Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm Alive...and All is Well. At least for today.

That storm I told you about here, well I truly had no idea what was brewing. When GK started going downhill and we realized that we were going to lose her it was like an 10.0 earthquake tore through our hearts and souls. We are still feeling the aftershocks.

About a year ago we felt like there was going to be a change with Aric's career we just didn't know what it was. We did our best to listen to the spirit and hear what direction God was steering us in. We got interesting messages that didn't make sense but in the end we felt like nothing real would happen until we lost GK. But when that actually happened we were so caught up in our grief and trying to move on without her, it never occurred to me that a change like this would happen so soon or exactly how insane this change would be. It's like a tsunami after the earthquake, here we are trying to emotionally clean up and rebuild but we can't because this other disaster comes out of nowhere.

Some may say (and a couple have actually have had enough guts to tell me) that we brought this disaster upon ourselves. After all, we are the ones that chose to do this, but what they don't understand is how faith works. We believe that God has a plan for us, this is His plan for us. We have been given the revelation and now we have chosen to take these giant leaps of faith. The choice to do it wasn't that hard, once we knew by the spirit that this was what we were supposed to do, there was no question whether we would do it. But just because something is spirit driven does not mean that it is easy.

It's so hard to talk about this. It's one of the reasons I have only talked to very few people about it. I hate to sound ungrateful for this opportunity that Aric has been given, but it is equal to Camden, the hardest thing we have ever done. This isn't just getting a new job and moving to a new place. This is leaving a career of 12 years, to start over in a whole new industry. It's being unemployed for six months while we pay lots of money for Aric to get trained for his new career. It's not just any training, it's a semester full of information shoved into a week. It's if you get below an 80% three times on your weekly test you get kicked out of the program.

It's leaving the only home and life your children have ever known. Maya just finished sixth grade and Eden 3rd grade. That's a lot of life to have to give up and because we are in Boston for such a short time it's not a place we put down roots...the transition is not easy.

It's leaving a home that took nine years worth of blood, sweat and tears to make it everything we wanted it to be. Which would have some consolation if we knew were moving into an equally nice home somewhere else. Instead we could only pack what I could fit in my car and put what we could in a storage unit and get rid of the rest.

It literally took me two months to go through every piece of paper, picture, piece of clothing, dish, linen, toy, book, food item, game, name it, I touched it and decided whether it went to storage, goodwill, Boston, a friend, a family member or the trash. And now we are living it up in our 970 sqft apartment that costs almost as much as my 3400 sqft house did.

Emotionally it has been tough, and at times unbearable. Especially after I left Aric in Boston and had to finish packing and move out of the house on my own. Being in Liberty Lake without him was torture. Our home was just a shell. Nothing on the walls, we slept on mattresses on the floor. We ate on a folding table on patio chairs for four weeks. Our home had absorbed every memory...every birthday, every Christmas and Easter, every First Friday, every Family Fun Time, every baby shower, every movie night and even that precious night we brought Camden home. It's like I was leaving behind a vault of love and memories. I was not prepared for the emotion that came over me when I had to say goodbye to my home.

Leaving behind the army of friends and family that came to my aid is something I wonder if I will ever get over because I know that I will never be able to repay them for everything that they did. I have a hard time asking for help under any circumstance, but this was particularly hard because I barely knew what I needed aside from Camden care and dinners, there were mostly only tasks that I could do. But I had phone calls and texts daily offering help. I had friends stop by when all they had was an hour to give to fold my laundry, clean my fridge, dust or just talk and give me some comfort. I had bedding dropped off so we could pack up ours. I had lunches brought to me so that I would remember to eat. I had friends plan and carry out going away parties for me and each of my girls.

I wish I had a picture of every sweet soul that walked through my door and offered help and support, these are only a few...just writing this is making me all teary, I can barely see my screen!

I had the young men in my congregation, who used to be my Primary kids, come and do yard work for me.

I had my brother come all the way from Portland on a rare weekend that he had off from work, to come spend time with me and my kids and help get me packed up.

I had my parents make the trek two weekends in a row to help get me on the road.

It's so humbling to be on this side of service, I felt like the service project that never ended. I hated it. When I got to North Dakota the first thing I did...after I slept, was find something to do in my aunt and uncle's house that needed to be done.

So I installed a new faucet, took down and put up a new light fixture and painted one of their bathrooms (the walls went from Hello Kitty pink to Babbar gray). It felt so good to be on the other side of service. I have been blessed so much by so many that the only way for me to pay it back is to pay it forward.

Now that we are here in Boston, I just stand amazed at what has happened to me, to us. The past six months have been the hardest I've ever lived. I don't mean to sound so dramatic, I know that many people have way harder experiences but for me and my family, this has been a time of great heartache and a time that we've had to rely on our faith like we never have before. I hesitate even sharing it in such depth except that I believe that part of this experience is about me being a witness to God's great miracles that he still performs in each of our lives. That His hand is ever present in our lives, even when we don't acknowledge Him, He is still so aware and working on our behalf. I have heard His counsel through many blessings and through the whisperings of the spirit. I have felt angels around me ministering to me and my children during our times of need, on our trip out here and especially when we lost GK. In fact, I believe she has been with us on this journey every step of the way.

