Sunday, September 29, 2013


One sunday, as an almost 20 year old girl, I found myself sitting in the bishops office of my home stake singles ward that had every high school friend, childhood neighbor, and recognizable face in attendance. I was new to the ward and had only been going back to church steadily for my third week in a row. My courage was high that day, and I feared for the worst as I knew that what I was about to endure was going to be agonizing. My souls secrets were locked away, and the key to opening them was hidden so well, that I didn't even know if I was capable of saying what I went in there to say in the first place. What I didn't understand, was that I had happened upon one of the most tender hearted, kind,  and compassionate bishops that I would ever have the pleasure of knowing. 

My past experiences with bishops had been nothing but terrible, and although my soul ached for relief of all the hardships of the past year, I found myself on the verge of a panic attack as I sat waiting to talk to a complete stranger, for what seemed like forever. After I had approached Bishop Seastrand, he had asked me to wait for him in his office while he finished up some random duties after sacrament. So there I sat.

Just as I was about to get up and change my mind, in walked the bishop. He smiled and shook my hand as I sat there with the weight of the world on my shoulders, and he stared deep into my soul, i'm sure of it. He too sat down, asked me how I was, and we then chatted about my sister who had been in that ward and the familiarity he had with my family. After he had calmed my nerves a bit, I split second thought about how I would begin. I intended to seem confident, direct and cheerful as I was about to spill all my sins that I had ever had, seeing as to that was the first time I had ever met with a bishop by my own doing. I had every intention of "keeping it together".

I began pleasantly explaining the year I had just had, and tried to focus on all the progress that I had currently made. I had already been to see a bishop once, with my fiancĂ© at the time, and told him of our relationship and how we had been living together. He had been fair and direct, but had told us to see our current bishop because we were outside of his boundaries, and he gave us his advice about all that we would have to do to reach our temple goal. Afterwards, He moved out of our apartment so we could begin the necessary adjustments. We never actually made it to our proper bishop because he had called off our engagement shortly after that first bishop's visit.

Much time passed after that day, and I didn't do much of anything other than straight work, which I am sure I was an absolute joy to be around. Its kind of a blur now that I think about it but I remember that at least two or three months had passed before I  could work up the courage to appear out in the open to my friends at home without tearing up at the question of my relationship. I knew how many of the singles in the ward I was supposed to attend knew me, and I worried about the speculation, and questions that would eventually come. I was on top of the world a few months prior and had spent all my time and energy focusing on someone else and the life I would lead with him. I had showed my military support for him as he spent a year in Iraq and everyone knew how committed I was to him.

I did finally leave the cave of wonders in my parents basement and embarked on the first Sunday of the rest of my life. The questions came of course, as well as the occasional inquiry as to when my wedding was, which stung like I had stepped on a bulging hornets nest. Sometimes I wish that I could have seen my face when people would ask me questions about him. The relationship definitely felt like a divorce and I'm sure my face was full of mixed expressions of anger, annoyance and pain.

But I endured the masses, and pondered in sacrament often, and sat in the back as to go unnoticed. After giving it much thought, and literally studying the mannerisms and personality of my bishop, I decided that he would not make things worse for me. He was trustworthy, and was the one that could help me. So after the decision was made, and I had journeyed into that small hall office, I felt prepared, and ready to move forward with the next stage in my life.

After I was finished fake pleasantly explaining my year to him, and how I wanted this to be the beginning of being active and making right decisions, he said....nothing. I hadn't told him anything Specific that I had done, but living with a man out of wedlock implies several things. He sat there, and looked at me. I sat there and looked at him. Then, after a moment of deep thought and pleasant expressions he said,

 "I'm so proud of you."


I lost it. I tried to smile, I tried to hold it in, but the confusion, the sorrow, and the floodgates of sadness completely came over me like I had just walked underneath that powerful waterfall at bridal veil falls. As I half smiled, half frowned and fought back tears I said, 

"What? That was not what I thought you would say."

He then replied with a scripture about repentance and words on the beauty of having your sins washed completely away, and how the only thing it takes is that one step. That one courageous move to walk through his door. He didn't need to hear anymore from me, I am sure he knew what I had been through.  He was filled with so much joy and encouragement, that it was like he could see into the future, at the future me. He knew things about me and my personality that I hadn't told him, but his remarks were powerful, and reminded me of my father, on earth, and in heaven.

But then he paused, as I sat there half excited, half relieved, and said,

"Did you love him?"

He got blurry from the tears in my eyes, as I gasped and blurted, with my head towards the ground,

"I still do. I will always love him. It will never go away, and I can't make it stop."

and then I sobbed. Harder than I have ever sobbed in my entire life. So embarrassingly loud that I am sure the entire hallway full of people outside could hear me.

My bishop waited, as I got my sloppy self together, and then with a joyful smile, and obvious tears in his own eyes he said, 

"You know, there will come a time, when you will meet the man of your dreams. One who will carry you through veils of this mortal life, protect you, love you in ways you cannot imagine, and when that time comes, you will not even remember this time in your life.  It will be but a small grain of sand on the beach of your memories, and you will not even remember his name. Of this I am absolutely sure."

This pivotal moment, one conversation with someone who was obviously sent to this earth to not only help others, but me specifically, was the single most important event that I had ever had. One mans words, changed my viewpoint on the gospel and the power of repentance forever. He reinstated my confidence in the bishops of the church, and helped me work past the single most devastating thing to ever happen to me. I will never forget those words. about 3 months later, I had the opportunity to receive my patriarchal blessing from my bishops father, which made it all that more meaningful to me, and I am sure it was no coincidence. 

Although I wish I could forget him, It hasn't happened yet, but there is no doubt in my mind that what my bishop said in his office that day is so true. I think that his words were not only a message of hope for my future, but one that had a double meaning on repentance. The beauty of it is quite amazing. The lord will remember our sins no more. How beautiful.

 "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death. Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever." 

D&C 121: 41-45

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Red Eye

There are so many things that I need to update my blog about, but I just can't find the words.

Its like my brain needs to decompress and somehow recollect everything that has happened this summer. I have over 7 drafts on my page that I have no desire to even look at, let alone complete. Why not write a completely new post about nothing? Alright.

 I spend my personal time wandering. Wandering through the city, after 14 hours of straight sleep that sometimes ends up lasting right through church. The fall weather is definitely drawing me outdoors, so rather than sit in a house or on a porch on a get the picture, I would rather wander.

I spend most of my days indoors entertaining a two year old who's only redeeming quality is to say thank you and clap at my guitar playing. The point being that the weekends are my only time to be alone, and I like it that way. I find that filling my weekends with social activities only exhausts me to the point where I am twice as tired the following weekend. None of this is good for writing inspiration. Until one of my wanderings late at night happens upon a favorite blog or two of mine, and its like the words on the electronically speaking page are some sort of password to open my creativity. Why can't I just be creative all the time? This must be what it feels like to have writers block.

I usually find inspiration to write, at around 2 am. Big surprise, guess what time it is? The majority of my late night time is usually spent wondering how I can turn my brain off. Its like I go on auto all day long, go through the motions to get the hours to pass, which are not unpleasant hours, just repetitive. By the time I get downstairs around 8pm, I cannot figure out how it all works again. Auto pilot goes off and I have forgotten who I am, what was I going to do once I got down here, and where the remote control is. I then wander Netflix, facebook, and news websites aimlessly looking for I don't even know what and before I know it its 2am again and I'm all wired, poetically motivated, and I have to be up in 4 hours. Great.