Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Turning Point


Benjamin was not my first rodeo.  I’ve been taking assignments since before his great granddaddy was a twinkle in his great-great granddaddy’s eye.  I’ve worked damage control, surveillance, deaths, tender mercies, comfort, communications, and integral interventions.  I’ve protected the innocent and supported those under heavy burdens.  I was in Caen when the American troops liberated the French from German forces.  I crossed the prairies with countless wagon trains and handcart companies.  I lived in the slums of New York just waiting to help a ward.  I’ve danced with the devil, and I’ve used guile to help people see the truth.

I have never, and I mean NEVER, helped someone find a replacement spouse.

The closest I might have ever come was with the Bjork’s.  I helped them find their next child.  Oh what a sad case that was, but with a happy ending.  They had both wanted a huge family, but she had health problems that made it difficult for her to get pregnant.  Finally they had their first son.  However, after seven weeks of a wonderful life, I was commissioned to take him to the veil.  SIDS.  We hate it just as much as mortals do.  I remember Caryn begging her husband to undo what had been done, but he knew he couldn’t. No one could.  It was the will of the Creator, thus there must be some purpose in it.  Eventually, after it had been determined that she was unable to bear any more children, they decided to adopt.  They tried to adopt 13 times.  One success was Michael.  He sadly… was another trial they had to live.  After Caryn and Luke had taken Michael home, but before the adoption was sealed and official, Michael’s birth mother was faced with a dilemma: another family offered to pay her substantially to give them Michael instead of the Bjork’s.  My boss tried to stop her.  He sent Hall in a dream to Michael’s maternal grandfather.  Hall and I were partners at the time and were often assigned to complimentary cases as was the usual protocol.  Hall told the grandfather that Michael was meant to stay with the Bjorks, that they had been prepared to raise him as he should be.  Grandpa told his daughter, Michael’s birthmother, that God wanted him to stay a Bjork.  But Megan, Michael’s mother, had made her decision: she took him away and gave him to the other family.  This time Caryn and Luke had spent two months with their second son. 

My boss can do a lot.  But he will never take away someone’s agency.  Ever.

There is a happy ending, I promise.  I feel obligated to tell you so that you see the original point of my story.  I had helped the adoption process with Michael through subliminal persuasive methods, being an invisible force that gave feelings of hope or frustration.  This time, in order to give Caryn and Luke a higher chance of success, I was asked to go Integral.  Integral means that we assume a created identity and slip into the ward’s life.  In this capacity I became the friend of a young girl named Dawn.  Dawn got knocked up by her 22 year old boyfriend—she was 16.  I both love and hate Integral assignments; I become so attached to my wards that I sometimes forget what I’m there to do.  I thought I was supposed to help her make the decision to adopt out her baby, and then choose the Bjorks.  My boss had done a lot to prepare this couple to receive and raise a son.  And not just any son: Dawn’s son.  But Dawn was already thinking about adoption by the time I brought it up.  In fact, my real job ended up being there to support her while her family criticized her and told her to keep the baby.  With me there to stick up for her, she fought every obstacle that came her way.  It seemed like the powers of Hell were united against this adoption.  In fact, looking back at Ryan’s life – Ryan is what the Bjork’s ended up naming him – the powers of Hell fought against him a lot.  But he was victorious in the end.  Or, well, he was when I last checked.  Eventually the adoption was final, and Caryn got the son she had been longing for all her life.  It wasn’t the 12 kids she’d always wished for.  But Caryn got many opportunities to mother so many children.  I can think of at least 20 who would call her a surrogate mother.  She is such a force!  And Ryan… well, he has great things ahead of him.  And Hell can’t stop him.  Not while I’m watching out for him.



Anyway, the point of that story was that I helped Caryn and Luke find the son who didn’t REPLACE Michael… but filled the hole he’d left.

If I thought about this assignment that way, then Benjamin’s request didn’t seem so foreign.

Yet…

I don’t know.  Love is a hard thing for me to grasp.  I have been in love many times, including my current amour.   But the thought that you can replace one person with another… ick, that just makes my skin crawl.  That’s not to say that I think all widows and divorc├ęs should remain single the rest of their lives, not at all!  I just think each person has a special role to play in our lives and a specific imprint to leave.  You can’t replace people.

Filling the hole, Lina.  Remember that you’re just filling the hole.  You can’t give her Benjamin again… but you can give her another companion.

