Monday, October 29, 2012

You call me up again just to break me like a promise--so casually cruel in the name of being honest.



"No."

I knew that was the answer, but that didn't make it any easier to hear it. It suddenly felt harder to breathe. My chest still feels weighed down. I feel overwhelmed with reality. October has gone by so incredibly fast; I often find myself having to cross off days on the calendar that I've missed. Then I'm hit with these moments, and I'm reminded that this is life. The decisions I'm making are real. It's terrifying and exhilarating and heartbreaking and happy and painful. And right now, it's crippling. But every time I've fallen down, I've come back stronger than before. For God hath not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I have a testimony of that. 

Music Monday. (I realize half of these are TSwift, but her new album just came out and I'm in LOVE with it.)














Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Sometimes I have the strangest feeling about you. Especially when you are near me as you are now. It feels as though I had a string tied here under my left rib where my heart is, tightly knotted to you in a similar fashion. And when you go, with all that distance between us, I am afraid that this cord will be snapped, and I shall bleed inwardly."

That is how I feel right now.

Endings are bittersweet...but this one was made especially painful by my hopeful expectation that something--anything--would remain. And so I'm left to wonder whether or not I made the right decision. Is it better to say something and wish you hadn't, or risk the regret of not saying anything at all? I was very forward and honest. I fought. And now I'm retreating, leaving the option in another's hands. That terrifies me, but I've done all I can for what I felt was right.

"Am I a machine with out feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I am soulless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you."

---

It's been a hard couple of weeks, but I am happy. I have been blessed with wonderful, trying, and strengthening experiences.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Just wanted to let you all know that in the past two months since moving out I'VE HAD MY PERIOD FOUR TIMES.

asdoviajseoiwje aowiutg98awruga;woiejtr 2t34.

Things are getting a little more difficult for me. I really feel like I'm at the make-or-break point. By this time last year, and all the years past, I was already drowning. Right now I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. I have A LOT of work to do, but that's not what I'm worried about. I will accomplish everything I need to. I will come out on top like I always have. However, it would be nice to be happy. Effortlessly happy. Without having to constantly filter, control, and untwist my thinking. Happiness is a choice, I know. But it sure is a hard choice to follow through with. I've already decided that I don't want to sink, so I'm not giving up.

Within the next two or three weeks, I will be getting my Patriarchal blessing. I used to wonder if I was wrong for putting it off as long as I have, but today I realized that my timing was perfect. I need direction in my life more than I ever have before. I just have to make it through the next couple of days.

Loves.
(Loves especially for the ohana, my biggest fans.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The most direct revelation I have ever received.

I was walking from the HBLL to class in the Maeser when a random thought came to my mind: tell Nicole that she should go to BYU. Nicole was the Laurel class president during my senior year. She's a year younger than me. The last time I had talked with her--probably over the summer--she told me that she was planning on going to UVU. I figured it couldn't hurt, so I sent her a quick text. I explained that I had changed in ways that would not be possible had I not chosen BYU and that she should reconsider. Within minutes, she texted me back. Apparently I was the third person to tell her that in the past week. Nicole said that she is now planning on BYU! That was not a coincidence. I hope that because I acted so quickly, I'll be open to receiving more promptings!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Prayers

The Lord Has Not Forgotten You - Sister Linda S. Reeves

"Our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, know us and love us. They know when we are in pain or suffering in any way. They do not say, "It's okay that you're in pain right now because soon everything is going to be all right"...They feel the depth of our suffering, ad we can feel of Their love and compassion in our suffering.

"Whatever sin or weakness of pain or struggle or trial you are going through, He knows and understands those very moments. He loves you! And He will carry you through those moments, just as He did Mary and Martha. He has paid the price that He might know how to succor you. Cast your burdens upon him. Tell your Heavenly Father how you feel. Tell Him about your pain and afflictions and then give them to Him. Search the scriptures daily. There you will also find great solace and help."

Last week and the week before were HARD. I'm really happy, but I have some friends who aren't making happy decisions. That and I had been experiencing an emotional overload. Positive and negative. I remembered Sister Reeves' advice. God knows what's happening in my life, but I needed to tell Him anyway. I kneeled down to pray to my God. I began by saying “Dear Heavenly Father.” Before I could continue, I just burst into tears. I knelt there by my bedside for a couple minutes, just crying into my bed sheets. I said, “that’s how I feel right now” and closed the prayer. I was able to feel immediate and immense peace.

