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Little Bit Longer

The whistle was piercing as one of the boys accidentally pushed over other teammate in order to get the ball. Another foul shot. Of course, the crowd was not happy. Some fathers were standing and waving their arms, irritated and screaming down to the referee. Mothers were frustrated at the call, commenting to their friends or husbands. Highland against Madison high, and Madison was catching up.

But I wasn't focused on the game. No. Nor did I really care about the calls that the refs made.

I was focused on the Highland basketball team. 

Those boys were growing up so fast. I recognized most of them. I recognized them because they have been in my home as elementary school boys, playing with Keegan. 

Keegan was not playing basketball. He was not out there hustling. Heck, he wasn't even sitting on the bench, frustrated, planning on how he could be a better teammate and player.
That was a gift of his. Even if he wasn't the best, he worked harder than anyone else, because he truly believed that he could be the best. 

But no, he wasn't there. Nor was Dad screaming at the ref. Nor was Mom talking to her friend. Nor was Liam sitting there with his game system.

They weren't there, and that was all that I noticed.

I forced myself to sit. I forced myself to watch. And it worked... for about 15 minutes. The more I stared out into the court, the more I realized the emptiness that I was witnessing. The more I stared, the more I recognized the gaping hole that was once again, searing wide open in my heart. 

I  couldn't take it anymore, so I left. I walked out of the gym, into the crowded hall, shimmied through students and parents (thanks for the skinny genes, Mom,) and out the side door. 

And I ran. Out by the drama department. Pass the drama department. Into the parking lot. Through the parking lot. Into the neighborhood next door. I kept running, and crying, which eventually turned into heaving sobs. Those still happen, you know, those heaving sobs. I ran until I couldn't run anymore. I walked until I felt too exhausted. I sat on the curb. Stared at the stars.

Orion was staring down at me. So was the Big and Little Dipper. So were all the other constellations that I don't even know. So magnificent and so vast.
And at that moment, I felt so small.
And the questions started rolling through my brain again.

"Why are they gone? Why am I here?"
And even more recently...
"How can you expect me to do this? How much longer do I have to do this?"

There was only wind to answer me for a little while, making my tears become colder. I didn't want to go back in yet. I didn't know what the outcome would be.

A thought came into my head.

"I expect you to do this, because you are of me. I made you to be able to do hard things. Just a little bit longer." 

Did everything become better after that? No, not entirely. No, I did not go back to the game. Yes, I went for a very long eventful walk after that. And I still cried.
But it really struck me. 

For though I need to be preparing for the future, I can only really do that by living in the present, savoring each day, and using it for the benefit of growth and learning. When things are hard, we want them to be done NOW. We want to be strong NOW. We want to come on top NOW. 

But instant gratification is not the Lord's way of doing things. 

The strongest muscle has to be torn. The prettiest flower has to grow. The strongest testimony has to be tested.
That's why it's called a TESTimony. 

Everyone is hurt in one way or another. And hurting is hard. And hurting can damage plans and ambitions. 
But it doesn't have to control it. 

I hope that one day, I will have that happiness again; that FULL happiness. And I know that I will.
It will just take some time.

And I think I can do it for just a little bit longer. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts with us. We love you so much! It's amazing to see you continue to grow, and your writing is developing so beautifully.

  2. I love the message you were given and appreciate you sharing it. Honestly I needed to know the same thing today. Your blog is wonderful and I get excited each time I see a new post. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. We all have hard things to go through and we can all help each other.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story and your experiences.

  4. Someone posted your blog on Facebook. Very inspiring words from one incredibly strong person. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and keep up the great work!

  5. Jensen,
    Hi. I just want to let you know that you are touching and helping more people that you realize and that your decision to listen to the Spirit and share your feelings through a blog is blessing others.
    I am so sorry for your losses. I am sorry that you have to live without your family for the rest of mortality. I am thankful for your knowledge of eternal families and that you are holding on to that promise. Have a beautiful day knowing that Heavenly Father loves you. You have a bright future ahead of you.

    blog reader and fellow latter-day saint,
    Amyjoy from Boise

  6. I heard your story several months ago and have thought about you and your brother, wondering how you're doing. I'm so sorry that this is one of the trials you have to go through. It doesn't seem fair, yet God knows the way we will learn and grow the best. I am so glad to know that Heavenly Father is in charge and things are not just left up to fate. Last year both of my parents succumbed to terminal cancers (within 7 months of eachother). It's a very bitter sweet thing. I'm glad they are out of pain and misery, yet I miss them so much! I was given a book called "The Message" by Lance Richardson. He is LDS and talks about his NDE and it really brought a lot of comfort to me and made me realize that my parents are not far from me at all. And your family is not far from you. They are with you more than you realize. I pray that you will continue to find the peace, comfort, and strength you need to endure well to the end.
    Kristal from SLC

  7. I am so glad I read this. THANK YOU!!! don't even know <3

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  9. Thanks for sharing your journey in such a down to earth yet personal way. Our granddaughter was left alone last July when her parents and 4 younger siblings were murdered. I have thought and felt many of the things you have shared as has she. What a blessing we share in knowing there is a Plan of Happiness, and I am eternally grateful for the gift of the Atonement!
    Please continue sharing your amazing gift to write about your feelings and your great practical applications of the scriptures. They are inspiring! May you and your brother continue to feel His living arms around you!

  10. Jensen, I just finished reading your blog posts from this past year. Like many, it has deeply touched me and I thank you for sharing. I know you are a strong girl and have been taught well by your parents. You and your brother, Ian have been handed a hard thing. I am grateful that you have a tight knit loving family to have helped you both through this past year. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your brother as you continue on your journey through your new normal. Families are forever....and your mom and your dad and your two younger brothers are a lot closer than you realize. I am so very eternally grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the small moments in our lives that He teaches us and we feel His love in those moments we need Him the most. I am still learning how to apply the atonement in my own life. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and whisper, "your doing good, it's going to be okay. Your mom and dad are so proud of you!" Hang in there! Good things are yet to come!


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