Monday, June 7, 2010

Every town has its ups and downs, sometimes ups outnumber the downs.*

Sometimes we are expected to do hard and difficult things that we don't want to do, that we don't think we can do. This weekend was one of those times for me. I'm not all about details of my personal and private life, I don't know if you've noticed, I hardly ever get deep on here. Pretty shallow, fun and fancy free.

But I hurt right now and I need to write to get it out. I realized yesterday as I sat in the car talking to Amber that I have been letting things build up inside of me rather than facing them. I had no clue how angry I have been because I have been suppressing it, but I am angry. I am angry at a lot of things in my life, I am angry at things that people have done to me, things I have done to myself, situations in my life...just...angry. I'm mad that I have no safe haven anymore, no place to run away to when life gets too hard. I'm mad that my AC doesn't work, that a bee stung me, and that those two stupid spiders are blocking the water filter. I'm mad that I can't understand those stupid directions to change the water filter. I'm mad that at some point in my life I stopped depending on the Lord and started to depend on people who couldn't help me.

First, let me apologize, I hate when people are vague but that's exactly what I am about to do. I had two very difficult decisions this weekend, well, I shouldn't say weekend because I have known for a while that I needed to do these things, but this weekend I knew I would go through with them. It had been putting me in a funk, I haven't really been myself lately. Sunday morning I got my confirmation (again) that this is what I needed to do.

I have a personal theme for the year, Amber does a theme each year and I liked the idea so I stole it from her back in January. I wanted something to guide my life, to have a little more purpose in the things I do. I chose the theme "Come Unto Me" (Matthew 11:28). Back in January I felt it was appropriate for me, and I have continued to feel that it was the best choice for a theme, even though I haven't done much to implement it in my life. I have ignored the things I know I should be doing because my only concern was my happiness. I don't know if any of you have read Elder Jeffery R. Holland's talk, Remember Lot's Wife, it is one of my favorite talks ever. For those of you not familiar with the story, in the Bible, Lot and his family are commanded to leave Sodom and Gomorrah and not to look back. Lot's wife however, looks back and turns into a pillar of salt. In his talk, Elder Holland mentions something about Lot's wife that resonates with me each time I listen to or read this talk. He says, "faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot's wife is to say she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord's ability to give her something better than she had. Apparently she thought, fatally as it turned out, that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."

So now my mantra to go along with my "Come Unto Me" theme is that faith is believing that what lays ahead is better for you than what you are leaving behind. Don't look back...the future is brighter. I am finally going to start working on my theme, to make it something I am doing, rather than something I am thinking. It is an act, not just something you remind yourself, and no one said that it would be easy.

Yesterday, when I followed through, I was frustrated but overall I felt at peace. I knew, despite the urge to lay on my bathroom floor and cry all night, that I had done the right thing. I have no regret, but that doesn't mean I don't feel down today, that I don't want to stay at home and cry for what I have lost, because I don't know what lay ahead. Today (and for several days to come) I will have to keep reminding myself that what is in store is better than what I was asked to give up. That's a hard thing to make yourself believe when you are in the middle of the heartache, that's why you have to keep reminding yourself, and one day, you'll know it was true.

Life is hard, no matter where you stand. There are going to be the ups and downs, the big disappointments and the little pricks of pain versus the big joys and the tiny happy moments scattered throughout. But I know that everything we experience is ultimately for our good.


Sarah said...

keep your chin up! Have you seen that movie, Meet the Robinsons? Their theme is Keep Moving Forward! You could add that one in too :)

Lady Em said...

I don't know what your tough decisions were but I know you made the right one! And as for the spiders...its called wasp kills spiders too! =)

Anonymous said...


Amber Lanae- said...

I'm so proud of you Jessica. And I am so glad that you are such a strong presence in my life. You are an amazing example and because of you and your choices, I feel like I can now let go of what I need to, so that my theme will become an active work in progress instead of just a thought.

I love you.

Vanessa said...

Better days ARE ahead! Hang in there love, if the Lord brings you to it, He'll bring you through it!

If you need someone to vent to about spiders or bee stings or anything else, I'm here. 8)


Katie H said...

I love you. You are stronger than you think you are. At least, it comes across that way to the rest of us.

And thanks for putting into words what I think so many of us feel at different times. Life is hard, no matter what stage you're in. Especially when you've got the "grass-is-greener"/"what's-in-it-for-me" mentality that I subscribe to lately. (I know, I know. I'm spouting nonsense. It's how I connect with you, 'kay?)

The Ottley's said...

CLEARLY it's Robin Hood (The cartoon edition!) D- it's hard. I know. BUT think- you're one step closer to your spouse!


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