Because every blog post needs a picture, and I miss my best friend. 1 year to go!
I am so annoying and preachy on here lately, but I have felt inspired to share things, so I'm going keep doing that sorrrrrrrrrry. When I get really excited about things, I'm super giddy and want everyone to be happy. I hope this helps someone get as excited about life as I am.
Some things that I have learned lately:
1. I have been able to see how the Lord's plan for me has lead me in the direction of righteous decision making. Without certain things happening in my life lately, I don't think that I would have made a major decision for myself. I had been planning for something, but after conference weekend and talking to my friends, I have decided to move forward with it more quickly than I had anticipated. I'm not trying to be purposefully mysterious by leaving out what it is, but I still haven't told some of the people closest to me yet, so I'm going to wait to talk about it on here. I am BEYOND excited to share with you all when the time is appropriate though. I know that the Lord allowed for certain things to happen for me lately, because He needed me to make this decision with clarity and without being held back by other people.
2. To go along with what I just said, I have learned that faith replaces fear. I was so scared to make the decision mentioned above. It was something that I didn't think I was going to do, but I feel so strongly that it's the right thing for me. I am nervous, but excited, because I know that it's what God wants for me. It is vital for us to not be afraid of the important things that will shape our future. Elder Bednar's conference talk strengthened me and helped me to move forward in faith. If you missed it go listen to it!
3. This is going to sound lame, but it has been so true for me. You are able to feel the spirit so much more when you go to bed at a decent hour. I've been trying to go to bed early (before midnight is early when you live in college world still). It has made the biggest difference for me. I have found clarity that I hadn't had for a long time, and I think a huge part of that has been taking care of my body. I pay better attention in church and feel like I can receive better revelation, because I am rested, eating well and am exercising regularly. I had some stupid habits that I have been changing and have noticed a drastic change in myself. I also need to add that I will still occasionally stay up late/eat treats. Girl's gotta live a little.
4. Life is hard. When life gets hard, work harder. Don't give up. Trials are a major part of life. I have felt so much strength from Heavenly Father as I have been working on managing my illness. God is there and answers our prayers. So many people lately have been telling me that they pray for me and have put my name on the prayer roll at the temple. I have felt those prayers. I'm not going to lie anxiety is sooooooo hard, and it has made my life so challenging BUT I have felt so strong lately, and I know it is because of the prayers of my righteous friends and family. On my phone I changed my lock screen background to a picture that says "I can do hard things". It has been the best reminder for me to keep working hard. I have been so grateful lately for my mom. Growing up she would always write "you can do hard things" on notes in my lunches or random letters. Her example has inspired me as I have seen her take on the challenges of life. We can all do hard things.
5. This next one was a hard pill for me to swallow. Pride keeps you from progressing. I recently started counseling again. I tried it out a few years ago and HATED it. I didn't feel like my counselor was genuine and felt like I wasn't making any progress. I NEVER wanted to go to counseling again. About a month ago I was talking to my mom about my anxiety and how I didn't know what to do to get help. She had a friend whose daughters had struggled and went to a counselor. She talked to her friend and got more information on him. After talking with my mom I set aside my pride/fear and decided to give counseling another shot. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. My counselor is so genuine and loving (he gives me a big hug at the end of every session and makes me feel so good about my progress). I trust him and have opened up to him. Allowing him into my life has helped me more than I could have ever imagined. He has helped me realize that I deserve the best, and that I am going to overcome my anxiety. He's helped me see that I am a fighter and that giving up is for quitters who are afraid of hard things.
6. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Recently I have felt like a rockstar, and it's all because I have the best people in my life. My friends are always uplifting me. I've been around people over the last little while who haven't made me feel good about myself. As I have removed those people from my immediate circle, I have felt so much better about who I am. I don't know how I got so lucky in the friend department, but I am extremely thankful.
7. Patience in the Lord's plan/timing. I thought that by 24, two years after I graduated from college, that I would have a better idea of what I want to do with my life. Nope, I am still very lost when it comes to my career and what I plan to do, but I am learning to be patient and trust in God. I am realizing that best way for me to do this is to continue working on becoming my best self and strengthening my confidence in myself. As I do this, I will develop my talents and will figure out what it is that I should do. God knows me and my needs. If I put my full faith in Him I won't be lead astray.
8. You can find joy in the littlest things in life. I am currently staying with my younger siblings while my parents are gone. Playing mom is so fun for me. We have dance parties in the kitchen, and I give them advice about middle school and the future. I am so excited to be a mom. I can't wait to do all the fun/hard things that come with motherhood. It brings me so much joy thinking about my future little family dancing around the house and going on adventures. I'm so lucky that I get to have a little taste of this now with my younger siblings and at work. I feel like I am being prepared for my future and am so excited for when that time comes. Until that time comes though, I am finding joy in this stage of my life and what I am able to do. I'm grateful for the refining process that I am going through and for what it will bring for me and my future family. There are so many things to be thankful for, and I am so blessed to be able to see that.
Ok, wow this whole thing went differently than I planned. I am so nervous to post this, but I am confident that I am supposed to. Here's a little parting thought:
I was going to quote Elder Holland from his talk Like a Broken Vessel, but I couldn't pick just one quote, so I'm just going to suggest watching the whole talk here. If any of you are losing hope, this talk has been a great source of strength to me in my battle against mental illness. It's also helpful for anyone who has a loved one struggling. It takes a lot of strength and maturity to take on the challenges that come with having someone you love go through these trials.