So much is happening in my life so quickly. Sometimes I fight it – because it’s not normal, and I pay too much attention to the thoughts and opinions of man, instead of trusting my direction and inspiration from the Lord. What I’ve had to come to learn again and again is to trust in the Lord and His timing, and not lean unto my own understanding (or the limited views of others). I came across this quote last night and couldn’t help but smile as I thought about how it related to me and my situation:
“…if you do right (there is) no danger of going too fast; he said he did not care how fast we run in the path of virtue. Resist evil and there is no danger.” – Joseph Smith
While I have much to write about, as things in my life are indeed going fast, I am just going to back up a little bit and give you a speed catch-up on my life. Take a deep breath.
When I got divorced, actually the very same day it was final, I starting having strong impressions about someone – no one in particular, just that there was someone coming into my life soon and that I needed to be ok with it. I went to the temple often, and he was always on my mind. I could feel him thinking about me, and I felt that our souls were connected and actually communicating one with another. But I didn’t know who it was, or what to think about it. I had told the Lord I really didn’t want to date for at least 5 years, and that I was truly happy and enjoying my single life … but I also told Him that I was willing to do whatever He needed me to do.
During the process of my divorce, I started writing a long list of all the qualities I wanted in a future husband. I wasn’t writing this because I was ready to start dating again – or anxious to in any way – but I felt impressed to write out a clear list of the things I had learned from my previous relationship and re-evaluate what really mattered in a husband and priesthood holder. Needless to say, my list was about 5 pages long – very detailed, very specific, and very picky. I even split it up into my “needs” and then my “bonuses”. Sounding somewhat prideful, I poured out my soul to the Lord and told Him that I would go where-ever He needed me to go, serve whomever He needed me to serve, and marry whomever He needed me to marry – but I pleaded for no more projects, but for a man who could heal my wounds, unlock my broken heart, and ignite a burning within my bosom that I had never felt before.
My impressions grew stronger and stronger, and my journal entries were long and sometimes very detailed about my future husband – this man that the Lord was preparing for me. I told Heavenly Father that I wasn’t going to “put myself out there” or go desperately looking for this man, so that he would need to bring him to my doorstep – or specifically point me in the right direction. I often got frustrated with these promptings as I let fear, hurt and pride creep in – and I selfishly wanted to be single, free, and safe forever.
Then I met this boy.
We had mutual friends who had been talking us up to each other for sometime. He sounded really too good to be true, and I wasn’t ready to date, or commit, or jump into any relationship. But I told my friend that he could call me and that I would love to talk and meet him – since he sounded like such an impressive and stellar person. My thought process was that there couldn’t be anything wrong in making new friends – especially spiritually uplifting friends and that nothing serious would come of it.
He called me one night. It was April 9th. Immediately we connected. Up to this point, I had been very awkward around men. I had been praying, and fasting, and attending the temple for strength to overcome my trust issues. I couldn’t even look men in the eyes, let alone talk to them. I had a few friends trying to set me up on dates – and I just didn’t feel right about any of them, I was too insecure, and felt safer saying no than putting myself out there and allowing my heart to break once again. But something was different about this guy. Once I heard his voice, everything seemed to go away. My fears, my walls, my worries. We talked for hours, and it was like we had been best friends for our whole life (or longer). I truly felt like I had known him before. We chatted about different things, and I laughed for the first time in a long time.
Our first date was April 11th – 2 days later. Even on my drive, I wasn’t nervous, and I remember thinking how odd it was because I had been so worked up and nervous in the past about dating again. The date was just like our phone call, except better. We instantly connected and talked back and forth for hours. Literally hours. I remember being so uplifted and impressed by the things we discussed. I was amazed at how easily we conversed back and forth, about our similar views and opinions on things, and about how honest and genuine he was. What stood out even more was that we were discussing ideas, concepts, theories, impressions, beliefs, and other things that I had never told anyone or discussed with anyone before – and I felt absolutely edified and somewhat validated in a lot of the things I believe, pursue, and study. I finally found a friend who got me and was so similar to me on every level. It was uncanny.
