Wednesday, July 24, 2013

So, What's YOUR Story?

We all have one. Some of us have it written all over our face while some of us prefer to shadow it behind a mask while others keep it locked in a safe in the back of our closet, but, nonetheless, we all have one. A story that makes us, us. Explanations for the reasons for why we believe what we do and why we are who we are. Stories that make us unique, make us grow, make us feel, and, in the end, make us better.

I have a story. One that I've shared before. One that I don't mind sharing, but choose not to dwell on, most days. There was a time when I thought my story was devastating. A pure tragedy. And while it was sad, and difficult, I no longer see it that way. Maybe its because its been years, maybe its because I'm desensitized, but I think its because of all that I have seen since. I think its nothing, compared to some other stories.

I say this now, in a slightly composed state of mind. But there are those times, times when I am not composed. They are rare, and short little spurts where I loose it and allow my gates to fall and myself to cry. Maybe even a little too rare. In fact, I sometimes worry that they aren't often enough. Some people are so emotional and wear those emotions right on their sleeves but I have never been one of those people. And its not that I am hiding how I feel either. I just, don't feel as much as others, I think. I'm either incredibly healthy mentally, or incredibly ill. I haven't quite figured it out yet.

Regardless, I made it out the other side. And I am happy. Not just, "oh I found a dollar" happy, but "holy crap, everything in my life is falling perfectly into place and I don't know how it could possibly get any better" happy. It may have been the time, it may have been the "acceptance", but I believe, it was my faith, no, my knowledge, in something that a lot of people don't have.

I know, that when I die, it is not the end of my existence. I know that when my mom and Nikki, and Jamie died, they didn't just disappear into a black obis. I know that I will be able to live with them, forever, as part of my Heavenly Father's plan for me, for each of his children. I know that because I was sealed to my husband in the temple, that not only will he and I be together for time and all eternity, but that we will be blessed with our children being sealed to us, within those same covenants as well.

I have a testimony of the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have a knowledge of my Heavenly Father's plan of salvation and my role in it. My role as a mother and a partner to my husband. I have a testimony of latter-day prophets that provide me with words that strengthen and enlighten me. I have a testimony of trials and learning and eternal progression. I also have a testimony of eternal perspective and faith and charity. I believe that a stranger can change your life and that relationships can enrich it. I believe that no one will ever understand anything and everything that you're going through perfectly except for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has felt every moment of joy and sadness that we will ever have. He understands us perfectly and honestly.

People ask me how I made it through the horrible accident that claimed nearly half of my family--two sisters and a mother, how I made it through high school without a mother's care, love, and direction, how I made it through my father dating, remarrying, and loving someone else, how I made it through a step mom who destroyed my "i don't hate anyone" policy, how I made it through knowing that I couldn't call them whenever I wanted or that they wouldn't be there when I'd need them most, for my graduation, my first day of college, my wedding, to meet my children,how i made it through loosing my best friend, feeling so alone, depression, rage, and feeling completely and utterly lost. People ask me, and I'll tell you--my faith. No matter what I lost or how lost I felt, the one thing that I never lost, was my faith. I never doubted it. Trust me, I wish I could say that I did, then I may not be held as responsible for the stupid things that I have done, but I didn't. I couldn't deny it, because it was true. I have read the Book of Mormon, I have listened to the prophets, and I have prayed to my Heavenly Father and I knew. I always knew that the church and its gospel were true. And because of them, I am happy. And I will always be, happy.

Now, I'm not going to sit here with a measuring stick and tell you that my story was easier or harder than yours. But I am going to tell you that it was easier to endure through because of the knowledge that I had of eternal families and the Atonement of Christ and my Heavenly Father's plan of salvation. And hope that everyone that I love, heck, everyone that I know, could know of this as well. Could know this pure and utter joy that has come with my testimony of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and their gospel.

I know that this is out of character for me, and for that, I am a little ashamed, but I had to share my testimony, my story, because this explains the reasons for why I believe what I do and why I am who I am. This is what makes me unique, makes me grow, makes me feel, and makes me better. This is the true church. The Book of Mormon is true. There is a prophet on the earth today who leads and guides this church through the power of God. Jesus Christ died for me. The power of the atonement is real. I am a child of God and he loves me. We are all children of God, and he loves ALL of us. And he will never turn any one of his children away.

If you are a member, I dare you to share your story. With a friend, with a stranger, with anyone who will listen.

If you're not a member, if you know nothing of the LDS beliefs other than this post, I dare you to ask me about it. I dare you to research it yourself at I dare you to pray and see if you should learn more. Because when you do, you too will know, and you too, will find joy.

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