Wednesday, October 10, 2012

how he made it up to me

this weekend, with the riveting announcement at general conference about a new age limit for missionaries, i had a full circle moment.  the announcement was incredibly inspired and i was laughing at the press conference held afterwards when one reporter from the salt lake tribune asked jeffrey r. holland if they had thought about how this would impact sports across the state.  he was laughing right along with me.  sometimes we miss the big picture, she obviously did as she came back swinging from his laughter.

scott found himself in chicago for the week, gathering with neurosurgeons across the country, talking about important neurosurgeon things.  he was one of the few pa's and for sure the only one without a suit and tie.   we both laughed, conference was an excuse to be without a suit and tie for one weekend.  ah, well.  when i told him about the new age for missionaries, he confided to me that his biggest regret was that i was never able to serve. he said it was selfish for him to keep me from that mission i really wanted to serve.  his persuasive lips kept me from opening that chapter in my life, gladly i might add.

the truth be told, there was a day. six months before i fell for that good redhead, i hit that point where i felt it. i don't know if all mormons reach that cultivating moment in life before they get married or if it was unique to me.  but i found myself completely uninterested in my college course, bone dry in the dating department (that's what happens when you call off a wedding 10 days before the big day), and in the dreary rocky mountain winter months.  i was taking multiple institute classes, working full time and going to school.  whatever the have and have not's of this period, it led to a really wonderful experience for me.

my scripture study was so incredibly intense, and honestly, my heart was pretty broken and contrite after turning marriage away to a really great on paper guy.  i was in a very teachable moment in time.  looking to the future i wanted to see where i was going.  those sweet warm feelings of truth had always been present in my life but they seemed to be intensifying.  one night as my study of scripture in the new testament led me to feel that man jesus christ, i could feel that redeeming love.  i could feel a second of gethsemane and really knew it was an individual moment in time. i could feel that momentary despair of the empty tomb only to be filled immediately with the joy of that empty tomb declaring that he lives.  i could feel the truth and reality of every single thing that had ever been presented to me.  i came to know of the importance of organized religion and the restoration of christ's true church that he organized when he lived on the earth.  i could feel the wonder of the nephites as he descended and gathered and taught them as a resurrected being. it was so real and so tangible.  i knew and instantly i wanted to leave every present comfort and tell people everywhere.  more specifically a place that the lord would call me to.  it was something i didn't quite know what to do with.  instantly, i started saving money and figuring out how much it would cost to be gone for 18 months. i would be able to start mission papers in march.  this was around january/february.  the momentum was building inside of me and soon i was brave enough to tell a few people.  unfortunately, i was met with negative reaction from friends and family alike.  it really hampered my green light feeling.  interestingly, scott was the only one who was supportive. the only one.  and then, something about that friendship turning into something deeper.

i don't regret for one second marrying him instead of going on a mission.  i had a baby by the time i would have come home from a mission and i wouldn't trade her or the hair that put on my chest. as i talked to scott this weekend, he has really carried this guilt with him and i admit to filling with some envy for 19 year old mormon girls.  like maybe an hour of real wanting to turn the clock back.  we have always said we would work hard in our marriage to pay things off and serve a mission as soon as we could.  scott always promised to make that up to me.  i pondered how i would have been different if i would have served, what would i have gained.  and in one sweet moment, i knew how it was made it up to me.

when scott applied for his graduate program, he had all his schools picked out. every single one. and as an afterthought asked me if there was anywhere i would want to live in the country.  immediately i responded with connecticut.  that's where martha stewart lived after all and her infamy from her jail cell had my attention. i didn't even know where it was on a map but it sounded lovely and for sure i knew it was in new england.  he found that Yale was there and as a favor to me, applied. we both laughed about it and i thought how noble he was to apply to an ivy league school to appease his wife.  well, the rest of the story is known.  i pondered that experience of leaving every comfort i had and for the first time in my life, leaving the rocky mountains to live somewhere else. i had the chance to serve with and for good people, i learned how to get along with others because i made a lot of mistakes interacting with so many different types of people. i missed my family more than words can say and yet i learned how to live without family down the street. i learned how to be a wife and a mother.  i learned how to stand tall and how to ask for forgiveness.  i learned about the beauty of being unique in a religious setting. i learned about sacrifice and about that famous field being white and ready to harvest.  i learned how to love my brothers and sisters in and outside of the confines of our designated place of worship.  the lord made missing a chance to serve a mission as a nineteen year old up to me in those two years.  i gained insight into the atonement that i never would have had we never left our rocky mountains. it was a wonderful weekend and i love how he makes things up to us in his mercy and understanding.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Love this, Heidi!!