08 February 2015

Good Things to Come

I haven't written much on here for a long time because I didn't feel like remembering let alone sharing a lot of the thoughts, feelings and experiences I've had over the last several months. But I've learned a lot of important lessons in all the recent ridiculousness, and those I DO want to remember. And since the last couple of days have gone a long way to helping me feel like I might be getting back on track, I finally feel like I can openly reflect on these lessons.

SO, in no particular order, here are some happenings over the last 6 months and the lessons I'm learning (or being reminded of) through it all.

1) I briefly dated a Nigerian guy that I met at Uni. The whole experience was so incredibly unlike me or anything I've experienced before. I still have a hard time processing it sometimes haha.

  • Don't ever give my phone number to a guy I barely know, no matter what reason he gives me in asking for it. He only wants my number for one reason. #rookiemistake (It's embarrassing that I am 27 and still so naive about something so obvious to most people. But since I'd never been asked for my number by a guy who was interested in me, the thought he was a) lying and b) interested in me genuinely never occurred to me.)
  • Sometimes trying to be kind should take a backseat to being clear, firm and straightforward. 
  • If I have the Spirit with me, my initial reaction to things is personal revelation. Heed it. That is what will make me *happiest*
  • Being with someone who adores me is nice, but it's better to be with someone who truly knowsloves and respects me.
  • I refuse to put up with someone who tries to make me feel bad, no matter what it's about. #aintnobodygottime. (But seriously, if you notice red flags, PAY ATTENTION. Manipulation, threats or abuse are never ok, no matter how mildly it begins.)
  • My sacred covenants really are the most important thing to me. I want to be with someone who can understand and have that feeling about their covenants, too. That is a deal breaker.
2) My student visa expired a couple weeks ago, so I applied for an extension. It was quite the dramatic experience with all sorts of bureaucratic stumbling blocks at literally every step in the process. But after having to nearly leave the country on the cheapest bus/train/plane I could find to an unknown destination for an uncertain amount of time... it's all finally in the process of being resolved and I'm still alive and in the UK.

  • Even if God does like to see me sweat a bit, He loves me. He's never left me hanging yet, so He's not going to start now. He will make things work together for my good. Trust Him
  • I really DO have friends who care. Stop trying to do everything on my own. 
  • Do what I can, and leave the rest to God. He's my best resource, especially in a crisis.
3) I've been struggling lately, not in a depressed kind of way, just in the 'This Life thing is Really Hard. Can I call a timeout please?' kind of way. I could get more specific, but it really is just an all-encompassing feeling of STRUGGLE. Struggling to be... disciplined, proactive, patient, vulnerable, focused, warm, healed, frugal, forgiving, friendly, understanding, faithful... basically everything. I know we all have those times and I'm certainly not new to the Struggle Scene. But sometimes it just feels REALLY HARD, right?

  • In case I've forgotten, I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
  • God really does love me, even when I don't feel it. Like Nephi said, 'I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things' (1 Ne. 11:17). Even when I know nothing else, I can cling to this truth and use it to help rebuild my foundation of faith.
  • Having sincere questions is never a bad thing, especially in matters of church and/or faith (which in this case are two very distinct things). Exercise my faith. Ask the questions. But be willing to receive and accept God's answers, even if it's not what I wanted or expected. And if the answers don't come, keep waiting. They will.
  • The Temple is such an incredible source or strength, peace and hope. Don't ever be unworthy of entering God's holy house.
  • The struggle is real, but so are God's Tender Mercies. He will use the most unexpected people and experiences to help restore my *hope*. Embrace these beautiful blessings
  • Be PATIENT with the process of perfection. Refining my rough edges is going to take awhile.
4) A lot of people in my life also seem to be in the midst of intense struggle, and I'm often one that they share those struggles with. It can feel incredibly overwhelming at times, but...
  • My life is immensely blessed when I share in someone else's Struggle. 
  • It's NOT my job to FIX their struggles. Just to listen, love, empathize, or when appropriate and asked--to counsel and advise. 
  • I need to be brave and vulnerable enough to *ask* others for help, too. (Seriously, 10 months of healing from a broken leg and I'm STILL being taught this lesson... I think it is time that I remember and apply it!)
5) I was called to teach the 5-6 year olds in Primary. I won't lie... it was hard to say yes. 
  • I'm better with children than I give myself credit for.
  • The Gospel is simple. And it is true. Focus on that, and all the other questions seem to diminish in importance.
  • Teaching the one is always more important than getting through a lesson.
6) My grandmother passed away a bit unexpectedly after falling and breaking her hip. I love her and miss her, but I'm so grateful she's not suffering anymore. Gratefully, I was able to visit her in April for a couple weeks.
  • I have an ironclad testimony in the Plan of Salvation. However, every time I lose someone I love, the Spirit reconfirms to me that God really does have a plan for His children and that death is not the end.
  • Don't pass up an opportunity to visit someone I love, or to express that love to them. I never know when it may be too late.
  • I really do have friends who care and would gladly mourn with me and offer comfort--if I give them a chance. *LET THEM*. (Are you seeing the pattern? haha)
Ok, that's more than enough for now. A lot of struggling brings a lot of stretching, growing, and ultimately learning. I'm grateful for an infinitely loving Heavenly Father who is far more patient with me than I am with Him. 

I promise the last few months have also had a lot of good things happen, too, which I'll write about later. But for now, just know that either in spite of or because of all the struggles, I believe and hope for Good Things to Come.

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