Feelings of Loneliness

About three and a half years ago I experienced the worst kind of heartache I have ever known. It was one of ultimate betrayal and deception, it was as if my whole reality was completely shattered and turned upside down. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartache on anyone, and anyone that has felt this know you are not alone. Now is not the time I will write about what happened, I am still working through it myself, but I am closer to feeling healed from it each day.

I know now that this kind of heartache is one that has not been felt by many. I know this because more times that not I heard from others, “I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re going through”, or “I wish I knew how to help”, or “I can’t believe you’re having to go through all of this, I can’t imagine”. The response I remember most is when I was told, “You could write a book about all of these things, because they are almost unbelievable that one person is going through all of this”. I frequently found it baffling that I was having to go through one knockdown, knockout punch after another. It felt like a never ending trial, and also the worst year of my life (yes it was for a little over whole year).

Over Easter weekend I was reflecting on some of these things I went through as I thought of our Savior and His suffering as He went through the Atoning sacrifice. When I was going through some of the hardest times I have ever known I frequently felt like no one else in the whole world knew how I was feeling. I felt so alone, and like such a burden on so many that had no idea how to help because they had never experienced what I was going through. It was a time of loneliness and despair, as I felt I was being asked to walk through these trials. I had never felt like such a solitary being before.

After a while of feeling this way, and realizing I wasn’t going to be able to find anyone that was going/or had gone through the same things as I was, I had to look somewhere else. It would have been easy to find other things to distract me from the hurt I was feeling, but I didn’t. Instead I focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered so much, and did so all alone, so I would never have to feel alone. I came to understand the Atonement wasn’t just for washing away our sins (which it is that too of course), but rather it is also there for us so we have someone there for us who knows exactly how we feel. As I studied more about the Atonement and how alone and utterly forsaken our Savior felt on that cross I was able to realize I wasn’t alone, not really. He felt those feelings I was having and He did so for me, as He did for each and everyone of us.

This is so very humbling to know and to feel that comfort and that peace. I am so thankful for His sacrifice, as much as I wish it didn’t need to be. I am thankful that I don’t have to walk alone, especially when no other human knows how I feel. This life would be a lot more lonely if I didn’t have this knowledge. I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend, and I hope you know you are never alone.

Is Everything OK?

If someone were to ask me right now if everything was OK, and I was being honest, I would tell them no. Everything is not OK right now. That isn’t how we answer though is it? It’s hard to be vulnerable and honest when things aren’t OK in our lives.

My life is the kind of life that make others grateful for their trials… Seriously I have been told that more times than I care to admit. I’m glad that all the trials I have make others grateful for the ones they have, how did I get so lucky? It is a little discouraging when people say that to me, it makes me feel like I won some really crappy lottery or something.

I won’t go into it all here because I don’t like to share things that are happening right in the moment. A lot of what I am feeling/going through are ongoing issues or things from the past that are haunting me. I wish I could run away at times, get a breath before having to be thrown back into all the trials. Life does not work like that though, when we need a break the most is when we are the least likely to get one.

I suppose all we can do when heavy challenges, trials, hardships, disappointments, and heartaches come knocking on our door is to endure them as best as possible. Maybe try to find someone that is going through even worse times so we can be grateful for our own hardships…. Or be grateful that our life can be a help to others as they are able to appreciate that things aren’t worse for them currently. I’m choosing to keep my head up, cry when I need to, and find things to be grateful for during my current difficulties. I know this storm shall pass eventually, but for now everything is not OK.

Darkness Catching Up

Have you ever traveled across the country and the sky is dark behind you and you can see the sun in front of you? You know that the darkness will catch up with you shortly, but you still hold onto what light is left in the sky. I feel like this applies in life too sometimes, well for me it does anyway. I feel like my past and all the experiences are that darkness ans that they are going to catch up to my present life and take over sometimes.

The other day I just started crying because of all the things that I have had to go through in my life. Not sure what triggered these feelings or why they were so overwhelming, but it just was. I don’t like this part of myself because I fear that I will never be completely whole, even though it’s what I want most. The things that happened when I was a child and a teenager, and then in my adult life with my ex-husband. There is a lot of emotional baggage I have that I have to work through and unpack–little by little.

It has been a long and difficult journey to work on these issues, and I tend to need reassurance at times to know that I’m not messing everything up in my life. I do the best I can and I hope for the best, but sometimes I get really discouraged. It helps me to remember how far I have come from where I was, and to know that it’s all right to have moments to break down (I just don’t unpack and live there).

