25 April 2013

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... -Ecclesiastes 3:1

Before I left for New Zealand, I wrote myself a letter that I hid under my bed. It said this:

Next time you read this 
you will be so much stronger, 
you will be so much better, 
and you will be so grateful for 
what you have gone through. 

I remember the night I wrote that letter, I sat in tears on my floor and thought, 'I really will not live to see the day that I read this! I will not make it!' I did not think those words cowardly, and I did not say them out of self pity, I genuinely believed my heart would be beyond repair, and I would - dare say - really die from a broken heart.

Weeks ago, when I arrived home from New Zealand, I set my suitcase on my floor, and immediately reached under my bed to find this little letter. Tears filled my eyes and my soul almost burst. There are days I look back and I can't believe I've made it. There are days I look back and I can't believe I did it!

Today, for me, is one of those days. Ten months ago my "forever eternal companion" sent me a text and told me he was leaving and he no longer wanted to be married. Ten months ago I thought my world was shattering; my life crumbling. Ten months ago I knelt on my knees and asked Heavenly Father to make an exception and let me come home to Him, because this mortality nonsense was just too hard. Ten months ago a new chapter began. I had no idea how insanely difficult this chapter would be! I also was completely unaware of the beauty and blessings it would bring.

The last ten months have been jam-packed of heartache, betrayal, and pain that I truly did not know existed to the extent I experienced it. The last ten months have been filled with health problems by the dozen, (did you know 80% of all medical conditions are connected to stress?) The last ten months have been brutal, but I would do it all over again.

In the last ten months I have read 60+ church books that I otherwise would not have read. In the last ten months I have developed such a close friendship with the Book of Mormon; which I can attest is one of the most powerful friendships one can have. I have received letters from two apostles; and incredible promises were made to me that I think about and hold onto every second of every day. I have been given blessings by my Stake President, Bishop, my Father, my Grandfather; blessings that are too precious to write here. New Zealand became my home, and the experiences I had there I will cherish for forever. The temple has become my other home, and I am convinced my marriage in the temple - regardless of the outcome - has blessed my life in countless ways; because I otherwise would not be able to go through the temple; and I can't tell you how many extraordinary ways the temple has blessed my life. In the last ten months I learned the ultimate significance of temple covenants, what it means to be invested in your temple covenants, what it means to keep them, and what it feels like when loved ones so easily break them. In the last ten months I have come to a wonderful understanding of my worth in the Lords eyes. Remember how Joseph Smith was once totally slandered for the truth he spoke? I have come very accustom to that feeling. My testimony has been questioned and my character mocked, (by people who matter so very little) and after ten months I can say truthfully that it no longer affects me. The Lord knows everything. The Lord knows my situation perfectly. The Lord is just, and I admit, knowing that justice will be served, has gotten me through a lot of hard days.

In the last ten months I began attending BYU. In the last ten months I have gotten the most wonderful jobs, met the most wonderful people, and made the most wonderful friends. In the last ten months I have become a different person, and I have to tell you, I'm a whole lot better.

The things that I have had to learn are most definitely things I never in a million years would have wanted to learn, but I truly look back with gratitude and wonder.

My life, my friendship with my Father in Heaven and His Son, my testimony, my experiences, have made every single last second of sadness worth it.

Every tear
Every doubt
Every sleepless night
Every question
Every hopeless moment
Every false accusation
Every cruel word spoken
Every dark hour

The things that I have gained these last ten months significantly exceeds the things that I have lost. I am grateful for my Father in Heaven and my Savior. I am grateful for Their complete and utter faith in me. I am grateful to Them, for Their grace, for the strength They so lovingly give me, and the peace that They so mercifully allow me to feel.

They never said the hardest days of our lives would be the best days of our lives; but amazingly enough it is perfectly and completely undeniably true.