Filling the hole.  What an interesting concept.  There seemed to be holes in my heart and life that could never be filled, no matter how hard I tried.  Rachelle kept telling me that it’s because the right person hasn’t found me yet.  I tell her that I’ve been alive more than two hundred years; if I haven’t found him yet, who’s to say I ever will?

“That’s your first problem,” she replies.  “HE has to find YOU.”

I hate when she says that.  I feel like it instantly invalidates the men I’ve fallen for before they fell for me.  Like my current love.  Sometimes I voice that insecurity.  She smiles and says, “Evelina.  He has to find you.  The real you.  The true you.  The one you hardly share with anyone.  I don’t mean he has to find you physically.  He just has to be the one that brings out the real you.  Does he do that?”

I sigh.  “I dunno.  Maybe.  I can’t tell.”

“Then he hasn’t found you yet.  So stop stressing.”

Agh.  Rachelle makes it sound so simple.  So easy.  It’s not easy.  Not for me.  Not when my heart gets broken.  And I hate to say it, but every time that happens, I whisper in my heart, Guillaume.  Will you ever let me replace you?

But no one can replace Guillaume. 

Sometimes I hate him for it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wild wild wild days...

I was just rereading my blog and I realized that I post quite frequently about my dreams.  Which reminded me that my trainer on the mission and I would keep track of our dreams.  We would sometimes base our finding on our dreams.  Our theory was, if we showed Heavenly Father that we would TRUST inspirations from dreams, then He would give it to us more often.  CASE in POINT:

One morning, during studies, we shared our dreams.  She dreamed about Winny the Pooh and dreamt about BENJI SHELTON, one of my ex's (and still friend).  I was like, "Why do I dream about Benji on my mission?"  (I must say, though, that there were three Benjamins that I dreamt about at least once a week on my mission.  Benji was one of them.)  Anyway, so I tell her that I don't know what it means, I just dreamt about Benji.  So, later we're porting (porte a porte = door to door tracting, porting for short) and we had decided only to knock on the doors that we FELT we should knock on.  We were in a neighborhood by an investigator, and didn't have much time.  Anyway, so one of the houses has a car in the driveway with WINNY THE POOH hanging from the rear view mirror!  I said, "Soeur!  YOU HAVE TO KNOCK ON THIS DOOR!"  So she did.  The guy who answered it was nice, busy at the moment, and said "I'll be back around two, but I have to leave now."  So we came back at three (we missed our tram).  He was just pulling into his driveway.  We ended up having an entire first lesson with him.  And guess what... his name is Benjamin.

BEAT THAT ONE, BATMAN.

Anyway, I love dreams.  Some of my favorite stories that I've written come from dreams.  And some of the saddest experiences I've had were spurred by dreams.  When Ben Pitman dumped me, for that whole week between the end of our relationship and the wedding day, I dreamt about him every night.  And every night the dream was that he apologized and asked me to marry him.  Every night his method was different.  And every morning, I had to tell myself once again that the man I loved didn't love me anymore.  And that he wasn't going to marry me.  And that he didn't actually come back to me like I had dreamed.

Like I said earlier, I dreamt about three guys named Ben pretty regularly on my mission.  IN ALL FAIRNESS, I didn't call one of them Ben for a long time.  AND IN ALL FAIRNESS, for half of my mission, one of those Ben's was in my district, and I frequently dreamt about my districts.  Once I dreamt that my mission President allowed all of us to go to the braderie, or a giant swap meet thing, in Paris.  I run into my whole district: Elders Moyes, Bishop, Draleau, Weed and Soeur Lee (of course).  Draleau for some reason shuns me, I get angry, but then discover a plot to destroy the world.  We all put aside our differences, and everyone nominates me the leader after I have the brilliant idea to swim with the undertow.  Trust me, that requires an explanation that no one needs.  Then we bring this little five year old along because he has super powers and he's going to help us save the world.  How?  By walking around the arctic circle! 

Totally not lying.

Bref.  So we try to save the world but then the little boy gets captured by the CPS, and I promise him in French (because he only spoke French) that I'll come back to get him.  Then everyone in the district tries to console me, and Draleau explains why he shunned me in the beginning.  Can't remember anymore why he did... but he did. 

OH MY GOSH.  I totally dreamt once that I was MURDERED because of Elder Draleau!  Sorry Ben, but man, this story cracks me up.  I dreamt that Draleau was supposed to pick me and my companion up from the train station in Paris (which in real life was kinda true).  But he never showed.  So I had to take the metro, got seperated from my companion, then a bunch of muslim boys murdered me.  And then Narrator Kacey was like  "Wait.  I'm alone.  Why am I alone?"  Then I realized... Draleau hadn't picked me up.  SO my dream rewound itself and Draleau picked me and my comp up on time.

