Thursday, January 27, 2011

GUEST BLOGGER: Marj- Going For It

Marj is one of my best friends. She actually filled in as the role of boyfriend this past year as my heart was bleeding to death on the floor. She picked me up, made me laugh and took me on SEVERAL Diet Coke runs when the time called for it.

Watching her make the very hard and scary decisions she describes below was a very humbling thing for me. She set her pride and desires aside and just listened to and trusted the Lord. I miss her like crazy that she isn't here- but I am so very excited to see the amazing things that are coming to her now that she has taken that HUGE leap of Faith!

This is her story:

It was a breakup... as always... that convinced my heart and soul that something was off balance in my life. I picked myself up soon enough after, but almost too soon. When I realized that the end of this relationship was starting out the same as all the others it dawned on me it was time to react differently. I didn't want the same result AGAIN. So, I gave myself a mandatory 90 day break from dating. Then, when that didn't seem too painful or hard I decided to take this a step further and give myself 90 days of self-discovery.

I was to take a full three months away from the demands of socializing, family parties, and new men and truly dig deep into the inner most wrinkles of my being and iron out those things that were repeatedly holding me back. I cleared my calendar for the following three months. I decided that if there came a day when there was a party I wanted to attend I would go. But I was not going to make any advanced plans.

It is harder than you might think to force yourself into a cocoon of self understanding. In fact, it plain stunk at first. I was so bored the first week I thought I might cry. The second week was so much easier to get a grip on this opportunity and really put it to good use.

For the first month I basically sat around reading all of the time, sulking when my mind was blank, and spending more time at the office to take my mind off of my newly emptied life. I had started going to a counselor to work out past troubles, and make sure my feet were set on the right course for progress.

It all seemed well and good, but something was missing. Christ. As soon as the noise of my distracting life had faded, I recognized instantly that my connection with spiritual things had weakened. It took some time to mourn and accept the low place that I found myself, but then I started my hike upward.

As I started reading my scriptures more, praying sincerely, and writing my personal feelings in my journal I started to feel more and more strange. Yes, that's such an unexpected feeling when you're doing the 'right' thing. It wasn't until I was on a road trip with my dear friend that this first step in my journey was decoded.

I had become closer to the spirit, and as a result I was feeling the pull to change something.... what something? Talking with my friend on our long journey it started to ease it's way from my heart into my brain. I didn't like my job. I didn't feel like I fit in my environment anymore. I felt like there was something I needed to change, and soon. This all made perfect sense. Of course I needed change. The instant relief and optimistic hope that filled my insides were enough of a confirmation that I was on the right track.

For the next couple of days I made lists of placed I would like to live, and things I would be good at doing. Nothing in particular from my choices stood out above another. I decided to read my patriarchal blessing, which I received at age 16. After reading it I immediately felt prompted by the spirit in a new way. Up until that point I viewed this blessing in a reactive way. I would wait for events to happen, then compare and contrast with the things I was promised. It was as though a light turned on and I was reading my blessing for the first time. Heavenly Father intended me to 'go and do' in order to get the things he promised. I had to pro actively live in a way that would bring everything I have been dreaming of since I was 16. The peace and confidence that filled the air were yet another testimony to me that I was on the right track. So I prayed with all of my heart that the Lord would guide me to the place that I needed to be in order to do everything I was meant to for Him. And, of course, there were promises that I desperately wanted to come true as well. Up from my knees I came and a new list was started. I wrote down all of the places I thought would work with my purpose. Nothing struck me, still.

After reading a few great talks from General Authorities on personal revelation and the importance of acting on our promptings I found myself preparing to go to the Temple with my question. While I was sitting in the Salt Lake Temple at the place where you can sit and ponder on your own mysteries, I started to pray. “Where am I supposed to go?” Nothing. “Should I stay in Utah?” Nothing. “Should I go to Boston? New York? Florida? Arizona?” Nothing. Feeling like a spoiled brat who has grown weary of inventing new tactics to get what I wanted I finally sent another silent plea toward Heaven, “I am going to sit here until you at least give me some sort of an answer. I am going to clear my mind, and wait.” And wait I did.

It seemed like forever had passed, though it was probably just minutes, and my mind was brought to the thought, “Virginia.” “Virginia?????” “Yes, Virginia.” “Why?”... I know that is a silly question after why I had come to the Lord in the first place, but I'm human. My heart was filled with the spirit and thoughts flooded my mind of relatives that lived in Norther VA, and the many opportunities to be involved with missionary work, and the great historic significance of the area that would keep me occupied for years. I started to feel so excited. Wow. I prepared, I came to the Lord with a specific question, and I received a specific answer.

Several months have passed, and as of 2 weeks ago I am now officially a resident of Alexandria, VA. Each time I took another step towards Heavenly Father's guided course a new piece of the puzzle was solved. My housing basically fell into my lap. I have three amazing roommates. I have already had several chances to talk about the Savior in group settings, and talk about the importance of religion. I've had great leads on prospective employment, and many other great opportunities unfolding before me. At first I looked around me and asked, “So when does this start?”. Today I realized, it already started. I'm here. I made it. The Lord brought me to a new place and now I get to bask in the great experience that has been made just for me.

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