I know in my life that the angel of mercy has been there to pick me up, and I know that my Heavenly Father never leaves me to suffer through those times alone. That offers me some comfort and peace. Knowing I am not alone to go through these periods of discouragement helps me to pick myself up and keep plugging along. We aren’t meant to continue to suffer after difficulties and hardships, we are meant to learn from them and let them strengthen us. That can be hard to swallow when you feel like a part of you is broken however. I have come to look at these hardships as things that heavenly Father is working on to help me be a stronger person, and to be able to relate to others as well.

I hope if you are going through anything difficult or trying, that as hard as it may be, that you can look at it as a way to become even stronger than you were before.

Let It Stop With Me

People frequently ask me how or what helped me change my life so drastically from how I grew up. First off, I know without a shadow of a doubt I did not do it alone. I know it was through the grace and help of a loving Father in Heaven.

Recently I was reading a book entitled Not My Will, But Thine by Neal A. Maxwell. In it he says, “… adverse environmental experiences need not be automatically perpetuated. It is possible to break the chain of events by saying, ‘Let it stop with me!'”

This statement right here perfectly echos my thinking. When I became pregnant at a young age I knew I wanted something different for the little life I was going to bring into the world. I knew I wanted it to stop with me because I wanted to make sure no other child would suffer the way I did.

After I made this pledge to myself I never looked back. It stopped right there with me. None of my children have ever had to know what it was like to live with an alcoholic or drug addict. They never have to worry about where I am at night, or when I’ll be home. They have never had to deal with that kind of instability or destructive home environment.

I am not saying it was always easy, because it wasn’t. Not having a steady role model to know how to pattern my life after has been a challenge. I have learned however that “God can heal us…”, and I am ever so grateful for that. I am thankful that it stopped with me. I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father that helped my efforts and has been with me every step of the way.

Writing is Good for the Soul

I have developed such a love of writing, even if no one is around to do the reading!

I find it therapeutic to express my thoughts, feelings, and memories. I also have a sincere hope that others might benefit from what I have to say.

I was in church and a particular quote caught my eye. It said, “Writing is a great educational effort. It will assist you in various ways, and you will bless the lives of many…”–Gordon B. Hinckley

This quote just spoke so loudly to my mind and my heart. I fully believe we all have  story worth sharing. One of the best ways to share is to write it out! We never know when the things which we have to say may bless the life of another.

Accepting Things as They Are

When I was in the 4th grade my home life was tumultuous. My mom had started dating someone of low quality. He was a man short in stature and had an even shorter temper. One particular evening I had gotten a drink of some pop (or soda for those of you not from the Midwest!) that he had left at my house. This gent flipped his lid when he found out. He became so enraged he threw the half filled 2- liter at my head!

My mom stepped in and told him to leave. This man, however, was not the type that liked to be told what to do. He stayed and a fight ensued between he and my mom. As the fighting grew in intensity some neighbors heard it and called the cops. I remember hiding under the dining room table the whole time while things played out.

The cops decided that I should go spend some time with my dad, which I was happy about. I’m not exactly sure where my mom went, but the guy ended up in the back of a cop car.

After a peaceful night sleep at my dad’s house, the next morning he took me to school. Around lunchtime my mother showed up at the school demanding to see her daughter. I was promptly called to the office and was told I would be going home right then with my mom. I begged and pleaded with them to not make me go. I told them my dad was going to pick me up and I wasn’t supposed to go with her. I really wanted to go back to my dad’s house.

The administrators wouldn’t hear of it though. They told me to stop lying about my mom because she was a good woman. I left that day defeated and in tears. I felt like no one was listening to what I had to say.

I have often wondered if things would have been different had someone listened to me that day. Would I have gone back to my dad’s? Would I have been able to live with my dad permanently? Would I have been able to have a more stable and peaceful life? I’m sure if that would have happened a lot of things would have changed, but maybe that’s not what was meant for my life. I know I can’t change the things now; it is still hard to accept sometimes how things were. Sometimes in life we just need someone to listen to us, and to really hear what we have to say.

I try to be the kind of person now that offers a listening ear for others. Kids especially need someone to be their advocate and to be in their corner. I know that my Heavenly Father was always there for me, looking out for me and protecting me. This gives me peace and comfort because I know He has used these hard times I went through to increase my understanding and compassion towards others. Even though it was not easy to bear at the time I am grateful for where I am today.

A Portrait of Who I Wish to Be

I wish I could be the most organized person. Where my days are planned out and I am diligent about getting up at a certain time, preferably well before the kids arise. I wish I had things all figured out and things came easier for me. I kind of have a plan for my life, but it definitely doesn’t feel concrete. The person I wish to be is more financially stable. I am tired of worrying about money all the time, it’s almost a full time job in and of itself.