THE BEST PART IS: I sleep talk.  So my companion who had insomnia heard me shouting "I'm alone!  Why am I alone?"  then I muttered: "DRALEAU."  So the next morning I got asked why I was sleep talking about an Elder.  "What's going on between you two, Soeur Barros?"  And my response was, "That was not an affectionate thing.  I was PISSED."

BWA HA HA HA!!!  There was this big rumor going around that Draleau and I had a more than friends relationship (not true), so I thought he would get a kick out of that story.  When I told him, he said, "You're not helping our cause, Soeur Barros."

Bwah hahahaha!

Shouldn't have left me to die then, eh?
..
That is the type of dreams I would have about these boys.  Oh wait, except the one about Benji that CRACKED me up.  SO I was at this party at my Grandma Carlee's ranch (so many of my dreams take place there), and Benji comes up to me and is like, "Kacey.  I miss you.  Let's make out later."  And Dream Kacey is like "........ uhhhh, okay."  Then a bit later, before the appointed time, I was like, "Wait.  I don't want to kiss Benji. I don't like Benji anymore.  I'll have to tell him that I don't want to."  Then, towards the appointed time, I was like  "WAIT A SECOND!  I CAN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT KISSING BENJI!!  I'm still a MISSIONARY!"

Yes.  It took my entire dream to remember that.

Teehee.  I giggled about that one.  Dream Kacey can be so daft sometimes.  Especially on my mission.

One more Ben dream... I've got to include The Original Ben.  Hahaha, rhymes with The Original Sin.

But that one... that one is not to be shared.  It's ... personal.  Ha.  Me calling something personal enough to keep private.

Dreams crack me up.  One time Tori dreamt that these two people she hated came to her party or something and she got super mad and yelled "GET OUT!!!" at them.  Only... in real life, she yelled at me as I came in late that night and.... threw a pillow at me. The next morning she had no idea.  I told her how I kept still for like five minutes I was so scared that she was angry at me.

Kit speaks tongues in  her sleep. It's super creepy.

Tori's just hilarious!

And Lacey and I would wake up in the middle of our sleep conversations.

And Kim heard me say some incriminating emotions in my sleep once.  And once I declared that I was schizophrenic.  I guess I yell a lot in my sleep.  But then, Soeur Didier did too.  Gosh that girl has volume while she's unconcious.  And I love her for it.

Keep dreaming everyone!  Keeeeeeep dreaming!


"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,"
-- Puck, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Ode to Kimberly Jorgensen

One of my very bestest friends is coming home from her mission tomorrow.  In order to celebrate this, I have decided to post some of the moments we nominated were our best.  Other missionaries were not harmed in the making of these memories... but they were often complicit! 



"I peed on the tracks today.  Like a man."

"Why am I not married???  Look what I can do with my tongue! ... I'm so glad I said that to you and not an Elder..."

The awkward hug/ bise moment, parts one and two.  PLUS: "Je crois qu'iil est un peu seul..."

"Mongolia?  I haven't heard that one before.  What do they speak there?"

"I firmly believe you don't have to try with Alencon.  They are so coince'd out there, they'd fall in love with a brick wall."

"Eve ate the fruit, then she shared it with her husband.  And then people stopped sharing."

"I'm going to freaking find out who created this world!... Elder Gardner, you are officially invited to our companionship study!"

(Elder Gardner is home too!!!!!!!)

"I don't put plastic wrap next to laundry detergent, but French people do.  I'm American.  I don't understand."

"You were optimistic about my sense of style.  I have a hard time buying cute things like pins.  Honestly I have a hard time committing to buying a q-tip."

Kim: We can't really see his bed when we teach.  So that helps.
Me: I know!  My bed is like... no man's land!

"I don't like yogurt with fruit lumps in it."

"I've been doing this for 18 months.  I feel it like an old woman feels 70 years of childbirth in her hips."

"I'm going to try and pull a horse thing and sleep standing up."

"They're all freaking TOURISTS!"

"No!  I don't smell like a homeless flower!"

"I'm not schizophrenic.  If I was I wouldn't know it."

Me: You know that means you won't get married till you're 30.
Draleau: UGH I KNEW IT!
Me: Marry a young girl so you can have your big family.
Draleau: I'm just going to start popping them out as fast as I can when I get home.
Me: Elder, you won't be the one popping them out.
Draleau: Well... okay.  That's true.  I'll just be, I don't know, popping them in?
Me: WHAT?????
Draleau: OH NO!  THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT!
Gardner: Oh my.  At least he's the same in public as he is in private.

