a few months ago i wrote about metamorphosis – and how fascinated i am with time and change and becoming. tonight i decided to read old journals again and think about years and experiences past. i feel so very grateful for the richness of the experiences of my life, and somewhat bewildered by how i ended up where i am in time and space. it’s miraculous and beautiful and i just think mortality is so great.
february 4, 2007 – byu jerusalem center
i am in the upper auditorium at a concert. it’s crazy to be back home – and that home is here. i love it here so much. have i said that lately?! … leaving egypt left me feeling melancholy but full of a whole new time of sparkling life … it’s amazing how here i am experiencing a new kind of me. i am developing confidence, selflessness, sincerity, and even more depth of feeling … i pray for an increased ability to just follow christ without unnecessary worry or preoccupation. i feel such a desire to devote my whole self to the cause of righteousness. i feel as if i am preparing so deeply for the really significant life events ahead of me … i love my husband. i love my destiny. i love finding new ways to progress and learn. this jerusalem way is incredibly wonderful.
february 3, 2008 – england missionary training center, preston
it’s a little bit scary but also so exciting that it sends an electric shiver down my spine – two more days and i will be in the mission field doing missionary work as a true missionary. i vow to give it my all. that means i will not waste a minute, i will talk to everyone, i will do more each day than i did the last, and i will have faith that god will sustain me and help me to run father than i have strength. i have gigantic desires to be an excellent, effective, passionate, happy and successful missionary and to serve in a way that will bless my life and those whose lives i come in contact with forever.
february 3, 2009 – reading, england
after, we took the bus into the high street and i felt so excruciatingly tired. i was just beat and didn’t know how i could face four hours of finding. we went into the mall to use the toilet and in the stall i offered a desperate prayer for help, for energy and enthusiasm. this prayer we immediately answered, and the day turned into one of the funnest, most exhilarating days of finding of the whole mission. it was snowing – sometimes pouring down hail, other times huge magical flakes, and other times drifting sparkles. we stuck it out for 5.5 hours in the freezing cold … it felt so good to come home exhausted but with huge smiles on our faces.
february 2, 2010 – calcutta, india
people tell you india is crazy, but i could never be prepared for this … wandering in the streets we saw a way of life that millions live and we probably couldn’t realize without seeing were real. it’s a lot to take in, and part of me is turned off and nervous and longing for home, but most of me is desperately grateful, hugely fascinated, greatly moved and vividly embracing. i love it here – despite it all or really because of it all. i think it is absolutely amazing and i am so thankful for this day to be suddenly doused with a whole new array of images, sights, experiences – a whole new world … my life changed forever today. i have seen poverty, i have seen big cities, i have seen foreign things in foreign lands, but i have never experienced anything close to this. it is, all at once, fascinating, colorful, beautiful, heart wrenching, terrifying, incredible, amazing, sickening, sad, crazy, dirty and, most of all, overwhelming. it makes me feel really grateful – really super really grateful. and it makes me wonder why i am so blessed. and marvel at the love of god that i know extends to all of these people. and it leaves me in awe concerning how diverse the world is and how different lives can be.
february 6, 2011 – san francisco
as i drove to the beach this sunny sabbath morning, i prayed. i realized as i talked to god alone in my car that i need this time – this era of seemingly aimless, insecure uncertainty. because it is forcing me into self-discovery. it is proving hard, and this trial is part of my refinement … the last two mornings i have woken up to such sunny, clear days and a crystal blue view of the ocean outside my big bay window. and the coral and teal sunsets have been otherworldly. that view has really kept my spirit going when it feels low … there have also been tender mercies and things that remind me how happy i am here and how i need to be here. i’m so grateful for those gifts from heaven.
february 10, 2012 – palo alto
time keeps moving. it always does. and so many things go up and down and somehow amidst it all i grow and learn and keep striving and keep pressing forward. i’m making my new life work. i’m finding things to be happy about. i’m practicing self-discipline and self-motivation and self-confidence. i am grateful for the rich mortal experience of being single. i’m looking ahead. i am really blessed.
february 3, 2013 – palo alto
a new week is ahead and i have such fervent desire to use my god-given, gracious gift of time well and kindly and deliberately and earnestly. sometimes my life here and now seems very routine, with an element of drudgery. i refuse to submit to that and am determined to prove to myself and the planet that i can find ebullience and joy and invigorating goodness in even the most drab. there is color all around me – and when it is a little harder to find, maybe it is also a little more vibrant … i am very in love, and i am learning so much. expectations and ideals and dreams are both fleeting and coming in to focus. my heart is very full in so many miraculous ways. i just feel so certain god knows me.
life is so full of ups and downs. it’s such an incredible ride.