Saturday, November 5, 2011

Some Semblance of Relief

After my admittedly embarrassing post on Thursday night, I was left to ponder what to do with myself. Every option seemed impossible, but as my brother is wont to say, "The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time."

I set a list of smaller goals that perhaps seemed more attainable than turning my life around and serving a mission in three months.  I decided that, to serve a mission, first I needed to grow more trust in the Lord's plan for me, and if I felt that He trusted me to live with another probably-handsome young man for two years, then I could do it.  I also decided that, first, to become mission-worthy, I need to become temple-worthy, so I spoke with my bishop about the prospect of getting my temple recommend and receiving my endowment, even if I decide not to serve, just so I could feel like I was doing more for my salvation than I currently am.  I also set out a bunch of fun new rules that I get to follow, like making sure to pray and read in the morning before I get to work, as well as some personal goals like swimming and jogging to keep all this a 10 and spending more time out of the house pursuing my favorite hobbies with friends and family.  Introspection is all well and good, but for the time being, I think the less time spent alone in my head the better.

Among so many other things, the advice my loving bishop had to offer was that I needed not fear disappointment in myself or others' disappointment in me if I honestly feel like a mission isn't a good choice.  That one is hard for me to wrap my head around, because all I see is disappointment whenever I tell my parents that I need to postpone my mission, but hopefully my new goals will help with that. He also reassured me of some of my more positive qualities, which I wasn't fishing for or necessarily inclined to listen to, but it was nice of him to say anyway.  And he seemed optimistic about my ability to either serve a mission or serve in the temple, which will help me feel optimistic as well.  Admittedly, I'm living off of borrowed light, but at least I'm living.

Perhaps the biggest piece of encouragement I received this week came from an unlikely source. I attended a funeral of one of our family friends yesterday and was overwhelmed with her family's faith and reassurance in the Atonement of Christ.  Her daughter, a girl I used to hang out with occasionally, shared a touching and optimistic letter her mother had written a year ago, which referenced Job 23:8-10.

Behold I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him.  On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: but he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.

My friend's mother had found this scripture while battling depression and struggling to understand why her righteous desires weren't being granted and wondering why the Lord's will was so different and difficult to follow.  As my friend read this letter, I saw myself standing in her mother's shoes.  I felt a little selfish thinking of myself at someone else's funeral, but at the same time, I saw this woman for so much more than the perfect parent, spouse, and church member that I initially thought she was.  She battled disease, depression, and disillusionment for her positive outlook; it did not come naturally to her.

I suppose that's how things generally go. To crib an idea from a friend, the Lord gives us those lonely Thursday nights and then awakes us on Friday morning with the perspective we need to move forward with a little more faith than we had the night before.  Perhaps I'll remember that next time I feel the world start to fall apart.

1 comment:

  1. I was so touched by her funeral too. It made me want to live BETTER. I am so glad that they shared her struggles as well as her triumphs. If somone as optimistic and amazing as Sis A struggled with depression, then I have hope that I can get through my own periods of darkness. I don't think it's selfish at all that you thought about yourself during her service--I think that is what she would want--she would want to share with us what she has learned throughout life. I have a different perspective on life today than I did yesterday, thanks to that memorial service.

    I always appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for sharing them.


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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