Me: Why are they in the same mission?
Kim: Because Will and Grace said so!

"How about when Christ goes to the Americas and they put their hands and feet in His side?"

"Sometimes I say to myself, 'Dear Heavenly Father...'"

"I'm a terrible slut.  I'm a crap hooker."

"Compte tastes familiar because heaven is familiar."

"I have really bad depth perception when it comes to height."

Wendy: Even Mormons have missed the mark on the Word of Wisdom.  There was a general authority who came and spoke in Versailles.  After his talk, he handed out candy to the children!  Even AFTER I told him "Diabetes is an epidemic in AMERICA!"
Kim: (an hour later at the bus stop): I'm sorry we eat candy.
Me: I know!  I eat candy like ten times a day!

"I'm far too dysfunctional far too often."

"I have yet to burn holes through my armpits."

"I'm not worried about him seeing my clothing.  The man sees me dressed all the time."

THIS ONE'S FOR SETH!
Gardner: I just want to sit down with Remy in front of a computer and be like, "Okay, Remy.  Let's go." *sigh*

Me: On the way over we'll call the elders, and by we I mean you.
Kim: You don't want to talk to them?
Me: I'd love to, but you did so well last night.  Did you hear me over there?  I yelled "suck it!" like five times.  Obviously I'm not equipped to handle the phone.

Me: Look!  TWO dragonflies!... their butts are touching...
Kim: ...
Me: Are they..?
Kim: Yup.
Me: Oh...

Kim (holding her glasses like four inches away form her face): See.  This is my real prescription. 
Me: Then why do you wear them so close to your face?

Frere Jeanson kept introducing himself to her... even on her 12th week...

"If God said, 'Don't clip your toenails,' you don't.  You don't ask, 'why?'  You just DO IT!"

"Remy's like a blind date set up by God.  Here's a name, number and address.  Now... GO!"

"Soeur Barros!  He's coming home to the perfect 'How to begin teaching!'"

Draleau: Elder Gardner, Soeur Barros wants to know if there's anything you could do in Paris, what would it be?
Gardner: Soeur Barros, Soeur Barros, Soeur Barros...
Draleau: He's just shaking his head and saying, "Soeur Barros" over and over again.  I don't know exactly what that means...

"Yeah, if I was a smoker, I'd light up after that bus ride too."

"I don't know how to breathe and think at the same time."

"I'm going to marry an RM, someone like Remy, or a mentally handicapped person..."

"I love doing scandalous ones, like Catholic priests."
(That last one is horrible taken out of context.  I was talking about contacting.  And yes, I thought it was both scandalous and satisfying to contact catholic priests.)

"I can just see us in the preexistence.  'No.  This is the Kim, Kacey, Remy club.  You can't come in.  This is our tree house in the Tree of Life.'"

"I'm pretty sure Eglon could eat Reuben's spider.  There is only one way Eglon got to be that size and it's not by eating leaves.  I've seen what eating salad does to people."

Kim: If we have nothing to do when we live together, we should watch YouTube videos.
Me: NO!  I need to look for my husband.
Kim: Maybe he's on YouTube!

Me: I could actually see myself being a very immature spirit.  Really!  I could see myself um.... looking for my husband............
Kim: That's it?
Me: Hang on.  I'm thinking.  It's just hard to think of other stuff I'd be doing...

Kim: Okay.  Red roses.  Hmmmm... what do you think about pearls?
Me: Orange roses!
Kim: Orange roses?
Me: YUP!  As ACCENTS!

This one's for Draleau... Oh she held it over my head forEVER:
"His freckles seduced me today!  I really feel like an Amish person getting turned on by ankles."

Then I had some hearing issues...
Kim: You can't be an average missionary unless you let go of your strengths.
Me: Unless you wear fishnets?

Kim: I don't have anything to wear.
Me: You don't have white underwear?

"If a bug flies into my Neosporin, get it out, okay?"

"In the states, asking if someone is believing could mean anything.  They could believe in a cat.  But asking someone if they are religious is more like Christian, Muslim, Japanese.  Japanese just became a religion apparently."

And finally, my biggest fear that Kim found hilarious:

"I don't know what it's like to just meet someone and become friends.  I've had assigned friends for 16 months!"




I love you Kim.  I just might call your mom's cell tomorrow to yell how much I love you at you.


Sigh.

