"Changes will be coming, challenges to face. We'll meet them all together, in God's appointed place." --this is a line from a song in the musical, Within These Walls. It's a story about 3 LDS families (1 pioneer, 1 early 1900s, & 1 present-day) and their struggles and faith in God. I participated in it about four years ago--my newly formed Columbus Ohio South Stake performed it and it was a really great experience. I made a lot of new and lasting friends and memories through it and it really was a unifying experience for our new stake as a whole.
So anyway, those lines keep recurring in my head--almost like a broken record player. And i keep thinking about change.
I've changed alot over the past few years. For better and worse I suppose. Most people would call it growing up. As a senior in high school it's interesting to look back and remember what it felt like to be an innocent, unsure freshman. And then to recall the changes I went through in sophomore year that boosted my confidence a million to one. (thanks in particularly to a certain friend who i miss very much...*sigh*) And i thought I could do everything in the world. And then the drudgery of junior year--realizing that I can't do everything in the world and that life sometimes sucks. hardcore. But I figure, if I can make it through junior year and all the crap that happened then I can make it through anything. What doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger. Which brings me to where I am now:
less innocent than freshman year
less patient than sophomore year
less of a jerk than junior year*
*I must put a "usually" tag on these. I do have my moments where I falter.
oh, and a more recent development that I find rather disturbing...
I've had bouts of anger that I don't know how to deal with.
Like real, vivid anger.
And I don't know where it comes from.
But I am trying to learn about it and where it's from and why I have trouble controlling it.
I'm taking measures a step at a time to fix this...
Over the years I've changed and grown. Spiritually, physically and mentally.
I've made a lot of mistakes. Big, big mistakes.
And I continue to make them. Although I think I've been able to mitigate them so they're not-so-big anymore.
And they're not in vain.
I have learned to learn from my mistakes*
I have learned about myself and my tendencies
My strenghts and my weaknesses
I have an idea of what I want and need (specifically in a husband)
And I know the woman I want to become.
(But that is much easier said than done--still got a loooooong way to go)
I'm still working on learning how to set my priorities straight and manage my time effectively, but it's coming.
I have gotten better at "bridling my passions" and letting prudence, wisdom and most importantly the Holy Spirit guide me.
That's what I'm working this year to do before college.
I want to gain complete control of myself, my thoughts, my words, my deeds. my anger, my impulses, my desires, my emotions and feelings.
I want to prove to myself that I am an independent woman who can take care of herself.
But as much as I try to hide it, I'm really a very needy person.
Deep underneath my tough, independent exterior I'm a hopeless romantic. But anyone who reads my stories and poems knows this already.
"The only thing she could decipher was that her heart wanted something prudence highly objected to; and her sage mind provided an ever-vigil watch over her heart’s deepening desires."
Yeah that's me. Or trying to be. I don't know.
School is killing me. Senioritis has set in pretty bad. Especially with AP Calc.
But I think I'm gonna stick it through. You know, what do they call it?
Endure to the end.
It's gonna suck. But like I said before, if I can survive junior year, I can survive anything.
(But let it be known that I did in NO wise make it through there alone. I had my Heavenly Father looking out for me, even when I didn't know it. Mostly through a God-sent friend who stuck with me. Who kept a tight hold on me--didn't let me fall to the depths of the ocean I was treading in. I never once deserved it. I was so tired. I begged for him to let me just give up. And yet he didn't let me. He held on, no matter how much I begged to be let go. He didn't let me drown. And he won't read this. And he won't know how much I truly care. And how sorry I am for being the jerk I've always been to him, when he's been so good to me...
And he won't know that I'm trying to work on it. I truly am. He won't know...oh well.)
Back to what I was saying.
My testimony has grown in so many facets and subjects. All through high school, but especially this year, I feel it being refined--preparing me for the next step--whatever it may be. (although I'm pretty darn sure it's college at BYU lol)
I've learned that faith is hard.
I used to be afraid I didn't have a lot of faith. I guess I was right in a way. I prayed for experiences to help me prove my faith (mostly to myself) --but boy you sure do gotta be careful what you ask for. I sure got them. And I failed I think at most of the earlier ones. Or maybe I'm just too hard on myself. My mind was too blotched up for awhile for me to remember things from a clear perspective.
As Edison once said, "I haven't failed, I've just found 100 ways that don't work."
Perhaps it's relevant, perhaps not. You decide.
But yeah. My faith has grown. I have been witness to miracles akin to the blind's restored sight.
