Monday, August 18, 2014

"That Girl"

Believing is just the first leap of faith to knowing.
Just let that sink in.

When I was on my mission, I became known as, what a lot of people called, "That Girl." I was "That Girl" who bore her testimony every fast Sunday since Primary days. I was "That Girl" who knew all the answers during the Primary lessons. I was "That Girl" who loved to go to Seminary, and, lo and behold, I knew all the answers there, too! I was "That Girl" who read her scriptures, and loved analyzing them, and knew all the stories, and understood doctrine. I was "That Girl" who gave a million and one devotionals, (all voluntary, by the way) and lessons, and whatnots. I was "That Girl" who never really questioned anything that was told to me.

I was "That Girl." That girl who never had a reason to question anything. I was "That Girl." That girl who never had any real trials. Oh ya, sure, there were those ridiculous moments when I thought I was ugly, or didn't have friends, or had a hard time during school. But, none of those ever made me second guess things or doubt things.

I had it good. There was no reason to. I just kind of naturally "knew."

...

I've been thinking a lot. I think more than I speak nowadays. Since everything has happened, I've been REALLY thinking about "The Eternal Plan of Happiness." How families can be together forever, being married with the right authority. How death isn't the end, but just another step in the grand spectrum of things. How there's even more to it that I don't even know.

That's the thing. There's so much that I don't know.

It's not a doubting factor. It's more of I just don't know a lot of things. I don't know where Heaven is. Ya, we as people fabricated this idea that heaven is the sky, but if that was the case, wouldn't we see angels all the time, dancing around in their white robes, playing their harps? And even then, do we know if that's what angels do? I, personally, have a hard time believing that. My father, as well as my mother, were not lazy people.

(Plus, none of the four of them know how to play the harp...)

The point of the matter is, I DON'T KNOW. I don't know EXACTLY where Heaven is, or what we do, or when we become resurrected, or yada yada yada.

I do, however, have faith. That those kinds of things exist and those kinds of things happen.

I was reading my scriptures the other day, in Mark. (I tend to jump around.) And something caught my eye. It was Mark 6:6. This is what it said:

"And he (meaning Jesus, as he is trying to heal people,) marveled because of their unbelief. And he went around the villages, teaching."

Understanding that the verses before that were talking about how he couldn't do any miracles because no one had faith, I footnoted the word "unbelief." This is what it said:
 
UNBELIEF: Lack of faith
 
I'm not really sure why, but my mind started racing as I continued to read. It's kind of ironic, really, because later on in the chapter, it tells the story about the miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes, and because of the faith of the 5,000+ people there, Christ was able to feed them all, with just that much food! (Blows my mind, by the way.)
 
What was the difference between these two groups of people? The group that couldn't, or perhaps even wouldn't, be healed, and the group that was able to witness 5,000+ people be fed with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes? Well, when first reading it and thinking about it, the answer is the latter group had faith...
 
 But here was where my mind started going...
If you refer back to the footnote, according to this, and if I understand this correctly, Christ was dumbfounded by the lack of FAITH the first group had.
If you continue to read in all kinds of scripture, he always require people to have FAITH.
Miracles happened when people had FAITH.
 
He never reprimanded people that didn't have KNOWLEDGE.
He never marveled because of the lack of KNOWLEDGE that people had. (Not including people who had ALREADY RECEIVED that knowledge, who needed constant reminders. Which were a rare group of people.)
In short, He doesn't expect us to have FULL KNOWLEDGE. Not right now.
 
How could he? We are so imperfect!
 
Faith is a power. Awesome things happen when you have faith. Miracles happen.
And faith is developed when one BELIEVES first.
 
This life is all about believing and developing faith. More often than not, we will not have the FULL KNOWLEDGE of things here on Earth.
But believing, which develops into faith, will eventually become knowledge.
Will it happen while you're here in this life? Maybe. Maybe not. I cannot say.
 