Preextistence bffs.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My imaginary boyfriend...

Last night I dreamt that I had an imaginary boyfriend.  It was the funniest thing!  He seemed totally real... except when I tried to introduce him to my friends and family.  I finally came to grips that he wasn't real.  He eventually faded away.

I love that I had this dream because more than I can count I have said the phrase "I am in love with an imaginary man."  I just love that my brain finally put that into a story.  Hehehehe.  The brain amazes me.

Do you ever think a song speaks to your soul, only to look up the lyrics and discover that it's not at all what you thought it was?  I totally just had that moment.  I thought there was this song that was about a couple that tried to work but just couldn't (story of the last six months of my life).  Really, it's about an abusive man and a woman who finally kicks him out.  Uhhhh... that's not been happening in my life, so... I decided against posting the lyrics.  FORTUNATELY... the Civil Wars are still amazing.  And their song, even after looking up the lyrics, speaks to my soul at this very moment.  This is my current theme song:

To Whom It May Concern
(by the civil wars)

Why are you so far from me?
In my arms is where you are to be
How long will you make me wait?
I don't know how much more I can take
I missed you but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do
Slowly counting down the days
Till I finally know your name
The way your hand feels round my waist
The way you laugh, the way your kisses taste
I missed you but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do
How I do
I've missed you but I haven't met you
Oh how I miss you but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
Oh how I want to
Dear whoever you might be
I'm still waiting patiently


AHHHH!!!!

I love it.

Sorry, yet another unoriginal post.  But it's how I'm feeling.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Il faut sortir les choses du coeur...

I love how in French they don't say "get something off your chest."  You get things off your heart.  In fact, the direct translation of "I had to get it off my chest" type phrase is "I had to say what was on my heart."

How well that describes what I'm feeling today.

I miss my mission.  So much so it hurts.  Lately it's been worse than usual.  I blame Ben.  Spending a whole weekend with a guy I've experienced my mission with since before day one made a plethora of memories come  flooding back.  Hahaha, especially because of all the photos I was either in or was present when they were taken.  MEMORIES!  Then, the weather has be so Versailles-esque lately.  Oh gosh, I'm having such Soeur Jorgensen flashbacks.  Oh how I love her.  She's coming home on Thursday.  I'm about to wet my pants I'm so excited.  She's my other half.  We are the same person.  One time she told me about some aboriginal tribe that doesn't speak... they read minds.  I was like, "WHOAH.  How?"  She said they just had their minds and hearts open to each other so they could read their thoughts.  So I told her to try it with me.  "No, Soeur Barros."  "PLEASE????  Tell me what I'm thinking!"  "I don't want to!  What if I get it wrong??"  "You won't!  Guess!"  I finally had to bait her with a hint.  And guess what... she totally read my mind.  Okay, not really.  But she guessed correctly.  That's because we could finish each other's thoughts.  It was such a perfect friendship.  I miss her.

I miss my mission.  I miss France.  I miss having a purpose.  I miss being privy to the Spirit in ways I can no longer experience... well, not in a consistent manner.  I miss loving people that I didn't even know.  I miss helping people progress.  But you know what I miss the most lately?

Testifying.

I have been experiencing the Atonement of Jesus Christ in a way I haven't had to in a long time.  And I have no one to help with it!  On my mission I would experience something, then pray for the Lord to place someone in my path that I could help with my newly acquired knowledge.  And He always did.  And now... I have no one to tell.  So I'm telling all of you.

I'm going to share my very personal and honest testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I usually put the Atonement in my tool box used for fixing my sins.  I've experienced that cleansing power in a very real way.  When I start doubting the veracity of the gospel, I remember the experiences I've had with being forgiven of my sins... and all my doubts disappear.  I can't deny those experiences, one in particular.  So yes, I know and never forget to use the Atonement for repentance.  I often forget, however, the power of the Atonement in my other trials.  Like... a broken heart.

Now, I say broken heart because I saw Ben Pitman tonight at the CES broadcast in Clovis.  FIVE YEARS AGO, almost exactly, Ben and I had a big riff over attending a CES broadcast that later contributed to him dumping me. So seeing him tonight in the very room he wanted us to go five years ago reminded me of a bazillion emotions.  Mostly, though, the emotions were gratitude for the Atonement.  Because seeing the man that dumped me a week before my wedding didn't cause me the anguish, or hurt, or bitterness I used to feel.  I didn't feel an ounce of resentment.  I didn't experience a moment of regret.  I just felt love and compassion for the man.

WOW.