I wish I was a better mom to my kids. A more patient, fair, just, and merciful mom.  I wish I always spoke in a soft voice and even tones towards my children. I wish I was more of the mother where I had homemade cookies and wonderful dinners each day. The kind of mom they remember with fondness and love.

I wish I could be more understanding as a wife. That every word I said came out the right way and never caused offense. I wish I could know what was needed and help my husband more. I also wish I could be a better friend to others. That I had the time and means to be there more when needed more often.

I wish I was a more diligent and obedient daughter to my Father in Heaven. I am sure His grace is sufficient to overcome all of my short comings, but I wish I could be so good that it wasn’t needed. Thankfully He has endless and unconditional love for me.

I wish I could be a better daughter to my earthly parents. I know I have let them down, and I feel like I’m never enough for them. I wish I could make them proud of me.

These wishes for myself are always in the back of my mind. I try and I fail constantly during this Earth life. Thankfully I have been blessed with a new day, however, and I can keep trying to make myself how I wish to be. With the help and grace of Heavenly Father I am able to try and try again. Hopefully in a year or five years from now I will have mastered some of these things and I will be closer to the person I wish to be. By the time I get there I’m sure I will have new wishes for myself, and new goals to reach. All in the name of growing and learning in this mortal journey.

Dark Days and Nights

During my darkest days it was hard to believe the sun would ever shine again.

The other day I saw the neatest thing, clouds were creeping down the mountains, and it was happening ever so slowly. While it looked eery, I was more intrigued by the sight of it. It brought to my mind  how dark clouds in life sometimes sneak up on us. While we may KNOW that hard times may soon befall us; other times difficulties arise like a smack in the face. I have experienced both types, and sometimes both types at the same time!

I had some very dark and dreary days about 4 years ago. It often felt like the storm clouds would never part. I found it hard to believe anyone who told me things would get better, it felt like the sun would never shine my life again. It seemed like one thing after another just kept beating me down. I was sure I couldn’t handle anything else, and then sure enough something else would happen. I imagine it’s how one would feel if they were drowning in the ocean.

Thankfully that was not the case, life did get progressively better. Now that I am finally on the other side of that storm I see the sun shining and it feels so good. I truly appreciate the beautiful days because I have been through some of the worst times imaginable. If any of you are experiencing storms in your life, believe things will get better. Keep pushing on, and do what you can and trust God with the rest. Even when it seems the storms won’t ever part, just know someday soon the sun will shine again.

Life’s Mountains

Mountains have always captivated me. They are so tall, strong, and immovable. Recently my oldest sons were able to hike up a mountain (I am currently too pregnant to undertake such and endeavor). The boys were convinced it would be SO easy, they thought they could run right up that mountain to their desired destination. How wrong they were! As they began their journey they took off running, but quickly lost momentum. These boys didn’t even get a quarter of the way through their hike before they realized they were going to have to walk the rest of the way.

This got me thinking of ourselves and life. How often do we start something and go full speed ahead, only to lose momentum part way through the journey? I know I am guilty of this very thing in my life time and time again, especially when I am faced with a challenge–a mountain to climb if you will; I want to just get through it quickly. So I take off running and then lose all my energy as I realize the journey is going to be more tedious than I expected.

I’ve had to change my way of thinking so I don’t get too tired too quickly in my journey through trials and difficulties. When faced with a challenge I’m trying harder to find the silver lining and to have more patience with the journey. An amazing thing can happen when we slow down and try to find joy in our journey, even during the difficult times We might notice beauty around us that we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Just as my boys noticed, when they slowed down, so much beauty around them. As we take the time to slow down, we too can recognize more of the beauty that surrounds us. Even during the most difficult of life’s journey’s.

For the Love of Music

Music invokes many emotions, and I love it. I love this time of year and having Christmas music on all the time. I love the feelings of joy and happiness through such fun and spiritually uplifting music. Music is a great way to let feelings out and feel like someone at sometime knew how you felt and wrote it down.

I could talk about my top 50 or so songs, the ones that have meaning for me personally… who wants to read about that though?! I will share a couple of my favorite songs for this time of year.

O Holy Night by Gentri, and if this song doesn’t give you major feels then I don’t know what will. The video goes along so perfectly with this wonderful time of year.

Hallelujah by Pentatonix is beautifully done, and a wonderful song.

Mistletoe and Holly by Frank Sinatra because it reminds me of my grandpa. He use to always say “By golly” in the cutest way, something that has stuck with me all these years.

Silent Night by Michael Buble, he has a great voice and this song just fills me with warm feelings.

I wold love to hear some of your favorite songs and why they are favorites. This is the season of sharing after all!