Definitely in the top 3 hardest weeks of my life. I was told I was going home.
I didn't want to go. I had given my all. Literally everything, holding nothing back. I had given my whole heart and soul. I was fully ready to die in service to the people I cared everything for. "We don't do that anymore." My president laughed.
My family calls me in the early hours. They're supportive. They're excited. They're funny. They think it's best. They're helpful.
[Imagine being a pumpkin around Halloween time. You're sawed into, your insides get scrapped out to thin your walls and be sure that nothing is left. All those good seeds... Gutted. Then you get stabbed some more into some design you can't see. But wait! There's a light inside that could not have existed before! And it's warm!
It's a lot like that.]
Last interview. Last night. Last good-byes.
4:15 am- time to leave Zagreb. 9:45 pm- touchdown in Utah.
I chow on food on the way home. My brother is there, happy to see me. My bed is made for me, complete with a humidifier. It's been a long day of travel and it's late. Time for bed.
I celebrated this mark by making pizza with my brother. What could have been a potentially rough day, turned out to be very nice. Low key, peaceful, and free of emotional pains. What more could you ask for? Oh yes! Let's not forget the pizza! Mmmm-mmmmmmm.
I go to sleep in the same bed, in the same spot, in the same home, with the same pains and problems. And oh! Even the same pajamas!
Life hasn't changed much, except that know we know what I don't have. It got me thinking, what has changed in the past year? What has happened? So what has a year done?
- I've learned how easy it is to forget important lessons, even without distractions. "Oh yeah." is probably the most common statement following received revelation.
- NEVER say you can't. "I can't take it anymore" is a lie. You can. You will. You don't have a choice.
- To that same line, just because you can push yourself further doesn't mean you should. Be smart.
- Medical trails: Physically hard for us, emotionally hard for those around us. Sometimes I wonder if my family is more upset than I am.
- The world isn't against you. It's you and God against your challenges. There is no task too big to take on, and no problem is too complicated for you two.
- The Infinite Atonement is a book that I wish I read earlier in life. If nothing else, coming to better understand Christ, Heavenly Father, and the Atonement is all worth it. I have learned so much from reading this book.
- Things are planned before you're born. Like when this happened.
- You're not alone. I'm not alone.
- Prayers are answered. I thought I already knew this, but now I know it.
- It doesn't matter what others think. "I know it and God knows it..." and THAT is what matters.
- Reflection is underrated.
- Gratitude helps you more than anyone else. This goes for prayers, too!
- God has an amazing sense of humor.
- I read in a couple of my classes that a human will die without social interaction. This isn't true, although it's a nice notion.
- Christ, Heavenly Father, the Holy Ghost, and you make the best team.
- Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits. He knows us and loves us more than we are prepared to accept. He will put an arm around you when you ask for it, simply because He loves you. Not because it's His duty or anything like that.
- You don't have to know the "why"s.
- Your relationship with God is the only thing that cannot be taken away from you. When you are stripped of everything in your life, it's the one thing that will remain. Even if you don't notice it, it's there. He's there.
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir never gets old.
- God talks to you in a way you will hear. (Music, books, Pinterest, Twitter, old talks, scriptures, and more)
- Open your scriptures. Get dressed for church. Get on your knees. The rest will follow.
- One on one with your Father in Heaven cannot be substituted or compensated by anything else. It's the best way to spend the evening. Don't believe me? Try for yourself.
- At least you can go to school and work and play and laugh and have friends and be accountable and carry heavy things and be given chores! Some of us can't get off the floor without repercussions
- There's always a reason for gratitude. Always.
- "How are you doing" is a hard question. Do they mean how am I doing generally? Or do they mean physically? When they ask how I'm feeling do they mean emotionally? How do I answer? Do I tell the truth? I can't lie. Do I tell them everything I'm feeling? I don't want to be one of those people. How am I feeling? I don't even think I know? This always ends with Well, I'm alive. That's good. So I smile and say "well." Communication is hard.
- There's always something to do.
- If you can't even move, you can still pray. Prayers are not diminished by brain fog, thank goodness.
- You are more than your mannerisms, your smile your laugh, your habits, and so on.
- The way I act with certain people is a habit. Weird, eh?
- I'm a chronic dancer. It's been the hardest habit to break.
- A kind line from a friend is grossly underestimated. Thank you to all who randomly think of me!
- Not being able to play with family will be more difficult to deal with than not being able to do the activities you love.
- We all have troubles and problems. It's best that we face them together.
- It's not always your fault.
- You will learn.
- Problems are "real". It's not all in your mind. A lot more of it is real than you might think. Trust yourself. Trust what you are feeling. You're not as crazy as you think.
- It's okay to recognize your needs. Just be sure you pray about it.
- Assumptions are the worse.
- You will survive. If you follow Christ, you will come out conquerer. Even if you feel like you've been left in the tumbler, you can conquer! (Huzzah!)
I've noticed how long this list has become and have decided to stop here. I learned more than I thought! I guess the biggest lesson I can take as I wrap up this first year back is that you never know the whole story. There is always more. God is in control, which means these challenges and trails are part of a masterpiece.
Thank you for learning with me! I actually really do want to know what you have learned year.