"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Answers...or in other words...How I Knew My Husband

Note: I started this on Saturday March 30, but then I left to go watch a movie with some friends and didn't get back to it until now...but I don't feel like changing the first paragraph :)

Today was General Conference! And for the first time in quite awhile I don't have work or ballet or a test or some other random inhibitor, and I can watch all 4 sessions! Yay!!! Me and Trevor didn't get tickets to the conference center this year and we decided to just watch from home and avoid the stress and extra time of driving and traffic and parking and walking. A good choice in my opinion :) Anyways, now Trevor is off at the Priesthood session, and I'm at home doing dishes and blogging while I await his return and we head off to a movie night with some friends :)

A good excuse to reflect on the words of wisdom and truth I just heard from the mouths of apostles earlier today.

As kind of an interesting side-note, David Archuleta was totally in the MTC choir for the Saturday Afternoon session!!
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151447185300043&set=p.10151447185300043&type=1&theater
totally cool :) Thankfully, they didn't show him until this closeup right at the very end of the closing song so people (myself included) didn't get distracted until after all the speakers were done.

So back to the pre-distraction, I usually think at least one or two of the talks are kind of 'meh', but I was pretty riveted on all of them today. Now that I've had a couple hours to reflect and marinate all the spiritual insight that has been poured into me today, the talk I keep thinking back to the most is Elder Richard G. Scott's.

He spoke about personal revelation and inspiration. One thing he said in particular got me thinking. It was something to the effect of, "if you are praying and asking for an answer and don't think you are getting one, look back at your life and see if maybe you have already received it."

That took me back to when I was a young single girl trying to make one of the most important decisions of my life: should I marry my boyfriend?

Right now seems like an especially appropriate time to be reflecting/writing about that since it was exactly one year and 5 days from today that I became officially engaged to my wonderful husband :) And there's no documentation of any of that since it was during my non-journaling years (sad!), so now there will be at least some sort of record for posterity! Yay!

But that's not the boyfriend I am referring to in the question above. He was one before my husband. We dated for several months, and got to that point in the relationship where it's time to decide to either get married, or break up and move on. I could tell we were getting close, so I started praying about it for awhile, but didn't get any obvious answer so I figured I just wasn't ready to decide yet. Then I got a father's blessing a few weeks later that said straight out that I would know my husband by the end of that year. An unusually bold and straight-forward promise for a blessing. It was mid-August. I started praying more intently, and kept asking if he was the one I should marry, but still didn't get a clear answer. I was mostly just left with a lingering feeling of uncertainty and I would think back on all the things in the relationship that I didn't like and wonder if they were just personality quirks I should learn to overlook, or if I should be seeing them as serious deal-breakers.

I was frustrated that I wasn't getting an answer, especially since it was a sincere question with such major eternal significance. But really, I had already gotten my answer, I just didn't realize. Just like Elder Scott said, if I had looked back at all the impressions I had had at various times, I would have realized I had been getting small answers all along. All the times I had been so sooo close to breaking up with him, but decided to stick it out for just a little longer, and all my suppressed frustrations that I knew were a bigger deal that I was telling myself, not to mention off-hand comments from a few friends about how I just wasn't myself anymore. I had my answer, I just didn't look back and recognize it.

Richard G. Scott also talked about how God does not intend for us to fail, and although we are expected to recognize and remember the sacred pieces of revelation He gives us, He will still remind us of the important things if we forget or do not see them. Fortunately, He did that for me too :) One night I felt impressed to change my question from, "should I marry this boyfriend eventually?" to. "should I break up with my boyfriend today?". That prayer got a direct and immediate "No" response. One of the clearest and most direct answers I've ever received. And so I obeyed.

In the days that followed, pieces started quickly falling into place that made it alarmingly clear that no no no we were not meant for each other, and our relationship was pretty much doomed to fail in the long run. Interestingly enough, a few random people who I haven't counseled with at any other time made unprovoked passionate advice-giving cameos in the next few days that helped me recognize what was unfolding before me. God has a way of putting people with something to say in our paths right when that something is also exactly what we need to hear :)

Thanks to those few extra days at the end that exaggerated everything I knew before but was subconsciously downplaying - and threw a few extra logs on the fire - I realized I really did have my answer all along. 

Fortunately we get to learn from our mistakes, and from that experience I learned a lot about what to look out for, what is really important to me in a relationship, and most importantly, I learned to pay attention to the day-to-day answers that come. So then when the next boy came along (Me and Trevor started talking 5 days after the breakup and started dating about a month after that), I was ready :)

I guess I kind of knew even from the beginning that there was definitely some marriage potential in this guy. The red flags I was used to and was afraid of just weren't there. Not only that, he also had a lot of strengths that I had been wishing for. Plus he was just so wonderful and made me so happy all the time! I remember telling my friends and family at home over Christmas break (2-3 months into our official relationship) that something would have to go really really unexpectedly wrong for me to not want to marry him :)

A month or so later I started the marriage question praying thing again. This time instead of re-asking for a "yes" or "no" answer each day, I prayed that if there was some issue or anything that would be a big problem in our relationship, or reason not to marry him, that it would come up and that I would recognize it. Sure there were small or moderate-sized issues that came up like normal, but they were all things we could work through, or were minor enough that they fell more into the "annoyances" category than "life problems" one. One day in particular I was a little upset about something he did so I prayed about it and decided to keep a list in my journal every night of things Trevor did that I liked and things I didn't. That didn't even last one day. After writing down all the awesome things he had done for me that day, I just couldn't even bring myself to write down whatever it was that had upset me because I realized it was just so stupid, not to mention I was just completely smitten with him all over again after re-realizing how wonderful he was :) And now I don't even remember what he did that I was upset about.

Over the next few weeks me and Trevor had a couple serious conversations about the possibility of marriage, future plans and goals, what we expected from our future spouse, potential fears for our relationship down the road and how we can avoid them from becoming reality, and basically just the logical pros and cons to marrying each other. Overall we concluded it was a logically advantageous decision to marry :) Totally unromantic, I know, but what can I say? My Trevor is a very smart, logical man :) And truthfully, even in matters of the heart you really need to use your head a lot if you want to be happy in the end.

So after we had all that important business material taken care of, we decided to take a week or two to really think about it and decide if it was really what we wanted, and to ask the Lord. We chose March 19th to be our day to try to have our decisions by, and focused on fasting and praying, and spent some time in the temple pondering.

Even though the situation was completely different than the relationship I was in before, I was still a little hesitant to pray and ask for a direct "yes" or "no" like before because I didn't want to get stuck with the same uncertain muddled confused feeling I hated getting all those times I had asked about the other boyfriend. I knew I needed some sort of ultimatum answer or confirmation though to back up my positive reassurances up until that point, so finally, the night before the 19th, I pulled out my scriptures yet again to study and pray. My roommate was asleep already, so I sat on the bathroom floor so I would have some light to read by. After reading for a bit I started praying and asked if marrying Trevor was really what I wanted to do, and if I would be happy as his wife, and if he would help me be all things I want to be and should be. Aaaand once again, I didn't get a "yes" or "no", because I already had been given my answer. Instead of a direct commanding answer it felt almost like a good-natured "well why don't you tell me?", just like if I had gone up to my dad and asked, "do I think brownies are delicious?" Of course I do :)

And lucky for me, Trevor felt the same way! So a week later he officially proposed, and now, over a year later, we're married and living our happily ever after!

God will always give you the answers you need. Just keep on looking and listening :)

us happy little newly-engageders after the official proposal :)

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