To all those who may feel like you don't know things, you're not alone. You don't need to know everything right now.
But just exercising your beliefs to become faith is the first step.
 
I don't know exactly where my family is. I don't have that full knowledge. I don't know where Heaven is, or Paradise. 
But, I have a whole heck of a lot of faith that they are happy. And things are going well, wherever they are.
They were just those kinds of people. They make wherever they are a better, happier place.  
I believe I will see them again. I have faith that the gospel will enable me to have that opportunity.
 
And, I also believe that someday, I'll understand and know why things had to happen the way they did.
 
I'm not "That Girl" who knows all the answers.
I'm "That Girl" who believes the answers will come.  
 
 




 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Now, it is August

July was a tough month.

I'm not sure why that is. Maybe because it would have been the month that I would finish up my mission. The way that I planned to, that is.
Maybe it's because it would have been when I saw them all again. At the airports with their signs and smiles and hugs.
Maybe it would have been when I would come back to the life that I loved and left for a time, and I was would have been excited to be back.

I can't pinpoint exactly.
But, for whatever reason, July was hard.
Extremely hard.

And now, it's August.
And it's still hard.
Mainly because of how I was in July.
Angry. Depressed. Apathetic. Rude. Inconsiderate.
(I'm in that phase of grieving, I guess.)
I'll be the first to admit it. I've been a pain. I know I have. I've avoided people like the plague, for fear of hurting them or exploding at them, or just because I'm annoyed at them and don't want to deal with them. As for those that I do indeed let in, I just become angry and frustrated when they try to help.

It doesn't matter how many words of advice I hear, or bars of chocolates I eat, or martini glasses I smash.
That helps the exterior me.
It does nothing for the interior me. And, unfortunately, the interior me is what demands the most attention. The most healing. And people try.
And try.
And try...

I've shut down. I've set a barricade around me. I want people to come in, but I don't know how to help them through the wall, because there is no door. I forgot to add that part when I was creating it. It's high, and it's hard to get out, and it's hard for people to come in.
And so, what do I do? Yell. Scream.
If they can't feel it, then I will let them hear it.
Which results to... confusion. More hurt. More fear. More exhaustion. And more helplessness.
And not just for me.
More importantly, for those who try to help.
And you can only try getting through a barricaded heart for so long before you have to just move on.

All the negative build up from July caused the most hurt and exhaustion I've ever experienced. The load is so heavy, but I don't know how to give it up. It builds upon me, to the point of exhaustion so severe that I shut down.
I stare at people as they speak to me.
I tune out a lot more than I take in.
It's hard for me to listen to other people's problems.
I watched people became lost for words, after hours of coaxing me. Counseling, spiritual experiences, opinions... nothing worked.

I became selfish.

And now, it is August.
And as I sit in the corner of my barricaded heart, I realize.
I AM NOT WHO I WAS.
My heart is hard. It is not what is was.
I don't LIKE this me.
And, I highly doubt that they do, either.
Or them...

Why do I write this?
One.
I'm sorry to all who have tried, and felt like they failed. Because you didn't. I love you more than you realize. And you help more than you will ever realize.
Two.
I'm deep into this. And it's the worse pain and worse feeling I've EVER experienced. And it's going to take more than a few days to get out. It's going to take a while.

A wise man once told me a phrase that forever changed my perspective on life. I forgot it for a while, but I'm reminded again:
"God doesn't do random."

No. No, he doesn't.
There is no growth in the comfort zone.
I'm going to get out of this barricade.
I'm going to start building a door.
It's not going to happen overnight.
And I'm not doing it alone. I'm going to require a lot of divine help. I want to be who I was before.
I take that back.
I want to be better than I was before.
That's going to require a lot of trust, a lot of change, and a lot of patience.
It's going to require the Atonement, which I know I need in my life again. I'm not a perfect person. I've stumbled a lot lately. But I'm going to keep going forward.

July was tough.
Now, it is August.
What better time to change?