I mean, WOW.

Anyone who knew me through that experience probably can't believe that.  Oh how hurt I was!  Oh how sad I was!  And oh how healed I was through the power of Christ's sacrifice.  I accomplished nothing.  I just prayed for help, put forth the tiny bit of effort I could muster, and He did the rest.  He took my burden from me.  He healed my heart.  He helped me find joy in a life that was empty and sans espoir.  How did He do it?  Gosh, I wish I could tell you.  I don't rightly know.  But I do know that I'm as happy as I am grace a lui, meaning, thanks to Him.

This last week I've been trying to refocus myself and remake some life plans. I can't really explain what's going on, but I can list some of the emotions I've been feeling on a regular basis: fear, disappointment, insecurities about myself and my desirability, confusion, loss, and anxiety.  And none of these are the result of me sinning or anyone else hurting me for that matter.  These are just the things of life that come at you, and no matter how hard you think you've prepared, you can't really brace yourself for these things.  So what do I do?  How do I deal with it?  Gosh, I wish I could say that my first response was "GET ON YOUR KNEES AND USE THE ATONEMENT!"

Ha.  It wasn't.

I'm a big fan of denial.

After I got past my denial, meaning last night, I broke down and cried my heart out to the Lord.  I told Him everything that was going on.  All the stupid feelings running around my heart, and all the stupid insecurities running around my brain.  And then I figured it out: Ben.  Ben Pitman.  I had done this kind of thing before.  I mean, totally not the same situation (mostly).  But the same feelings.  So I started stating what I hoped to be true.

Which is, in all reality, my testimony of the Atonement of Christ.

I declared with more conviction than I've felt in a long time that I KNOW Christ is my Savior.  He is there for me during all my trials and tribulations.  He can heal me.  He can lift my burden from me.  He holds my hand as I try to wade through these life trials.  He is ready to help me up when I fall down, exhausted from carrying my heavy heart.

The Atonement, to me, is a personalized thing.  I believe that it can be molded to fit each of us and our trials.  I know that I have felt its power in a variety of situations.

I know it's real.  I know He lives.  And I know that all will be well.

I wish I were more articulate.  But for some reason, no matter how intricate and brilliant I try to make this testimony, and at this point I've written it more than three times, it keeps coming out wrong.  I guess that's because as a humble Man, I don't need to use big words to declare my love and appreciation for Him.  Simplicity is just as sincere and valid... probably more so.

I know that my Redeemer lives.

I know that no matter the trial, faith in the Atonement of Christ will bring you hope and peace.

I know that His Atonement is central to Heavenly Father's plan of Happiness for us.

I know that He loves me.

I know that He loves you.

I wish I could do what the French say, get out the things of my heart.  I would roll all of this conviction and faith that I have into an orb of light and give it to everyone I know.  Especially one person.  A woman I love so much, but have a hard time sharing my testimony with.  Maybe... maybe she's the one that can hear the words that yearn to be declared.

I begged the Lord to take away any future heartbreak.  Being a person who loves people, and I don't just mean romantic love, I am often the victim of heartbreak.  And when I pretend I don't care, the hurt deepens.   So I asked the Lord to stop it all.  That I've paid my heartbreak dues.  And the response was intriguing.  But the only part I can share is that by taking away pain, He'll be taking away opportunities for me to use the Atonement, and draw closer to my Father in Heaven.

I am grateful for my trials.  Not all the time.  I'm no saint.  But I am currently someone who is starting to see how blessed I am to be in the mess that I am.  Because I'm drawing unto my Father in ways I haven't for a very long time.


I love the gospel.

I love my Heavenly Father.

And I love you.  Each of you separately and individually.

I hope you feel a the Spirit a little bit when you read my simple, yet sincere, testimony.

love,

Kacey

Alma 7:11-12

" 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions andbtemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccorhis people according to their infirmities. "

Saturday, May 5, 2012

There's a place for us...

I wish I knew why that song is stuck in my head.  It just is.

Okay, I am going to try and (fairly) briefly explain why I shut down my facebook for a week.  And yes, it'll only be for a week because I can only keep in contact with my members and converts in France through facebook. As sad as I am about turning that thing back on.

Here's the thing.

I don't like that I look at other people's pages.  I mean, I know that's the point really.  But I'm someone who compares myself and my lack of progress to others A LOT.  And seeing some things on facebook just eggs on that sad and destructive habit.  So that is reason number one.  I'm hoping to see that if I don't have facebook to look at, I'll get out of the habit of mentally comparing myself to others.  I predict that the need to compare lives will decrease.

