Despite my pride and somewhat potent desire to just hide away from society from the rest of my life, I have felt prompted to continue to write on this blog. Yesterday I had a conversation with my father about still having meaningful missionary experiences as a return missionary. I promised God that I would submit to his will, and that I would continue to be a missionary for the rest of my life. I continue to promise each week when I take the sacrament that I will ALWAYS remember the Savior. I believe that means sharing him.
This week was long, I will be 100% honest. On monday I landed in SLC after a really hard goodbye to Beautiful Indiana. As the plane took off, I looked out the window and just sobbed. It didn't seem fair, nor real that this was happening. I kept saying in my head... why couldn't someone who actually wanted to go home get sick? haha but hey, God doesn't work that way I guess. As the plane dipped below the clouds and descended into Salt Lake City, I expected to feel nervous and dread, but instead I felt peace. I say intensely beautiful rays of sun, bursting through the clouds, and I felt the hope of God's light.
I was honorably released from my mission later that day by my new stake president. We had such a wonderful interview. I cried and he cried. He told me that President Cleveland had told him that in 6 months, I completed what most do in an 18 month mission. Now I don't really know if I believe that, but knowing that someone else does has helped me heal.
My stake president asked me to my homecoming talk. That scares me a little, but I agreed. It will be on December 14th at 2:45 pm. He also asked me to be put on the high council circuit and to speak to the other wards in the stake. oh boy.
As the week went on, I began to feel more and more heavy and less and less sure of why I was even here. I was really struggling with the fact that I feel like I am doing nothing here and could be making such a huge difference there! I started to lose that light of hope. But then something changed. I was reminded of how truly blessed I am. I was reminded of GRATITUDE. I started praying and thanking Heavenly Father for everything He had given me. I recultivated my trust in Him, and the perfect love and plan that he has for me. Why would I not trust Him? Everything I have ever gone through, any hard thing I have EVER faced, has led me to be a better person. Has changed me in ways that I needed to be changed. Why should this be any different?
When we choose to look at our circumstances and our selves with a dimly lit candle, we miss the beauty, we end up losing our footing and tripping and groping for the wall or ANYTHING to hang on to. We may end up choosing the wrong thing to hold on to, and live in that dim light, never really having joy.
I was told this week to imagine myself on top of a mountain, and to look out and see every single possibility that is before me. To smile and feel the sun on my face and feel the potential inside of me. To imagine myself, and see myself, as the woman I want to be in 5-10 years. Do this. and ask yourself these same questions... Is that person holding a dimly lit candle? Is that person choosing dark ravines and thorn filled dark canyons to travel?
Or does that person carry a far brighter light? Does that person choose to see the good? Does that person choose to be happy?
There is a far greater light available to us. God's light. That light is cultivated by hope. It allows us to see beauty, and to feel love. That light illuminates our path, and helps us hold tight to good. But it doesn't come to us merely by wishing for it, or saying routine prayers asking for it. Like I said, what does that person you want to be CHOOSE to do? Our choice cultivate that light, and create that person who we want to be.
So today, despite the hard and sometimes awkward situation that I find myself in, I choose to have gratitude. I choose to always remember the lives that touched mine in Indiana. I choose to believe and feel that I made a difference there. I choose to acknowledge myself as serving a full mission, the mission the Heavenly Father intended me to.
I know I can have meaningful missionary experiences each day still. I know I can spread that hope. I know I can share the gift of Jesus Christ. and I choose to do so.
Thank you all so much for the outreach of love that I have received this week. It was truly overwhelming. So many people emailed me and wrote to me, telling me that they have been through a similar experience and to hold on, that everything will be ok. I choose to believe them. :)
I love you all. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us. and I am SO convinced, because of the experiences I have had, and the feelings I have felt, that He is so involved in the tiny details of our life. I know that the enabling power of grace is true, and allows us to live, today, tomorrow, and for eternity.