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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our Story: Chapter 1

To start, I want to tell you a little bit about myself.  I struggle with sharing emotions.  I love to listen to other people talk about themselves or challenges in their lives.  That’s not hard for me to do at all.  But just walking up to someone and telling them about my life and my story and how I feel about something scares me.  It’s a little silly, but it’s one of the hardest things for me to do, no matter how well I know the person.  My dear husband has had to struggle with me as I’ve learned how to open up.  Writing this blog has been hard, because who else am I going to write about besides myself and my thoughts?  I’ll think of a potential topic, but before I even get close to writing it down, I’ve reasoned with myself that it’s too sensitive a topic, and I don’t want to bother other people with my life stories.  I mean, it’s not even that exciting. 

I’m learning that this way of thinking isn’t right.  My life may be boring to me, but I have no idea in the world what other people will think of it.  It very easily could be boring to you, too.  (I won’t judge you if that’s how you feel.)  But maybe what I have experienced before is something that you need to hear today.  Just maybe one little phrase – just one! – will have an impact on you.  So, I’m going to open up and share my story with you.  Not everything, and probably not chronologically, either.  But I’m going to try to let you and others into my life a little bit more. 

Specifically, I want to tell you about our story, of how Jordan and I found each other, then decided to stick with each other for ever.  I like this story, and I like hearing these stories.  So here we go!  

Chapter 1:

My freshman year of college was kind of amazing.  Like, a lot.  I met so many people who treated me like I was worth something and their influence and friendship has literally changed my life. 

I had finally got to the point where thinking about going on a date didn’t make me feel sick with worry, which was awesome!  It had been over a year since dating hadn’t been a stressful thing.  Without realizing it, I started thinking about the kind of man I wanted to marry someday (okay, I didn’t just start thinking about him, but I realized that I could very easily find him soon, which was really weird) and started looking for him. 

I found a lot of amazing people, many of whom I would have loved to go on dates with.  But every time I was ready to ask them on a date something would come up.  Every time!  I was confused and a little frustrated.  So, I prayed and read my scriptures.  This is one that has always comforted me when I’ve been confused about dating.  It’s in the Book of Mormon, in the book of Alma.

Alma 37:36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

I asked God about the guys I was interested in at that time.  He told me that He had someone ready for me, and that I would find him soon. It was very clear, but in my mind I was thinking that “soon” in God’s time could be a very long time, maybe even a couple years in my time.  So, I got myself ready to wait for who knows how long to find this man that God had in store for me.    

The Monday after school ended that semester, I started my internship at a nursery down in Kaysville.  It was May 7th, at 7:15 in the morning when this guy came to pick me up to carpool to work.  My dad and his dad had arranged it, so I had never met him before.  I was okay with it, and really hoped that it wouldn’t be too awkward. 

You know how in movies, when someone sees a beautiful person and everything goes into slow motion?  It happens in real life too just so you know.  When I opened the car door to get in his car, I swear, time slowed down, cause holy cow, he was gorgeous!  I was able to get into the car without too much embarrassment, and then we talked – a lot!  His name was Jordan, he was older than me, but it didn’t even phase me that the gap in our ages could be weird.  Over the next month, I fell in love with him.  We spent at least 40 hours a week with each other during the drive to work and then at work.  Not only was he handsome, he was also very spiritual, had a personality that was so easy to get along with, and he could sing.  Oh, can he sing!  At first I was frustrated that I fell for him so easily.  Then he sang along with my favorite song while we were driving, and I gave up trying to not love him. 

For the first time in my life, I had met someone who reminded me of myself.  It was like my life was one puzzle piece, and I had finally found another person who’s puzzle piece was almost identical to mine and I was so excited!  That first month that we met felt like a year, and it was perfect.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Learning to change

I hate being sick. 

Growing up, I felt pretty healthy.  Occasionally, I would get to stay home from school because I was sick, and if someone in my family caught a nasty bug, I generally got it, too.  But I never thought of myself as a sickly person. 

For the last several years, though, my health has been declining.  My roommates often commented on how often I said I was tired.  And I was tired constantly.  Every couple months, I would have a week or so where I felt just sick.  I went to the doctor to see what was wrong, and though I learned things to help me be healthier, I never learned what was making me sick.

For the last couple months, I have been sick almost every other weekend, if not more frequently.  No, all you well-meaning people out there,  I’m not pregnant, though you would have no idea how many people have asked recently because I keep getting sick, and how badly I wish that were the case.  All I know is that I am very physically weak.  And more than I hate being sick, I hate being weak. 

This past couple months, I have felt almost frantic in trying to figure out what is wrong with me.  There is so much that I want to do!  I don’t want to disappoint people, but I feel like it keeps happening. 

Jordan is so sweet, though.  Whenever I start to feel frustrated (which can be pretty often) he says, “Do what you can do, and don’t do what you can’t do.”  Simple, right?  Well, it used to make me really mad.  I wasn’t really hearing what he meant, because in my mind, I should be able to do ALL the things I “needed” to do.

It took some time, but I am starting to understand what he meant.  Do what I can do, but don’t worry about what I can’t do.  And then be happy.  So, I work as much as I can, and when I can’t work, I find something that I can do.  One thing that has helped me recently is knitting.  It’s not much, but I feel better if I am doing something when I am feeling sick. 

The other day while Jordan was working, I talked with my mom about this.  She told me that we perceive life as a box.  We try to fit our lives into this box just like everyone else.  Everything is okay so long as we are in that box.  Sometimes our lives take a detour out of the rules of the box, and we have to learn to change our perspective. 

The other day I saw a video on Facebook that talked about all that was possible because of the Savior, Jesus Christ and His atonement.  If you have a minute, watch it here. 
I realized that He doesn’t care if I am sick or not.  He won’t be disappointed in me.  And not only that, but through Him I can learn to either overcome this illness or grow despite it.  I don’t care which one it is, I am just grateful that He understands and cares for me. 

This life is not the end.  I don’t have to be perfect right now.  I just need to keep trying each day, and I need to learn to choose to be happy, despite my circumstances.  God is in control, and I trust that He has a much better plan for my life than I can see.