I was asked to give a talk in my church before I left on "How God has a plan for me"... I may or may not post it some time, but the quote that instantly came to my mind when I got the topic was this:

"I know that God lives. I know that he loves us. I know that apart from him no one can succeed, but as a partner with him no one can fail. I know that God can make a lot more out of our lives than we can."
~Ezra Taft Benson

Sometimes His plan is hard. It feels like you are in a storm. Sometimes it requires great sacrifice and is not meant to be quick and painless. I still worry about how we are going to get through these next six months and where we are going to end up when it's all said and done. I hope and pray that we will sell our house soon. I worry about Aric and the stress that he is under. I worry about my girls making friends and finding joy in this transition. I worry about me being a nice mom and having the patience needed to be around within ten feet of them at all times kind of patience. But when I let myself get overwhelmed (like every other day) with all of these things it's dark and sad. Sometimes I like to stay there for awhile and throw myself a pitty party. Then I snap out of it and I pray. The peace comes and the strength I need to get through the day comes and all is well. These are the words that come into my mind most often...from the hymn "Come, Come Ye Saints"

"Why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard? Tis not so, all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward, if we now, shun the fight?
Gird up your loins! Fresh courage take, our God will never us forsake.
Oh how we'll make this chorus swell..."All is well, all is well!"

 I took these pictures at the Winter Quarters Nebraska Mormon Pioneer Cemetery...the picture above is the words "Gird up your loins, Fresh courage take, Our God will never us forsake" written in cement below a beautiful monument.

The one below says "After much tribulations come the blessings" Sometimes the blessing is getting to know God better because we went through the tribulation leaning on him for comfort and guidance. Another blessing is realizing how strong we have become for having gone through it.

In a way I feel like I gave my talk all over again...but with all the posts that I have to do, I knew I had to do this one first. Now that it is done, I can move on the the lighter stuff. Stay tuned for LOTS of catching up posts...


Lindsey said...

I know so well what you are feeling, and it does NOT matter that it was by choice. It is still every bit as hard whether it is by choice, or by inspiration, or by no choice. It is just hard, all of it. I know it. And I feel you. The moving part is not so hard for me because I have done it so many times, but I still mourn over the lives and friendships I have left over and over. Luckily, facebook and email and blogs allow me to continue to cultivate those relationships. Eventhough they are a little different. I love you, and if you need someone to talk to, yell at, cry with, I am here for you. Call me, maybe. :)

Nurse Graham said...

Beautiful post, Jessica. You are so wise. I love reading what you write--even when it is personal and heavy. You are so grounded that I know you will be able to find joy in the journey, even when it is difficult.

Ash said...

Well, I hope that wherever you go/end up, you'll find some people like yourselves who are so welcoming and kind and super. Good luck with everything!

just the five of us said...

Jessica, moving is hard! Your post reminds me myself when we moved from Nevada to New Mexico. I had to trust Mike to find us a rental home. I knew it wouldn't be the beautiful home I left in Spring Creek, but I also knew that a house is just 4 walls and a roof. A home is your family and personal belongings (as few items that may be.) My best friend in Nevada told me that I was strong and I could do anything short term. I decided to enjoy my tiny new home and see and do as much as I could with my girls while we lived there. I have very found memories of New Mexico. We enjoyed the history of the area and made new friends. This time in Boston is just a rung on a ladder and your ladder is going up! You don't know where, but someday you will look back and it will all make sense! I promise you that in 10 years you will be so glad for your short time in Boston. Enjoy the East Coast, the heritage of our country, Disney World is a 2 day drive(: eat some seafood and dig for clams in Martha's Vineyard.
Love you, if you need to talk to someone who has been there call me.

Jessica said...

It's so so hard to
Read these posts knowing that they are I get now. :(

We miss you like crazy but truly will love to
Watch the results of your faithful choices.

Melissa-Mc said...

Oh, wow, hang in there! It will only get easier from here right? You are so brave, and will be blessed for doing this.

Elena said...

You did a wonderful job of expressing yourself in this post. You are right that even when you know you're doing the right thing for the right reason, it can still be hard to do. Even though I've only moved away twice in my whole life, they were both life changing moves and hard ones to make.In the end both were worth it but were very hard. I'm glad you have and use the spiriual tools to help you when you reach that breaking point. I know you will get through anything that comes your way. You have a lot of peeps who love you and pray for success. I wish I could be in Boston on the 4th so close to the beginnings of this great nation. Enjoy it for me and know our hearts are there with you.

Lauren in GA said...

This was such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing with us how much faith it takes to I'm not sure that made sense...but I know what I meant ;)...

I think you are amazing and I am grateful for your example. You are very brave and that bravery comes from your strong faith. I don't want anyone to ever make you feel like you were foolish or that you, "brought this on yourselves." You are doing what you know by the Spirit that you are supposed to.

I know we have never met in person but...I know how service oriented you are...and it is amazing how you wanted to serve your Uncle and Aunt, too.

Rochelleht said...

That was awesome! I totally understand how hard life can be, especially when you 'choose' it, but if God tells you to do it, it's not much of a choice, is it? Derick was sooooo hard in the beginning, and still is, but I remember feeling like I couldn't say it to anyone, because it was 'my choice'. Even though, God told me to do it, so I had no choice. I just obeyed. It was great, but still hard. I know that this experience is very similar. I am so proud of you for being so brave. Amazing!!!!!