Last week during Ward Conference, the Stake President talked about God and Jesus Christ calling Joseph Smith by name. He encouraged us to pray to Heavenly Father and to listen for our name. I can testify that it works.

I have developed a strong testimony of prayer over the last few weeks. I would encourage everyone to try the two strategies listed above. For my friends who are struggling and have been asking for my advice, the only thing I feel inspired to share is this: tell Heavenly Father how you feel, and then listen for your name.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I am so grateful to have the blessing of the restored Gospel in my life!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

17 hours on campus. That's a new record;)

Time to go home and start all over...this is going to be a very long long long week!

Monday, October 15, 2012


This video still makes me laugh so much. I was so sassy:)




BYU/SA


Joining BYUSA really has been one of my best decisions. On my first day of summer classes, I walked into the office, not knowing what to expect. I had a positive experience with student council in high school, so I hoped that BYUSA would be similar. However, I also knew that they get a lot of crap from the students, so I was a little hesitant. Within moments of entering the office, a girl had introduced herself to me and invited me on a tour. Everywhere everywhere everywhere were the friendliest people I had ever met. I truly believe that BYUSA represents the best of the best. I've been so blessed to work with them and develop many friendships. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This post will probably end up being super long.


Let me preface with a story from Sister Burton from the Relief Society General Broadcast:
Mary Lois Walker was married at age 17 to John T. Morris in St. Louis, Missouri. They crossed the plains with the Saints in 1853, entering the Salt Lake Valley shortly after their first anniversary. On their journey they had suffered the privations typical of other Saints. But their sufferings and adversity did not end when they reached the Salt Lake Valley. The following year Mary, then 19, wrote: “A son was born to us. … One evening when he was two or three months old … something whispered to me, ‘You will lose that little one.’”
During the winter the baby’s health declined. “We did all we could, … but the baby grew steadily worse. … On the second of February he passed away … and so I drank the bitter cup of parting from my own flesh and blood.” But her trials were still not over. Mary’s husband was also stricken, and three weeks after losing her baby, he died.
Mary wrote: “So was I, while yet in my teens, bereft in the short period of 20 days, of my husband and my only child, in a strange land hundreds of miles from my blood kin and with a mountain of difficulty before me … and I wished that I too, might die and join my loved one[s].”
Mary continues: “One Sunday evening I was taking a walk with my friend. … I was reminded of [my husband’s] absence and my intense loneliness, and as I wept bitterly I could see, as it were in mental vision, the steep hill of life I should have to climb and felt the reality of it with great force. A deep depression settled upon me, for the enemy knows when to attack us, but our [Savior, Jesus Christ,] is mighty to save. Through … the help given of the Father, I was able to battle with all the force which seemed to be arrayed against me at this time.”
Mary learned at the tender age of 19 that the Atonement gives us the assurance that all things that are unfair in this life can and will be made right—even the deepest sorrows.
---
I would never trade the difficult experiences I’ve had for anything. It’s been a long journey. More specifically, it's been a seven year journey. I've already written extensively about my depression, so you can read about that in an older post. I'd rather focus on my change. 

Here are a few key experiences in the past few weeks that have helped me to overcome my mountain:

My psychologist
She is fantastic. She listens to everything I have to say, and then she poses tough questions. During our first meeting, she asked, "If I were to strip you of all of your external accomplishments--debate trophies, leadership roles, ACT score, earned credits, etc.--who are you? And do you like yourself?" I was stunned. Who am I? I felt that same restlessness after graduating. Everything I'd invested myself into was gone. I immediately jumped into BYUSA and the Honors Program to give myself some sort of meaning. Those things aren't necessarily bad, but if I base my self worth on them, then I'm heading in the wrong direction.  That caused a lot of reflection. Another thing we talked about was disappointment. I've always felt very disappointed in myself. Sure I accomplished a lot, but I couldn't even make myself happy. My doctor pointed out something I never thought of: I should be proud of myself for achieving what I have in spite of my sadness. Most people with depression give up. They let their illness hold them back. Instead, I applied myself and came out on top. I'd encourage everyone struggling with a mental illness to seek counseling.

