When you're young, life is full of new and exciting adventures. You feel invincible. You don't realize that you aren't until it's in your face. You have no idea how you will be able to ever survive, how you can continue to breathe everyday. It's just too hard. You're faced with only two choices, get up and move forward or stay down and die. So I got up. I moved forward, one step at a time, one long deep breathe at a time, until I didn't have to think about breathing anymore, it just came.
When I met Joel all I could think about was how wonderful it felt to love someone so much and to be loved the same. We were silly and completely happy. I was young and naive, in a sense. I remember sitting in the temple parking lot after he had passed away and watching a bride and groom walking around the grounds with their photographer in tow. Laughing, feeling all the joy eternity can hold. I talked to them through my car window, begging them to never take each other for granted, never loose sight of why you're here today, or of the love you have for each other and the joy you feel at this moment... because life is hard and you will struggle. Your spouse might loose his job, or you might not be able to have children or... he might die. But right now, you don't have a care in the world, these things are not on your mind. How can they be? Things like this don't happen to people like us, young people, but they do.
There is a song called "Wake Me Up" By Avicii. I heard it many times before, but when I heard my friend sing it, I really listened to the lyrics for the first time. I could relate to so many of the words I was hearing. I was on a journey to finding myself when I didn't even know I was lost. The first paragraph of this song says, "Feeling my way through the darkness, guided by a beating heart. I can't tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start." I am getting through the death of my husband because of my faith. My knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my love for him, and Heavenly Father's love for me. It was dark, this journey I didn't want to be on, I was feeling my way though, guided by my heart and my faith. What was God's plan for me? I knew where to start. I fell to my knees pleading for his help to get me through this. This was MY start.
I can't tell you how many times I wanted it to be over, to be woken up when it was all said and done, when all the pain was gone, the sorrow, the growth, "Wake me up when I'm wiser", I didn't want to have to work for it!! I have knelt many times asking God, "Why me? Why my children? Please help me understand!" It has taken me 11 years to get my answer to this prayer. It did not come all at one time. It has come slowly, 11 years slow, and I know it is still getting answered and will be every single day for the rest of my life. WHY ME? The answer for me was, and is, this: The wisdom and knowledge of feeling God's love for me, feeling the power of prayer, developing a love for the scriptures, learning to rely on the Lord more, and also, to rely on myself, to feel God's hand through another, to be led to another man who loves me, and I him, 8 beautiful children, for more family, for a testimony, for love , to grow in strength and courage. This is why me! This is my test, my test to give me all the blessings that God has in store for me. To help me grow into the woman he knows I am, and can become. And hopefully, to help and serve others, be his hands, and...to KNOW HIM.
I miss my husband everyday. I love him everyday. My heart has been opened and expanded to love more because of him and because of my Heavenly Father. When you wake from your sorrow, when the pain lifts just a little, and your darkness turns into light, even just a bit, you can see the beauty in all of the trials and find the courage to wake up and breathe.