I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
I have come to see that the moments in my life when I was the most confused and hurt and the times when things are the most sucky and when at the time, nothing really made sense and I couldn't understand why these things were happening, those are the moments that shaped my life and taught me or prepared me for my future.
Those moments have made me who I am and gave me this blessing that I call life.
Sorry for sharing this picture again, but it is my all time favorite picture of my family. Never thought I would say that about a picture taken 2 and 1/2 hours after I had given birth, but I love it! This picture makes me so happy! Happier than I ever knew a picture could!
In 1998, when I was 12, my parents told us that we would be moving to Redmond, OR.
Worst. News. Ever!
I was so upset that they were asking me to leave my friends and my school, the boy I was crushing on and everything I knew in Washington, to move to this new place.
To make things worse, they were asking me to move in the middle of 6th grade!
My new school was a middle school and I would have a locker and switch classrooms for different classes, and that was scary! At my school in Washington the 6th graders were the top dogs in the elementary school and we stayed in the same classroom all day long. There were so many other changes happening in my life at this time (you know... hormonally speaking) and I just couldn't get past the idea of leaving everything that was comfortable and everything that I knew to go to a strange new place where I knew absolutely nobody.
I cried the entire 7 hour drive from Deer Park, WA to Redmond, OR.
I specifically remember the moment we crossed the border.
That was the moment I cried the hardest.
But when I look back on that move now, the friendships that I made in Oregon, are the friendships that I still have today and the ones that have gotten me through some really tough stuff in my life. They are the friends who reach out to me when I think that I have been forgotten and the ones who lift me up almost daily. They are my strongest friendships and the ones I cherish the most.
These are the friends that I really need in my life, and because I was forced to move at one of the most vulnerable times in my life, I have them.
In 2006, my parents began fostering two of my cousins children. They were developmentally behind and each had 12 fingers and 12 toes.
They were beautiful.
I'm sure they still are.
My family altered our lives significantly in order to foster these children and we knew that someday we would adopt them and that they would become part of our eternal family.
They were already a part of our family. They were there at my sisters wedding, they joined us for holidays and we loved them.
After a year of fostering, my parents began the adoption process.
I moved to Provo, UT shortly before the process began.
I remember I was standing in my dining room when I got the phone call.
The phone call informing me that due to a misunderstanding between the state of Idaho and the state of Washington, we would not be able to adopt these children.
Within a week, they were gone.
I was able to drive home the day before they left to see them and to say goodbye.
You can tell... I was crying.
I cried for a really long time.
It was the worst drive home.
My heart was truly broken.
But now I can look back and see that because they came to live with us, they were able to catch up emotionally and developmentally (my Mom is awesome), they were able to have their extra fingers and toes removed because we lived close to an amazing children's hospital, and they taught me more about unconditional love than anything else had up to that point in my life. They truly prepared me for parenthood.
In 2008, when I was 22, I started dating a guy who lived in Utah. At the time I lived in Idaho. We would make the weekend drive of 250 miles to see each other at least once a month, if not more.
In January 2009, I got a job in Utah and moved south.
It was fantastic.
I am definitely not cut out for long distance relationships.
Everything was perfect.
Or so I thought.
In September of 2009, shortly after I threw him an amazing surprise birthday party, after we had picked out the ring, and after he had asked my Dad if he could marry me, I found out that for the past year of our relationship, so for basically the entire time, he had been sleeping with a girl in our ward. A girl who he had known forever, and a girl who I did not get along with.
Now I know why I never got a good vibe from her.
Kind of a big deal in the Mormon community.
So not cool in any community.
Once again, my heart was broken into a thousand pieces.
It was a really rough time in my life. I already struggled with self esteem and confidence and this did not help that in any way.
Don't EVER do it!
When I look back now, I can see that I was suppose to be in Utah and he was the person who brought me there. If I had never moved to Utah, had the job I had, (the only reason I stayed in Utah was because I loved my job) and had the relationships that I had had, I never would have met Spencer. This is definitely one situation where I can look back now and I'm really fine with the situation, because of where it led me and I can truly see how much better my life is.
In 2011 I graduated from BYU-Idaho without being married. I would joke with this about people claiming that I beat the odds, when really I couldn't have been more depressed about the situation. I was constantly being asked why I was still single at 25, and I was constantly being asked, "What's wrong with you?" That was my favorite question.
I felt forgotten by my Heavenly Father and like maybe there was something wrong with me.
But little did I know that within 5 months I would be married to the man of my dreams and happier than I ever could imagine. I can look back now and see that even though I compared myself to all my friends who were my age and married and who had children, I wasn't ready to get married until I was older. I needed to learn patience and how to be less selfish.
Don't get me wrong here... I have plenty of moments where I am still waiting to understand why they happened, or what the point was.
And maybe I will never know.
That upsets me a little because I really want to know why certain things in my life have occurred, because I just don't get it.
Some of these things are really deep and really scary and some of these things I've never told anyone, besides my amazing husband, about because of the hurt and pain and damage they still cause today.
Recently, something happened to a friend, a friend that I look up to and admire so much, that I don't understand and cannot see a reason for.
I just cannot seem to get over it.
I'm not going to go into the story at all because it's not my story.
But I once again find myself heartbroken and confused.
The past 6 days for me has been rough because I feel helpless.
I feel like all my problems and worries are ridiculous.
I feel selfish.
I feel foolish.
I feel sad.
I have cried a lot.
I know deep in my heart that everything does happen for a reason, but I wish that I could stop some things in life from happening. I wish that I had a Tim Gunn save, like on Project Runway, and that I could reverse something that has happened to someone else.
I would reverse this moment in life for my friend.
I wish I had all the answers and that I could effectively and appropriately (I am that person who laughs at funerals) express my feeling at this time.
But I can't.
The only thing I can do is pray.
Everything happens for a reason, this I know. But sometimes I wish we didn't have to wait so long to see the benefit that the hardest struggles in our life provide for our future.