1.28.2016

begin again.

I am letting out a big old sigh right now. 
Warning, it's about to get real, because it's been a while since I've used this as an outlet for my feelings. #allthefeels

Okay, only one month. But really, if you look over the last two years, my little corner of the world wide web has dwindled and become quiet. Something that really disappointed me last year was that I didn't even do my fourteen days of love series. Yes, I could blame it on being in my final stretch of grad school with a challenging internship at Overlake Medical Center, classes, and applying for full time summer internships and jobs.
BUT. 

I think there was more to it. 
I know there was more to it. 


Here I am on Valentine's Day last year, on the Seattle - Bainbridge Island ferry

Don't let that smile fool you. While it was a memorable evening with some dear friends (well, Hesper and then an odd grouping of guys), I remember going to the Seattle Temple earlier that day and thinking, "I just don't believe in love anymore. I will perpetually be heartbroken." In the most gentle way and not immediately, but over the next several weeks following that experience, Heavenly Father chastened me and reminded me that His love is ever present and His Son truly heals broken hearts, if we just offer it to Him.

Let me present to you the love rollercoaster of 2015: 
Strengthening friendships with my school and church friends and roommates. Truly I have the best women in my life. Stupid and not so stupid flings and crushes. Driving to the ocean with two boys and talking about love in the 5 hours of traffic. Reconnecting with an ex-boyfriend and almost moving to Utah (he'd left me to go there 4 months earlier). But ending that relationship once and for all.
 Graduating and job hunting and
staying in Seattle for the summer, unexpectedly, but truly a blessing in disguise.
Being reminded again of what I truly deserved in a relationship by those two boys I mentioned earlier at separate points during the summer. Continued adventures with friends and falling in love with Seattle every. single. day.
A new found love for Chris Pratt. Always being in love with Harrison Ford, most of all when he turned 73. And kayaking. And all the Seattle restaurants. Duh.
Unexpectedly finding what I thought was the real deal, true love.
It was bliss. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it was everything I'd prayed for and more.
Being blessed with the perfect job. It was perfect timing and everything had lined up.
Then unexpectedly returning to Utah without him, even though we both were returning to Utah the same weekend and leaving our beloved home of Seattle.
And dealing with both of those traumatic breakups amidst dealing with culture shock, a new job (truly the best part and most normal part of my life for the last five months), family trials, continued emotional abuse from earlier said true love in ways I could only see in hindsight (seriously cue "What Do You Mean?" by the Biebs), going a string of weird dates, blind dates, reconnecting with crushes of the past right up to the end of the year while standing at a Trax Station on New Years Eve.

And once again, I find January to be quite miserable and dreary. It's been one experience after another this month, major bumps and curves in the road where I'm reminded how hard this path has been for me. When it rains, it pours. I mean, you really know you've hit an astronomically low point in life if you can't even order at Chipotle without getting the quivers in your voice and beginning to cry because you can't breathe, your heart hurts so badly. Sounds as dramatic as a Monday can be at times. I warned you, this is just #realtalk and #allthefeels.

BUT. 

How lucky am I to be on this path? I can look back and see the Lord's hand in every step of the way. And I know I am eternally indebted to Him for all He has given me in this life. I am constantly amazed at how His love is ever present in the midst of growing pains and grief. In reading my scriptures this morning, 

"And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not. O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart." -3 Nephi 10:5-6
The phrase "how oft" kept sticking out to me. How oft does He manifest love to us? How oft does He teach us about love? I would have to say every single day, every minute is a proclamation of love. Whether we realize it or not. And while it's been very difficult be on this rollercoaster in this season of life and returning to a strange culture where I'm approaching "a menace to society" status #thanksbrigham,
I'm learning a lot of good, good things.

I've learned that love is about finding someone who expands our capacity, looking toward the future and building the kingdom of God with them. 
I've learned that love is being vulnerable and that's scary. 
I've learned that love is grounding and powerful confidence springs from it. 
I've learned His love knows no bounds.  
I've learned I can access His love at any moment and spread it to those around me. 
And about five million other lessons, learned daily and sometimes multiple lessons in a day.

Because how oft is love surrounding us, breathing life into us, making us better humans? Always and eternally. Love is the bottom line, in my mind. It will always be about love.

So I'd like to bring this blog back up to speed, even if it is just for fourteen days of love.
Fourteen days of remembering times where we felt true love, heavenly love.

If you'd like to participate, email me a paragraph or two about what love means to you, how you've felt or shown Christlike love, or whatever wisdom or lessons you have in love. Please feel free to share. Whether it was Wednesday in a cafe where you watched love begin again or somewhere else, I'm excited for February to begin and to read what you have to say.

themeaningfulpursuit [at] gmail [dot] com

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