Another reason: I want to see if it makes me happier.  If I become more productive.  I won't get lost looking at friends/ family members' lives for who knows how long.  I didn't check my facebook the whole time I was in Washington, and I was fine.  It's because I was busy doing things, enjoying my days, instead of searching for joy elsewhere.  Sadly, all my mission buddies are not around, so a large part of my socializing is through messages and posts with these people.  But... well, that leads me to my final reason:

I want people to talk to me.  I have friends (and you KNOW who you are) who are considered close friends.  But they rarely talk to me.  Phone calls and texts are just too much for them or something.  And I believe part of it is because my life is exposed on facebook.  They don't have to talk to me if they can click on a webpage and see what's going on in my life.  It breaks my heart a little bit.  I can think of two people specifically that I wish would call me.  I've called them.  I've texted them.  But... I hardly get anything from them in regard. I'll get like a comment, or a "like" from them on facebook.  That does NOT suffice any longer.  If you are my friend, you will show an interest in me, and not just what's going on in my life.  I try to do that with others.  But it's not super recriprocated by some who I value greatly.  And it kills.  YOU.  If you are reading this (and I'm almost positive you are), know that I am tired of putting forth effort with what seems like little in return.  If you don't want to talk to me, just tell me.  I'll stop asking how you are, or what's up.  I'll back off.  I'll go find new friends.  Where?  Heaven knows.  I don't.  But I'll do it.  Because one sided things just doooooonnnn't do it for me anymore.  I want REAL friends.  Not fairweather friends.

Bref.  Does that seem harsh?  I hope not.

So even though I'll be turning it back on within the week, I hope that this strongly decreases my use of it.  I want to be happier.  I want to have real friendships.  And I don't want my status in life to be determined by how many friends I have on facebook, or who my friends are on facebook.

It's all become a little silly in my life.  I don't think facebook is evil or bad.  I think I need a break.  That's all. I'm not judging anyone who loves facebook-- cause I do like it a LOT.  Again, we just need to take "a break".

Well.  There's the introduction to my experiment.

avec amour,

Kacey

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The rain came down and the floods came up...

"Okay, here's some honesty: I was seriously an emotional roller coaster today."
"A cause de moi?"
"Life mostly... it was like I went from feeling relieved that you and I had resolved everything, to grateful for Heavenly Father trying to warn me, to sad about our friendship's inevitable demise."
"Inevitable demise... sounds grave.  We will always be friends."
"Yes I know that.  But you know what I mean and don't pretend otherwise."
"Well yes.  I do know."


The title of my blog today is the first thing that came to my head.  I didn't want to use it at first because it is a kind of gloomy phrase.  But upon singing the rest of the song in my head, I realized that it was PERFECT.

Except the rain part.  I was in Washington from Thursday to Monday morning, and I saw hardly ANY rain.  Riddle me that one, Batman.

Speaking of Batman, I met a really interesting girl on Thursday night.  We went to get froyo, and the girl at the counter had some sweet paraphernalia on.  I asked her opinion on a comic and I think she talked to me for like twenty minutes.  Ben later brought the experience up as an example of how good at making friends I am.  He is a man who gives me more credit than I deserve.  Well, in all proud honesty, not TOO much more credit than I deserve :).

ANYWAY.

So, the point of this blog is to share a story 'bout a man named Jedd... gosh I hope some of you get that.  If not, then I am writing for the wrong audience.  This story is actually about a girl named Soeur Barros and how she was blessed by the Lord.  Actually, this starts before I was set apart.  You see, there was this topic that came into my heart right before I left.  It was a topic that would plague me my WHOLE mission and even to this day.  But, the Lord being merciful, decided to give me a heads up.  I had a dream and then an inspiration during my scripture study the next day about this topic, telling me that I wouldn't have to deal with it until AFTER I was released from missionary service.  Okay, COOL!

Famous last words.
Within a week of being in the MTC, I saw this topic sneak back into my heart.  And the only way I fought off the anxiety that came with it was to remind myself that it wouldn't be an issue till after my mission.  Unfortunately, I let this thing consume a portion of my attention and emotion for the first nine months of my mission.  Until one night, the Lord told me (without my asking, by the way) that "No.  That is NOT the path you will take."

Wait.  Why not?  I LIKE that path!

Nope.  It's not what you're going to do.

Aw mannnnnnn.......

I was okay with that though.  It put the topic back in the recesses of my mind for nearly six months.  Until one of my companions brought up the fact that I would be leaving my mission relatively soon, and that the path God told me I wouldn't take was being presented to me.

