March 16, 2013

broken {and} building

a few weeks ago there was still snow on the ground and the weather was mostly frigid.
we now have sunshine and nice breezes with no snow in sight, with few exceptions.
spring is arriving, people.

and it's about time because this winter has been long!
with its gloomy, distressing, cold, and distant environment i believe these last few months have really left much to be desired.
even still, it has taught me so very much.

this winter has metaphorically broken me down or crushed the final pieces that had been left standing of my previous self and whatever was still holding on for my future. it seemed whenever i had managed to lay a solid foundation of something positive, there followed a fatal bombing that shattered all the pieces.

i honestly didn't know at which point i'd gotten stuck. i just knew i was currently there.

there was no future in the seminary teaching program (again) - haha - though it did sting getting cut much sooner in the process as a 25-yr-old than i had been as a 20-yr-old. i couldn't find an actual teaching job so i felt that my years of college work had been in vain. there were several personal things going on and all in all, just like the winter weather, i got cold and distant with God.

i knew what i was doing. .....don't we always?
...kind of an intentional "turning my back on you" play because i felt like i had been left out to dry.

as crazy, scary, unpredictable, and even semi-awful as life can be
i am still so grateful that we are allowed to make our own mistakes.
i know that i personally learn so much from them.

i had isolated myself from God and from others, with few exceptions, so that even when i wanted to reach out there weren't always practical or available options. being completely by myself in my negative emotions taught me how utterly awful it was to be in this place - again. i was worn out from my past and my present; worn from the world.

this song pretty well sums it up:

i have continued to listen to klove christian radio station religiously -- it almost feels like i'm sinning if i change the channel.
that's where i get all my good songs :) anyway, what follows is my experience with the stages of change and how slowly things have started to get better:
{pre-contemplation} as i listened to uplifting songs on klove and think about how useless my efforts to change have been without the help of my Savior and my Heavenly Father. yet, with their help anything is possible.... i mean, that's what i have always believed and i had no doubt it worked for other people who put all their trust in the Lord.

i {contemplate}d how if i believed in it for other people, then shouldn't i believe it for me? but there were barriers --- i had stopped communicating with God, it would take time and effort to get "back into God's good graces."

well, first i started truly communicating with my Heavenly Father again. {preparation} stage was a big step for me. but i knew this wasn't getting me anywhere fast.

so i started the {action} stage. i met with my bishop / religious leader. it was good and got me started back on the road to a positive place. Though i still felt incomplete, and though i was maybe floundering a bit, i had made progress.

this is when i experienced one of those
*tender mercies*
through only a series of events that would be significant to me, my Heavenly Father "showed Himself" to me by allowing me to see through specific actions and words of others that He is aware of me. He is aware of my heart. He loves me and both the atoning and the enabling power of Christ's Atonement are not just for everyone else but they are for me, as well. i am important to Him.

this experience has completely changed the way i view situations that i get myself into. i am no longer seeking a "quick fix" to calm fears or get rid of unpleasant feelings. i am looking at things with the question of, "where will this get me?"

i want eternal happiness. i have focused on present and short-term happiness most of my life because that is what i have known, it's what i could see or picture.

what i've recently experienced reminds me that i am a little flower bulb with no idea my potential. i get sad because sometimes i get covered in dirt and it gets cold. but i just moved into spring and the clouds opened up. sun is shining on me and am starting to get glimpses of the possibilities.

sometimes things get tough, and hey - i've heard that sometimes life gets easy? - but regardless, we're just all on our journey home. we're taking the long way so i'm going to try to enjoy it. i'm grateful we have people to enjoy it with. i'm grateful for people who endure the thickest and thinnest parts of life with me -- especially two people who helped me find my way out of the winter and into the spring. my sweetest little brother and a friend who is one of the most patient and loving people i've ever known.

i thank my Heavenly Father for allowing me to meet such amazing people on my journey home.

hope you enjoy this song - it helps me remember the eternal perspective
(especially the story behind it, let me know if you wanna know what it is):