And yet, I still have to constantly remind myself to
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart
And lean not unto thine own understanding
In all thy ways acknowledge Him
And He shall direct thy paths."
and then there's my own little proverb I made from personal revelation:
"Take one step at a time
And do your very best
Trust in the Lord
And He'll take care of the rest."
I know without a doubt that my Heavenly Father knows and loves me personally. I see it manifested every day of my life. I am a daughter of a Divine Parent. God does not lie. He is diligent. He is loving. He has charity. He forgives.
I realize that He most likely wasn't always this way--he was a man once upon a time as well. He developed these qualities over time. And I can too. If I want to someday be a Heavenly Mother, I have to show to others the qualities that God shows to me.
I have explored my talents and goals. My confidence has increased tenfold, like the man with the 10 talents (excuse the pun) lol. "Please, remember, your worth, your soul was worth that of perfect blood. Please, always remember." With that, how could I ever forget? and yet sometimes I do...
I have increased my knowlege in many things, and I have learned what intrests me and what doesn't. Wisdom and study, prayer and fasting have helped me enlighten and enlarge my heart and mind.
One thing that I have most definitely learned is the importance of agency. We are all accountable for the choices we make. We must meet the consequences of our actions, good and bad. In order to have a testimony, someone must gain it for himself. No one can just give his testimony to another. The things we do and say affect others in tremendous ways and we must "Watch ourselves and our thoughts and our words and are deeds." Because even if we're not watching them, someone else is... even when we don't think so.
I have learned the value of service. I have come to love others for the service they've rendered to me, and I've learned to love others whom I have served. And even when I don't feel like serving someone, no matter what my mood before, after I do I always feel happy; glad i took the time out for them.
Honesty. Integrity. Standing up for what you believe. Encouraging others to do right. So important. And yet...sometimes I falter. As everyone does. For I am only human. And it's hard. It's really hard. There's a lot of conflicting opinions anymore about what's right and what's wrong. But I know the truth. And I must share it when I know it. "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid."
And now, the newest, and I think my favorite of the young women values in:
A Return to Virtue. It sounds like a movie. It should be one. I'm so glad they added this. I wish I would have had it when I was a young woman. I mean, I have it now and I'm still a young woman--but I'm almost an adult now. They added it After I learned it all the hard way. I wish I would have had this earlier. I guess though, in a sense I did. And if I hadn't learned it the hard way, I wouldn't appreciate it as much as I do now--wouldn't have an enduring testimony. Virtue. Chastity. Purity. Desires. Temptations. The world. The world has completely destroyed the sanctity of chastity. Well chastity is still sacred--but no one thinks that anymore... Satan has and continues to lead so many into sin because of the world's stupid degradation of it. He almost got me too. But God has sure been diligent in keeping a keen eye on me and protecting me from evil. I'm so grateful.
It does make me sad though that the world degrades chastity and family and the home. I never even realized the effects media had on me when I was younger. But it did. From watching stupid "harmless" tv shows I was led to think that I was supposed to be embarrassed by my parents. I was supposed to talk back at them and be beligerent and insolent. From tv i learned that it was my job to annoy my brother and to make his life miserable. I know better now--not saying i'm perfect, but I understand now that a family is more than that. A family is meant to help and serve and support each other. To love and forgive. To work and play and laugh and learn together. But for years I was under that stamp of beligerence and embarrassment because I thought that's how it was supposed to be.
I don't think the writers of the shows I watched realized that their stupid TV shows affected me like they did... They'll probably never know... and now I think some of the stuff is just funny. Because i know it's not realistic. But as a kid...
Actually, on second thought, maybe I don't think it's so funny...because I remember how it affected me...as a kid. Hmm.
Well, I guess I've rambled on quite enough. This will be a very long blog. Nevertheless I'm glad I wrote it. One more thing I'd just like to mention is the damaging effects of pride.
In all my studies on my recent anger bouts, I've linked a great many of them--actually all of them to pride. Because I didn't want to humble myself to forgive. To be the first to appologize because I mislead myself to think that their misdeed to me was greater than what I at that moment was doing to them by not forgiving them, in my pride.
It's really something I need to work on. But I think that if I can humble myself and develop a true kind of charity and "forgive, as I wouldst be forgiven of my Father in Heaven" then I think I'll be able to curb my anger issues. And not hold grudges...they really are a weight on your shoulders. It takes a lot of work to hate a person...it sometimes doesn't feel like it--but it really is. It's hard to let things go...but you really feel so much better when you can truly forgive someone and love them again...I know when I get into one of my grudges or anger bouts i'm absoluetly miserable until I let it go...absolutely miserable...
Well, goodnight world. Or the one person who will actually read this, I should say. lol
Goodnight, and Peace be unto you.