Over the past 3 months, I have sat down with my laptop at least 50 times to update my blog. Yet, for some reason, no matter how many times I sat down with intentions of writing… I just couldn’t do it!
My return home from my mission was difficult. Once I arrived home, my mission began to feel like a dream. Had I actually just experienced all that? Was I actually missing from my family, friends, and social media for 18 months? Or had I just fallen asleep and dreamed up the whole thing up? Much of my time (too much) after that was spent looking through old mission pictures, reading letters, emails, journal entries, and looking at souvenirs to try and re-live “the glory days”.
As I did so, I often had the impression that I was falling into old habits, making the same mistakes over and over again, and moving further away from God. By no means did I lose my testimony, or even begin to. But in comparison to the way I remembered feeling on my mission, I now felt a greater distance between me and the Lord. I experienced moments of sadness, anxiety, frustration, and a lack of understanding of God’s will. Making it difficult for me to continue writing about my experiences.
I spent my entire mission blogging about miracles happening. I even created a little jingle that I would use each week as I wrote about those miracles…“Miracles happen! Even in France!” My mission taught me that miracles truly do come to all those who seek them out. But, returning from my mission has taught me that we stop recognizing those miracles when we stop seeking them out.
Now as I reflect over the past 3 months, I am overwhelmed to see all of the miracles that were so obviously happening right under my nose. Yet, I missed so many of them because I was so distracted trying to “re-live” my mission rather than simply—continuing it! I had been so distracted that I had forgotten to search for miracles!!
Thankfully, it’s not too late! Miracles happen!!!…Even when we’re not paying attention! So I would like to share some of those miracles with you today :)
RM meets Boyfriend.
Many of you saw the pictures, and you probably almost all noticed that there is a different boy in my homecoming pictures than in my engagement pictures shortly after. What the?!
While in France, I had been writing someone, whom I had met just before I left, very religiously for the last 11 months of my mission. In fact, I had very detailed plans to come home and marry him! But those plans began to change when I got home and I began to feel very strongly impressed that something just wasn’t right.
This was very difficult for me to accept because he means a great deal to me. He was there to help and support me through some of the most difficult times of my mission. Thanks to him, I was able to stay out on my mission even when my health became so poor that my mission president told me to start thinking about going home early.
I looked forward to his emails and pictures every week with such anticipation! How in the world could things be different now? When things ended, I still didn’t understand. But I knew that The Lord was in charge.
Shortly after we broke things off, an old friend reached out to me after 8 years of not seeing each other. But at that time, I was not ready for a relationship of any kind; but I did need a friend. Michael and I began texting back and forth a little bit until later that week when I was set up on a blind date that did not go AT ALL as planned (when do blind dates ever go as planned?). I came home pretty upset that night. But, I had a plan! I was not going to let the night end on a bad note! So I texted Michael and hinted on how incredibly bored I was, and as planned, he asked me if I wanted to Skype ;) Mwuahahaha!
After a 6-7 hour Skype call, I began to think maybe I understood why everything had happened the way it had. Then, right before we said goodnight—which was actually more of a “good morning” based on the amount of time we had been talking— Michael asked me what I would think if he flew me out to spend Memorial Day weekend with his family. Of course I thought that would be cool, but I didn’t really think he was serious, haha!
The next day as I was on my way to church, I got a call from Michael saying that my flight would be leaving on Wednesday! I still wasn’t sure if he was being serious or not… then my email buzzed and I got the flight plans!
A Spontaneous Colorado Trip.
Wednesday rolled around quickly and next thing I knew, I was on a plane to go spend the weekend with a guy I hadn’t seen since I was 13! I kept asking myself when I got so spontaneous, hahaha.
I landed safely in Colorado and stumbled up the escalator very nervously to see Michael, standing in the middle of the airport with a bouquet of roses in his hand. He whipped me around, hugging me tightly as we spun in circles in the airport. Just like that, my nerves were gone. You’d-a thought we hadn’t seen each other in 8 years or something. You’d-a also thought we had been dating all that time! hahaha. As crazy as it was, it all felt so natural! And it really did feel like he had just been waiting all those years for me to grow up. After all, I was only 13 years old when we met ;).
Colorado Day One—“Altitude sickness” to First Kiss!
(To be continued…)
As it has been three months since I last updated my blog… I am going to have to leave y’all on a cliff hanger ;) Otherwise my weekly post would turn into a weekly book!
Until then, just remember…Miracles ARE happening!!! All you have to do is open your eyes and look around! We must not let ourselves get so distracted by worldly things that we cease to recognize the hand of the Lord in our everyday lives.
I love you all, God lives, and Miracles happen!
I feel very honored to have had the opportunity to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the France, Paris Mission.