Sunday, January 01, 2012

i'm only 32...

so this better not be a mid-life crisis, but something is going on. i've been in the middle of it for a good little while now. and when people ask if something's wrong or if i'm ok, i always find myself at a loss to be able to explain what's going on. i can't even make sense of it myself.

i do know that on the periphery i've been plagued with self-pity. which spirals quickly into lazy days with undertones of depression. which translates to being my anti-self...the complete and total opposite of who i want to be.

at the core of this funk i know there exists a waning of faith. and that's what's so bizarre to me. faith has never been hard for me. it's been a strength...and almost a crutch. because i've honestly never questioned much of anything. i've never been one to ask "why?".

and now i have doubts. i'm asking harder questions. and i'm not scared by it like i thought i would be. i just don't know how to maneuver my way through it.

and i know i'll find answers eventually. i do. the unexpected part of this whole experience is that i've never felt the long-suffering and patience of the Lord more than i do right now. it helps me to be patient with myself.

i made it to the temple yesterday...a very good step in the right direction of getting answers. what struck me so deeply (much more than it should have) was the light in the people's faces there...from the man i gave my recommend to when i walked in to the women directing me to my changing room. their eyes were full of light. and it took going there to really feel how far removed from that light i'd become.

the session went by without real spiritual incident for me. a few insights here and there, but nothing like what i was expecting and hoping for. then i sat down in the celestial room. i prayed. i was more honest and open with God than i had been, even with myself. i felt again of His love and His patience and His desire for my happiness. even though i left with no more answers than when i had come, my hope was renewed and my faith was replenished.

on a side note, another part of my problem is that i feel like many parts of my life have been collectively placed in jar, picked up, shaken around and set back down. (and just to clarify: jon has been my saving grace. we've never been closer or stronger...and he's also never had to love me through anything like this before.)

so things have been shaken up for me. just to name a few: friends moving away, a new and mind-bending perspective about a loved one, a pregnancy, an unexpected surgery for weston, a new baby, changes in my church responsibilities, permanently making our new baby our last baby. luckily, through recent conversations i was able to identify a hole in my life. a chasm. a canyon of nothingness. serendipitously, an opportunity for a volunteer position presented itself and it looks like that emptiness will be quickly and meaningfully filled.

then the lesson at church timely and so specific to another aspect of my identity that i thought i had under wraps. so many times people ask me how i do it with 6 small kids and jon gone so much.

i don't like that question.

it makes me feel like i somehow don't fit in with the rest of what's going on around me. others ask if i'm ok that i stay home with our children while jon is out traveling and working. in the beginning of our marriage, it did bother me. a lot. and then i got over myself and embraced my life and loved it and was grateful for it. then somehow self-pity, discontent, and ingratitude took over.

and today those feelings were all vaporized and i'm better. just like that. somehow, just being in a room full of women i admire and respect and talking about the struggles and virtues of womanhood fixed me. much of my current struggle lies in this glaring disconnect between what my mind knows to be true and good and real and what my heart really feels. today my heart remembered and felt the truth of the sanctity and value and import of my identity and my role in our family.

a recent prayer i heard asked that those in attendance would be able to understand and more fully apply  the atonement in their lives. i don't know why i keep acting like the atonement only has purpose for me from time to time. it is infinite. it is deep and broad and all-encompassing. maybe i do know why. maybe it's so i can really remember...really remember that the Lord wants for my success and happiness...really remember that i'm not meant to struggle through things on my own...really remember that i know certain to be true. and really remember that struggles are a meaningful part of why we are here. maybe i was having it too easy for a while :)

who knows?

but i'm feeling more like the me i know, just better...wiser? more laid back? more patient? more insightful? i hope so. but i do know i'm no worse for the wear...and feeling much better :)

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