal.

 I am thankful for God and for the role that He has played in my life so far. I am thankful for His sacrifice of sending His Only Begotten Son to earth to fulfill the Atonement. I am truly thankful for Christ's faith and his willingness to do our Father's will, even though he was scared. He saved us all so that we could have the opportunity to repent. So that we could all be together forever someday. Because of the atonement, I can begin to heal. Through the atonement I can learn to love myself and I can use that power to forgive others and use it to forgive myself.

God and Christ love us. Whether we like it or not, they are in every single part of our lives. They see every possibility and future and they see our magnificent potential to be what we are destined to be.We absolutely need Them. I know that now.

"Lord, I need you, oh I need you! Every hour I need you! My one defense, my righteousness! Oh God, how I need you."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Truths that Speak to Me at the Present Moment

A Rebuke, A Call to Action, and A Declaration

Thinking about it, the past month and a half or so has been absolute terror, torture, and hell, all rolled into one big, wretched mass of emotional and mental turmoil. I have moved from Provo, Utah to Phoenix, Arizona, and taken a brand spankin' new job teaching terribly ruthless eighth graders. I have officially started from scratch and I am officially a grown-up; living on eggs and potatoes, trying to strike out on my own, and make a life for myself. And you know what...? It kind of sucks rocks right now, I'm not going to lie to you. But, before I get into all of that and get off topic, I want to touch base on a few of the things that have been on my mind as of late. Ladies, you can stop reading here if you'd like, but men? Read on brothers, read on. This is for you and your comrades in arms.

I have had my heart ripped out of my *pardon my French* ass for the last time. Us women need men. We need men. We need men. We need men. Sure, it feels abso-freakin'-loutely spectacular to be cuddled, held, stroked, and, not to be particularly vulgar or anything, be French kissed every so often, but good GRIEF! Pull your heads out of your butts and COMMIT already! I am not something for you to play with whenever you feel like it. I am NOT someone for you to mess around with until you've decided you've had your fill and can now toss me aside. Us women need men who not only do the nice things I've mentioned above, but we need men who actually care about us, who actually think before they act; men who aren't afraid of commitment, men who aren't scared of finding someone to start the rest of their lives with. I am NOT, I repeat, NOT for you to experiment with when you're still trying to figure out who you are, what you want with you and what you want in your life, let alone what you want in a girlfriend and future spouse. Doing what I've described is just plain mean, downright cruel, and quite frankly, inconsiderate treatment of a fellow human being and child of God. Stop it. Just STOP IT.

Now, I know that I am not perfect. Only Heaven knows how imperfect I actually am, but I am coming to the conclusion that I deserve respect and consideration and basic common courtesies when I am involved with someone, even when we are just starting to go on dates and not in an actual relationship. So boys (because that's what you're acting like), don't lie to me about how you're feeling because you're afraid to say what you really feel just in case it hurts my feelings, don't hold my hand, hug me, or most especially, kiss me, if you don't mean it. Save that garbage for the nuclear waste dump in your thick heads because it has no place in the real world. No one, and I mean, NO ONE, deserves to be treated like that. I don't care who you are or what you've done, but no one needs that extra baggage.

1. So, don't you dare come near me unless you have your act together. (Know who you are as a son of God and what you truly want out of life. I've had a hard enough time figuring out who I am and what I want and sorry, but I don't have the time to help you do that. That's something you need to do for yourself.)

2. Don't even think twice about holding me or kissing me until you're sure that you're in it for the long haul and that you're not just going to frolic off into the sunset when you've finished with me.

3. Don't you even entertain the thought of lying to me, because I will suss it out, and I will kick your trash. And so will all of my friends. And especially my baby sister. Don't mess with that chick. If you want me to be your girlfriend, you share things with me, not hide them from me.

4. Respect me and who I am as a daughter of God, and respect what that means. Can you imagine how horrified God is when He sees what you are doing to and how you are treating his precious daughters? You better take cover with that idiot metal strainer in the kitchen because a storm's coming for you.

Boys, rise up, and act like the men that God wants you to be; the men that He expects you to be. How can any of us expect to get to the Celestial Kingdom of God if you're acting like this? How eternally sad will God be if all of his precious daughters grow into old age and pass into the next life without ever experiencing an honest-to-goodness, heartfelt, true, and respectful relationship? How will He feel when this happens and that his precious daughters who righteously desired to have a family never got to birth their own children and raise them?

And don't you even DARE think about saying that this will happen because we're "picky". I would rather wait forty years for a right man who will treat me with honesty, integrity, kindness, respect, and love me for who I am, than settle for a boy who will treat me abominably ill and leave me when he's decided he's finished with me.

