Well, the last little while has been pretty crazy but truly amazing! I found out a few weeks ago drum roll....I got into BYU!!! I feel so blessed and am so grateful to have gotten in! I cannot wait to start my education there in the Spring!
I went to an incredible fireside last week. A well-known blogger named Stephanie Neilson came and spoke at a fireside for my church. Stephanie Nielson was involved in a plane crash and was severely burned along with her husband. The night I went to this fireside, I had been having a bit of a rough day and was feeling sorry for myself, but meeting and listening to Stephanie made me realize how foolish I had been. She said something that really stuck with me... In describing her life before the plane crash, she explained that she had a fairytale life. She then went on to say she feels she has a fairytale life now-it's different, but she has one. What an incredible outlook! I think of the things in my life that I think are too difficult or that I am a little upset about going through and then I listen to her eternal and positive perspective and am blown away. If she can find the fairytale blessings in her life, I can find them in mine.
She talked about savoring every moment. She said living life to the fullest is a state of mind, rather than doing things. Here are a few more of the things she said (paraphrasing): "Hope is like the Sun, which as we journey towards it, it casts the shadow behind us...", "For me, to live in despair is not to live at all", "Hope is one of the personality traits of a Godlike woman or man", "Love your trials and own them. Get to the point where you can say I went through that trial and I did it with grace.", "Beauty is being a woman of God."
Stephanie went on to explain how this trial has increased her knowledge of the Atonement and hope of our Resurrection. She explained that in the resurrection, our scars on the inside will be healed along with our scars on the outside. As I listened to her, my feeling of the Atonement and Resurrection deepened. What a loving Father in Heaven to send His Son to suffer and die for us that we can live with Him again. What a wonderful brother and Savior to be willing to suffer every pain, joy, and any other raw emotion we have ever felt. The God and loving Father in Heaven I believe in would never ask us to go through trials and not intend to be there every step of the way with us, He would not ask people as lovely and wonderful as Stephanie to suffer a plane crash and the feelings and physical and emotional pain following if He had not prepared something to make it worth it. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and although most of us are not asked to suffer a plane crash and severe burns or many of the other physical hardships others bear, any trial we receive is for our benefit and if we stay strong in those, we will be rewarded in the end more than we could have ever comprehended. Stephanie Nielson has true beauty, and I hope we can all acquire that level of beauty in our lifetimes.
http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/ is Stephanie's blog which tells more of her story and is very inspiring.