My Mom (who is my other psychologist:)
I told her about what my doctor and I had talked about. She told me that it gave her an epiphany about self esteem. When I was home over conference weekend, we had a long discussion about it. Self esteem comes from inherently feeling good about ourselves and actually being able to accomplish something. Oftentimes the world focuses on the first aspect: internal. They give awards for participation. They teach kids to just feel good about themselves. This causes a sense of entitlement where the new generation feels like they are deserving of certain privileges without having to work for them. My Mom told me that from my comment, she realized that members of the Church seem to emphasize the latter external aspect more. It's important to have a balance between the two. In order to have good self esteem, we should like ourselves the way we are and then we should be proud of our accomplishments. This leads right into the answer to my doctor's question: If I were stripped of all of my external achievements, who am I? And do I like myself? My inherent self esteem is my knowledge that I am a daughter of God--that He loves me and I love Him. 

Two blessings
I received two blessings on the same day that helped teach me that truth--that I am a daughter of God. First, you must understand that I am an incredibly independent person. I really enjoy having control of myself, my situation, and everyone else. One of the ways God speaks to me is through my own voice in my head. I listen best that way. It's sort of like slapping myself in the face with the Spirit. The first blessing came from my Dad, who has an on-campus calling and is in Provo each Sunday. He stopped by my apartment by my request to give me a father's blessing. He started out by saying "you know that you're a daughter of God, and that he is mindful of you." Later that afternoon I was being set apart by my Bishop as the Relief Society instructor. He started similarly: "You know that you're a daughter of God, and you know that he loves you very much." Something to that effect. DUH SARAH. I know that I am His daughter. I just needed to be reminded of what I already know.

A friend
I have a friend who has been having some serious challenges. The other day, I felt inspired to call her and share the story from the Relief Society Broadcast posted above. I then felt like I needed to teach the principle behind the story: the Atonement can heal everything that's imperfect about us and the world. Then I knew I needed to bear my testimony of it, so I did. It was a major faith-building experience for me. I'm not sure if it did anything for her, but I know it changed me. I especially love the line from the girl's journal: "The enemy knows when to attack us, but our Savior Jesus Christ is mighty to save."

The break-up
When he told me that I hadn't meant anything to him for months, my heart broke. I didn't think it was possible for my heart to hurt so much. It wasn't just emotional pain. I was literally aching, as if a part of me had been torn off. How could he throw two years away? I tried so hard all summer to make it work. I sacrificed so much. He described himself as "apathetic." Mid August, I just gave up. [As a caveat, I'm grateful that he and I were together when we were because I really thrived from his friendship and attention. He didn't decide to not have feelings for me, and I feel like it was my fault for trying to drag us out. So please don't blame him because he is still a wonderful friend to me. Yes he broke my heart, but I know he didn't do it intentionally. And I'm grateful for his honesty with me. Anyway...] I was terrified that I would relapse. I was so worried about being friendless. And though I have felt lonely at times, I have never been alone. I have prayed harder than I ever have before. I have come to rely on my Savior more than I thought possible. I used to think I had a testimony...but when I compare then to now, I'm shocked at the difference. The biggest thing I've learned is to be submissive to God's will. In my mind, I thought I had my whole life figured out. But God has greater plans for me. Remember when I said earlier that I like to be in control? Well, I'm learning to yield myself to Him. Thus far, He's been putting things together so perfectly for me. Every single day I am stronger than before. I am so blessed. 

Him
How could I not talk about him? He has been such a good friend to me. I've had the wonderful opportunity to work with him for the past few months. He knows how I feel about him, but he doesn't treat me differently for it. In fact, he's been more sensitive to me ever since I shared my feelings with him. We're both very honest and open with each other. He asks me really introverted questions that make me think way too much. The things he says often catch me off guard, which I like. He makes me laugh so much! I admire how adventurous and friendly he is. Even though he's older, more mature, and my superior in every way, he treats me like an equal. I have so much respect for that. He's watched me go through all of these aforementioned experiences. He probably thinks I'm crazy because of how much and how rapidly I've changed since June. I'm grateful for the way that his influence has changed me for the better. 

---

I’m so thankful for the knowledge I now have that happiness is a choice. It’s definitely a hard choice, but a choice nonetheless. Sister Burton said, "the Atonement gives us the assurance that all things that are unfair in this life can and will be made right--even the deepest sorrows." I’m so incredibly grateful for the atonement and its ability to make our heartbreaks beautiful. If I could go back and change anything that I've gone through, I wouldn't. Depression was hard, but I faced it head on and now I've overcome it. I didn't do it alone. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my wonderful parents. Thank you Mom and Hapa. I love you both so much. I'm grateful for my Father in Heaven and the beautiful sacrifice of His son, my Savior, Jesus Christ.