I am declaring that I am waiting for a man to come and find me and I am no longer interested in wasting my time with boys. So if you're a boy, go find something else to do with your time, and if you can honestly call yourself a man, step right up, because I've been waiting for you. I deserve better than what I've been given and I am willing to search for it, and if needs be, wait for it, until a right situation comes along.

Friday, March 29, 2013

...Where do I belong...?

It's at times like this that I've never felt more alone and lost. I am tired and exhausted, emotionally strung out and just downright confused. I am ready to find where I belong; I'm tired of wandering and feeling worthless.

Even now, when I'm nearing the completion of my Bachelor's degree, I'm student-teaching at a middle school, and I'm established in a great single's ward, I still feel like I'm not where I'm supposed to be.  I feel like I don't fit in, no matter where I am. Being a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is one of my biggest blessings, but it is also one of my biggest hardships. Every time I come to visit my home town, the only thing anyone ever asks me is, "Do you have a boyfriend? Are you dating anybody? Are you going to get married? Why aren't you married yet?"  

In the areas I'm in at least, there is a blatant disregard for my accomplishments in favor of the more "important" relationship gossip and my self-worth is based solely on whether or not I'm dating someone, engaged or getting ready to start a family. Most of the time I feel like I'm not worth much; this is because in a very close-knit culture where family and marriage is one of the most important accomplishments you can ever achieve, I am not involved in any of it. Not even a little bit. All of my friends and family have either or are, going on missions, getting engaged, getting married or having families and I'm just...floating. Even with all of the stuff that I'm involved in, I feel like I just don't belong. I feel like all that I've done and gone through and accomplished doesn't matter; no one seems to give a care that I've made it through a debilitating illness, gotten my bachelor's degree and performed as an actress with one of the most sought after directors at BYU-Idaho. Because I'm not on a mission or engaged or married or starting a family, nothing that I've done matters or has any worth, weight, or meaning behind it. People seem to look down on me; almost like they're asking why I'm wasting and have wasted my time doing the things that I've done. At least that's how I feel. I feel that because I haven't done and I'm not doing any of these things, I have no worth or place because I'm not "furthering the kingdom".

Most of the time I feel like an intruder on all of my friends and family's lives; a tiny piece of nondescript furniture in the background that just sits there and only adds to the scenery. Something that has no real place or purpose. I feel so awkward, lost, confused, and out of place. I feel like I don't belong with anyone or belong anywhere. I don't want to feel like that anymore; I shouldn't have to. 

Next on my list of things to do after I'm done with student teaching is to take the summer off and find myself and my purpose. I want to have time to just be, because after an entire lifetime of devoting myself to my studies, my friends, my family, basically anything and anyone else that didn't have to do with me, I think it's about time that I do something just for me. It's high time that I take care of myself and do what I want and what I need. And right now I need a sense of purpose, a place where I know that I belong. I'm done with feeling like I'm floating. I know with everything that I am, that there is somewhere I belong and that I have a distinct and special purpose meant just for me. I just don't know the where and what quite yet. It's nice for the rest of you who have done this for yourselves, but just know that I haven't yet and you have no place to judge me on where I am in my journey and I how I get there.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Deep Waters

On this quiet, Sabbath morning, while watching "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration", I have come to realize something......I am meant to swim in deep waters. I don't know why I didn't realize this before. At the young age of twenty-two and a half, I have been through more than most people my age will go through in a lifetime. I have survived much and after listening to Joseph this morning, I have come to accept that it will be this way for the rest of my earthly life

As of late, I have been scared, unsure, doubtful and exhausted in every way that it is possible to be exhausted. In my previous post I said, "Have you ever reached that situation where you don't know how you survived up to that point, and you don't know how you can go on, you don't know how much you have left to give and you're just......tired? And you just want to have control over one thing in your life for once, even if it's just for a few minutes? And you just want to be able to see what's in your future because you're so exhausted from stumbling blindly for so long in the darkness until the light somehow miraculously shows up at the end of the tunnel? I just want to be sure of things. Just once."

But, after talking with some very dear friends of mine yesterday, one of them pointed something out to me,  commenting on something I mentioned. He said that even though I have said that I am so spiritually and mentally exhausted that I cannot move even if I want to, that even when I ask questions of our Father in Heaven such as, "I can't DO this anymore. I can't MOVE. What more do you want of me? What more can I do? What do you want me to do?" He said that this is a sign of humility and that even though I'm tired, I still want to do God's will and that is what really matters. I know that now, and I also know that my life, this life, was not meant to be an easy one. There is a greater work for me to do, one that is bigger and brighter than myself, something that I cannot even comprehend or fathom. And in order to prepare me for that greater work, I must be put through the refiner's fire. There is no other way. I am meant to swim in deep waters. 

" My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." 
-Doctrine and Covenants 121: 7 & 8.