Sunday, January 26, 2014

Patience and Healing

As part of my therapy I am studying the concept of patience. A lot of my anxiety and frustration comes from a lack of patience.

I have always thought of myself as a relatively patient person - people don't easily annoy me, even children's "annoyances" don't usually bother me (you know, kids kicking the back of your seat in the car type annoyances). I patiently endured a lot of adversity in my marriage, hoping and hoping things would get better.

But when it comes to myself - my progression, mistakes I make, and my life goals and plans, I have little patience. I feel like I should work harder and faster and if only I would work a little harder I could progress faster.

Healing from my past experiences has been one of these things. I want the healing, and I want it now. It's not that I want a magic wand to wave and make everything perfect. I just wish that there was a way I could do something to fix things right away.

I have been looking up scriptures about patience and stumbled across this one today:

Okay, okay, I get the point. My pride is what makes me want to fix everything on my own, as fast as possible. Sometimes God wants to teach us something and mold us, and we just have to wait for that healing and change to take place.

I have realized that rather than relying on the atonement to cover my sins, I want to pay for them myself. Who does that?! Wouldn't most people jump at the chance to have someone else suffer for them? I think my problem is that I would rather suffer all at once and have it be done. But that isn't the way repentance works. We don't get to be beat with a few stripes (or even a dozen or a hundred or a thousand) and be forgiven. We can't suffer for our own sins and allow the Savior to heal us with the atonement. It's one or the other.

And allowing the Savior to heal us takes humility. And patience. And I am learning to do that.

Slowly. But I am learning.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Divorce and Family

I love learning about motherhood and the family, and my testimony of eternal families and the importance and benefit of a strong nuclear family unit is one of the reasons divorce was such a hard decision for me.

In October 2013
General Conference, Elder D Todd Christofferson (quickly becoming one of my favorite general authorities - if having favorites is allowed) said,
A woman's moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home. There is no better setting for rearing the rising generation than the traditional family, where a father and a mother work in harmony to provide for, teach, and nurture their children.

This would have been lemon juice in a paper cut if it wasn't for the next statement:

Where this ideal does not exist, people strive to duplicate it's benefits as best they can in their particular circumstances.

Yes! I can strive to duplicate the benefits of a traditional family! However, in order to do that, I need to know what the benefits are, and how to duplicate them. So that is my quest as a mother of a blended family - to create the benefits of a traditional family for my non-traditional family.

The most influential doctrine that will make this quest possible is the atonement of Jesus Christ. His eternal and universal atonement can and will cover all the gaps between what should be, and what is.

Isn't that what we expect the atonement to do in our personal lives? Then why not in the lives of our children? Can the atonement help my children experience the benefits of a traditional family, even though the family they are a part of now doesn't meet that ideal?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 3, 2014

An Eventful Year - Revelation and the Lord's Timing

I don't usually post "Year in Review" type blog posts. However, I was reading my New Years' post from 2012 in which I wrote that 2011 and been "the best of times and the worst of times". Perhaps that statement could sum up life in general, because 2013 definitely fits that same description.

I'm sure you have all been missing me, dear readers. And I just want to warn you that this is not me "coming back" really. I hope to be back eventually, and I imagine the summers will be better, but life has thrown me a few curve balls.

In 2013, I had five major life events: birth of a child, starting school, divorce, new job, and remarriage.

Birth of a Child

There are so many thoughts and feeling that are rushing around inside of me about the birth of my second son. His birth was amazing and spiritual and perfect and wonderful and everything I wanted it to be.Heather, from Women in the Scriptures, was my doula - and she was an amazing doula. She will deny it up and down, but I regard Heather as a spiritual giant. I feel like the labor and delivery went so well because she was there, with her faith and her knowledge and her testimony, I could just feel the power of God around me and with me. And if not from Heather, then from what she has taught me about the priesthood and womanhood and motherhood through the past several years, both on her blog and in personal conversations. She is an amazing woman.

Starting School

I felt inspired this year that I should go back to school to finish the few courses I need to qualify for a teaching license. Although I have a bachelor's degree in Math, I don't have a teaching license, and I had been feeling something nagging at me to get my license and teach. Because I was married to a soldier I didn't know how much time I would have in any one place, so I figured that I needed my education to be as portable as possible. So in May I applied to an online university to finish my teacher prep courses. Because of the next major life event, I am so grateful that I listened to the prompting to go back to school and prepare to be a teacher.

Getting a Divorce

This is probably the longest story, and I am not going to tell it all right here, right now (but you can read my emotions about a lot of it in my previous posts about my faith crumbling through adversity and trials). Suffice it to say that when I was scared to death (literally) of leaving my marriage, when I thought it would be better to be dead that divorced, when I argued with Heavenly Father, wondering why He would ask me to do something I knew was against His plan, when my faith seemed to be threadbare, something happened. I got strength from a place I had forgotten about, and somehow, I got out.

And there I was, hurting, broken, but feeling like I had burst out of a dark prison.

I felt like my life had crumbled around me, but God gave me a vision of what my new life could be if I would just cling to Him. And that is what I have been doing.

Starting a New Job

Due to the previous major life event, I needed to get a job so I could provide for my family. I submitted applications for a job on Monday in between filling out divorce papers. I filed for divorce on Tuesday, interviewed for a job on Friday, and was offered the job on Tuesday of the next week. A full time job teaching math at a middle school in a nice neighborhood about 10 minutes from my house. My good friend was looking for a job and is a fantastic mother and I asked and she offered to be our day care practically at the same moment. It was meant to be.

However, my first paycheck wasn't going to come until late September. Because I had started school I had just received some student loan funds. Between the student loans and my amazing ward I was able to make it to September with money to spare. Heavenly Father is watching out for me.

Getting Remarried
This story is probably longer than the divorce story, but I am pretty sure it can be summed up in two principles: receiving and understanding personal revelation (which I wrote about here) and the Lord's timing is not always our timing - which the Stake President mentioned in that blessing.

Did you know that "in due time" doesn't necessarily mean "in a loooong time"? That's what I thought when the Stake President promised me that I would experience the joy of marriage again and followed that promise up with "in due time" which he repeated! I was thinking "so, I'll get married again in a really really really long time. Imagine my surprise when I met my new husband and three days later Heavenly Father informed me that he would be my new husband. Come to find out "in due time" means "at the appropriate time" - which apparently is 3 months after a divorce (for me). Who knew? It didn't take my husband long to receive the same revelation, so then the only question was "when"? We prayed about it and I felt inspired that we should pick a date and take it to Heavenly Father for approval. We looked at my calendar (being a teacher I don't get a lot of time off work) and picked a date mid-January. After a few days I had a nagging feeling that it wasn't soon enough. So we thought "After Christmas would be great". Nope, wrong again. Finally we picked the day before Thanksgiving (which at this point was about a month away). Yep. It felt right. We talked to my bishop, we talked to my parents, we talked to his parents, we told our kids (six of them altogether!), and it happened! So yeah, it all boils down to receiving and understanding revelation and the Lord's timing is not always our timing.

So now you know where I have been for the last 6-12 months. Going through a painful divorce, starting school and a job, and getting remarried to a wonderful man who loves God with all of his heart, might, mind and strength, with me as a close second.

I hope to be able to write more often, but don't hold your breath. Of course, now that I have "come out" and you all know my little secrets, it will be easier for me to write. I always like being open and "real" on my blog, and I feel like I have been lying the past year or so because my marriage was so awful. So, comment on here and tell me you're still reading and I will try to post more often. If no one cares that I was gone I will probably just post whenever it happens (which might not be very often!).

What lessons did you learn last year?

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