"No it's not."
"yes it is.  Look, I know these things.  It is DEFINITELY an option.  I am POSITIVE."
"No, it can't be."  I started to cry.  "God told me NO!"
"Did He say 'no' or 'not now'?  Because sometimes He tells us what we need to hear at a certain time.  And all I can say is no matter what Heavenly Father told you before, this path is being given to you as an option, and you will have to decide to take it or not."

I'd love to say she was wrong.  But she wasn't.  Which sent me into a tailspin of questioning.  Did I imagine that revelation?  Did I read it wrong?  It was one of the most clear revelations I had EVER received!  What was I doing wrong?  Why would God change His mind?  I used to get on Ben Pitman's case about how God doesn't change His mind.  And here I was starting to ascribe to that theory.  It felt so weird.  It continued to for my next three transfers, especially at the end.  The time was drawing nearer when this topic could finally begin to unravel.  I had such anxiety about it, which didn't improve upon my return to life.  Several paths were given to me, each one leading somewhere I KINDA wanted to go, but not really. I had the revelation that Heavenly Father wasn't saying NO to the path I wanted; just that I wasn't going to take it.  Also, that I might not even CHOOSE that path if it were presented. But I still wanted that path that my companion said was an option.  Eventually I let go of that forbidden path, and tried to move on with another one.  Until I came to a cross roads.  Not only was the path there, but the gate was unlocked and a welcome mat was placed at the entrance.  Holy crap.  Do I go down the path I want, even though the Lord warned me it wouldn't work out?  Or do I continue down the path I was on, a path that I knew wasn't right for me.  In reality, I had a third option, of blazing my own trail.  But I wanted that one path sooooo badly... so I took it, firmly abandoning my current road.

The time came to walk down the road, and I did.  Everything seemed to be working out perfectly!  Until the moment came to pay the toll.  Now when you pay the toll on this road, that means you're on it for a while, and you're making a sacrifice.  I had successfully dodged three toll roads already.  But I was eager to meet this one and be done with this kind of path once and for all!  But once I got there... it wasn't right.  It was almost right... but the path wasn't exactly what I'd hope... in some very important ways.  So after some thought and prayer, I had to close the toll gate and walk away.

Here's the deal:  to me, it's sad.  I'm quite sad about it because it means that eventually, what I have now will be gone.  C'est la vie.  But I'm relieved!  Instead of second guessing what I thought was revelation, all my inspirations were confirmed!  I made the choice to back away from this path!  No toll for Kacey!  Not yet anyway.  I haven't found the right path.  In all honesty, now I have the chance to blaze a new trail.  That's freaking me out a little bit.  I don't remember how to do that.  I mean, I've been hoping to take this path for a very long time.  And now, all of a sudden, it's closed.  Yes, I helped close it.  I chose to abandon this road.  That doesn't change how many adjustments, mentally and emotionally, I have to make.

I still feel a sense of loss.  Is that dumb?

I don't completely understand, and I don't have to or expect to.  But now I am here, in the middle of the forest, with a ginormous machete in my hand.  I'd love to say that I'm poised and ready to beat down my own trail.  But mostly I'm just standing here, keeping a grip on my tool, hoping that the conviction, strength, and assurance I felt when I closed that gate stays with me.

It's time for faith, ladies and gentlemen.  And boy, do I LOVE faith building experiences.

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father that loves me enough to warn me, then let me do it my way.  You see, during my mission all I asked for was a chance to walk down that path and decide on my own if I wanted it or not.  Well, after warning me that it wouldn't work, He still gave me the opportunity to eat my cake.  He gave me what I wanted, what I prayed for in faith and in the name of Jesus Christ.  It all worked out more perfectly than I could have ever anticipated.  And it still AWES me how much the Lord showed me His love through all of this.
The day after I got off the path, I went through my emotional roller coaster, referred to in the beginning of this post.  At one point, I just cried, wondering if I'll ever be on the right path, or if I'll have to keep getting pulled on the one I'm on.  And a warmth I can't describe filled my entire being.  I knew that I would stumble upon this path.  That everything would work out.  That I really was alllllll that and a bag of chips.  That another choice will be presented to me.

It's hard to believe sometimes.  But... I choose to do it anyway.

We'll see what adventures lie in store for me now!



The rain came down, and the floods came up.
The rain came down, and the floods came up.
The rain came down, and the floods came up,
But the house on the rock stood firm.



"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon thearock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."