Fast forward two weeks – we already knew we were supposed to get married. Now doesn’t that sound a little, fast? Unusual? Yeah. I fought it. One night we were talking in his car about some gospel topics and then we started talking about he and I. I was impressed at how honest and open I could be with him about my past relationship and my legit fears and walls that I was harboring in my heart and mind. He told me he wanted to date me, and that he had never met someone like me ever before in his life. I told him I wanted to date a lot of people and that I was not ready to jump into any relationship. He told me he supported me, understood where I was coming from, and that I should do whatever I needed to do – but that he was not going anywhere. It surprised me. Something about his persistence, and faith, and patience – it was all just beautiful. But still, I stood my ground and told him I needed a lot of time and that I wasn’t ready for anything serious. .. All the while, my journal entries were full of impressions and experiences that I knew were very clearly preparing and leading me to be ready for a fast relationship. But now that it was happening, I was very, very, very, frightened.
Frightened of letting anyone in my life again. Ever.
Over the next few days and weeks, I watched as Skyler patiently worked and waited on me. He served me, was kind, let me cry, let me open up about my fears, and was very patient every time I got scared or found more walls that would come up from my past. But all the while he was my strength, my support, and very loving.
I remember one night when I fell apart. I had been listening to some of my friend’s give their “2 cents” about our relationship and how it was too fast, and how I needed to not date for a few months or years. Honestly, that is what I had pictured for myself. And putting myself in this situation was very different. It wasn’t like I was desperate for someone to hold my hand or be there for me, as I am a very independent person. My true struggles were coming from letting him in my life when the Lord was telling me to do so – and I was fighting it. I called Skyler as I was falling apart, told him all my doubts, my worries, and was questioning every miracle that he and I had thus witnessed since being brought into each other’s lives. He gave me the talk, “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence”and had me listen to it on my own that night. I was really struggling because I knew what the Lord wanted me to do, and every time I got on my knees it was very clear, but there was much opposition coming in every shape and form into my life – and it scared me into moving forward.
Other walls have continued to come up since then, and we have to work through them and climb them together. I never knew just how many scars I had until they’ve slowly come up, one by one, in my relationship. Skyler has been more than perfect at being patient, giving me priesthood blessings, praying with me, going to the temple with me, and helping me to understand and stay strong as I heal and move forward into a future I had never seen for myself. It’s beautiful, really, as I see the Lord molding and directing my life into something more than I ever asked for.
After only a few dates with Skyler, I came home and felt impressed to review my list I had made for my future husband. At this point – I was falling in love with him but keeping up all my walls and not letting him in. We were not holding hands, kissing, any of that – just talking for hours on end – and I loved being with him. But I was still fighting the promptings I was being given about him, because I was scared to trust him. As I read the list, the Spirit overcame me and tears rolled down my cheeks. He was every single thing on my list, and then some. He even made every single thing on my “bonus” list. I couldn’t believe it. I opened up to a specific journal entry I remember writing back in March, where I had had an impression that the Lord was preparing a man for me that would heal all my wounds, and be more than I ever imagined. That impression had given me hope in many dark moments when I feared I would never find a man who I felt was an equal match. After date number one with Skyler, I had written in my journal about how impressed I was and how he made me want to be a better person – and that was definitely new for me. It just goes to stand as a testimony that the Lord does know our struggles, our desires, our needs, our wants, and that He is willing to give us all that and more … when the time is right. We need only be patient.
Fast forward to today, May 24th. We have many plans “in the works”and every single day I am more impressed by him and the man he is. I thank God every single day for the blessings He has given me, but especially for Skyler – who is an answer to so many said and unsaid prayers. I am constantly learning from him, growing closer to him, laughing with him, and healing inside … one day at a time. He doesn’t even know half of the wounds he has healed through his thoughtful compliments and acts of service.
My life is not easy by any means, in fact, as we have grown closer and have started looking into the future, the opposition from the adversary has grown ever so strong. But I often look at it as an assurance that I am doing what I am meant to be doing and I know that there is more power in choosing the right than in shrinking.
“The closer a person approaches the Lord, the greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of His purposes.” – Joseph Smith
I’m sure there will be many more posts about this to come, but I wanted to stop and share a very small glimpse into my thought processes and struggles. Life is beautiful and I love where it is taking me, but dating has been much harder than I thought. I thank Skyler daily for being the stellar man that he is and putting up with me and all my “freak out” moments. The Lord is giving him a huge responsibility to take care of me, be patient with me, and love me with my past and many wounds … and he rises to the occasion every single minute of every single day. Our story is unusual, and very fast. But it is right. And I have come to trust in the Lord’s timing and know that when we do what is right and stay close to Him, all things shall work together for our good.