Did God Kill My Mother? Loving God Through The Pain Of Mortality

by | Faith

February 2016

I stood at the pulpit of my parent’s home ward, staring into a sea of people and seeing only a few faces. I had been dreading this day, I woke-up physically ill and know that only through the power of prayer and many angels I was able to make it through one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, bury my mother. I was the last speaker for my mom’s funeral service, something I actually took joy in. I had extensive public speaking experience, and I felt honored to be able to finish the service on a note that I hoped my mother would like. It also turned out to be a blessing, as it gave me time to harness my anxiety and nerves as the other participants shared memories and gave tribute to the amazing woman my mother is.

 

The time flew, and before I knew it I had risen from my seat and was standing before this group of people, willing for something my mother would enjoy to come out of my mouth. I remember thinking how somber the day was, as funerals usually go, and remembering that somber was not a word I normally would associate with my mother, ever. I had come prepared with one thing, a story, one that I hoped would make people laugh and lighten the mood. I clung to every chuckle, every smiling face as I told my story and relieved a tender memory of my mom. Before I knew it, the story was over and I was searching my soul for the words to say. I bore my testimony, I bore my thankfulness that I had a mother who understood what life was about, who loved and respected God, and who knew the greatest gift-undoubtably the greatest gift she could give her daughters was to make sure they knew who God was. Not just some mystical being that was a nice after-thought, but knew that who God was in every sense, and knew we were daughters of his and what he needed us to do for him in this life. I left the funeral that day peaceful, reminiscent, relieved, and eternally grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the peace the teachings of God gave my family.

Two weeks later I attended church services at my student Young Single Adult ward. I sat in the congregation, aware of every person around me, but trying to pretend I was utterly alone. I was broken, hurt, confused, scared out of my mind, and feeling cut off.

I listened to the service, willing my mind to relax so my soul could receive the peace it so desperately screamed for.

I remembered how much peace I used to get from my faith, religion, and worshipping services. I longed for that peace, for the reassurance I wasn’t alone at all. I was frustrated with myself and with, although I hate to admit it, God. I knew it was wrong of me to feel this way, but I couldn’t help but entertain the thought that God had killed my mother. I had prayed for years that her cancer would be taken away, that she would be healed, that she would be allowed to continue her mission on this earth. Surely she had more here to do, even if that meant the one thing left was be a mother to my sister and I.

I felt guilty, and abandoned. I knew I shouldn’t be mad at God, but I just couldn’t help it. In a sense, I felt like he had killed my mother and questioned why we were being punished? Had we been too prideful? Had I not taken the church seriously enough in my adolescence? Had my mistakes, and the mistakes of others somehow contributed to this great sentencing? I didn’t know the answers, the only thing I knew was I no longer had a mother on this earth, and I felt so very cut-off from the presence of God.

For a while, I continued on this roller coaster of self-pity, anger, denial, guilt, self-hate, depression, anxiety, and pain. I attended therapy, even though I didn’t want to. I took vitamins and supplements to combat the battle I had within my head daily. I tried to excercise, but I just felt like I was pushing a big boulder up an impossible hill. Finally, I had exhausted myself. Sick of trying different healing strategies, sick of analyzing every possible detail, sick of pretending, of worrying, of hating myself for not being the person I used to be, I let go of control. I realized that I could control the healing process just as much as I could control the wind. I let myself admit that I was angry with God, angry that he hadn’t answered my pleas to him the way that I wanted him to.

When I realized that right now I was only human, subject to the emotions of fear, anxiety, anger, content, happiness, and joy, I let go of the reins. The way I saw it, my soul and heart knew what I needed and they would take care of it. I still went to therapy, I still took my vitamins, but I quit putting a timeline on it.

With time, I came to understand my anger against God, and to forgive myself as I knew he already had. I realized that maybe God really did know the bigger picture. I started to hear stories of people who had my mother’s presence around them. I started to see signs and feel her presence around me, however random that was. I realized that the only way I was going to heal was if I came back to God, came back realizing that I wasn’t perfect, and this life wasn’t perfect, but that it wasn’t meant to be with-out joy. I started reading the Book of Mormon, attending my meetings, and drawing myself closer to God.<

The more I drew closer to him, the more I realized that he hadn’t cut me off at all. In fact, he had been there, holding me as I swirled with pain and grief. He had put blessings, people, experiences, and opportunities in my life that helped me heal. He hadn’t shut me out, I had shut him out. I had exiled myself, afraid of the anger I had towards him and the guilt that came with it. I know now, that God loves me no matter what. He understands what my pain feels like, and he forgives me even before I make the mistake. He continued to care for me even though I ran anywhere but towards the light of the Gospel.

I began to understand that God was merciful, that although my mother’s cancer hadn’t ended like we hoped, it had ended as mercifully as it could. God had supported her and my family through the trial, and continued to support us today. I understood that family was so much more important than education (although this one is still pretty important), riches, pride, and placement in this world. I understood that our life had a greater meaning than what we wore that day, or our date on Friday night. I realized that this life was a preparation, one we had all been anxious for, a preparation for the day we meet God again.

I understand that there is something so much bigger than this life, so much bigger we can hardly comprehend it. I understand that the only way to true happiness and peace is through the humbling of oneself, the accepting of Christ as our Savior, and following him. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that families are forever, and I will see my mom again someday. I know my mom is free from the pain of this earth, called home to complete a great work where she is desperately needed. I know that it’s okay she’s there, that I can share her for the furthering of the work and salvation of souls.

I still miss my mom daily. The pain has subsided and I’ve found my peace with it, but I will always miss her, and that’s okay. However, I know where she is, and I know that one day the rest of the questions will be explained and my understanding will be crystal clear. My therapist has been suggesting I write my feelings about this subject for….quite some time now, and I guess I feel as ready as I’ll ever be. I hope that my family’s experience can bring peace and comfort to those who need it, and bring others to the knowledge of God’s love.

-Lindsey

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When Satan Tells You It Will Never Be Enough

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="26" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] May 2017 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] God and I have been having some pretty interesting chats lately. Mostly it’s been me spilling my guts, the ramblings of my brain, the fears from the deepest parts of my soul, and the constant begging for the slightest hint of relief. Relief from things that many people in this world cry out for relief from, and boy did I cry. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/DSC_0728.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="||on||"] He asks us to trust ourselves, trust in the divine potential we had in heaven and brought with us. We didn’t lose it. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I am so grateful for the atonement, so incredibly grateful. It is such a vast divine truth that I hope someday to be able to fully comprehend at the level it is intended to be comprehended at. It provides relief from sin—and the guilt, shame, blame, and fear associated with it. However, it is also so much more than relief from sin (although, that’s a pretty big part in and of itself). It’s a way to transform ourselves, to move us forward to the divine beings God intended us to be. It provides a safe haven from the storm, a strong hand to hold steady to, a reassurance that we are loved beyond measure, and so so so much more. I knew this then, and I know it now, but what I’ve always struggled with is the actual application.   So here I was, on my knees, begging for forgiveness, begging for relief, begging to feel worthy to even be called a daughter of God again. I was working through pain I had caused myself, others, and vice versa. I was muddling through mistakes years ago and some a little more recent. I was dealing with the knowledge that I hadn’t and wasn’t living up to my divine potential. I was trudging through the disappointment I felt in myself. All the while these nasty, negative emotions swirled around in me, and I couldn’t get them to leave.   I would sit at work and think over and over about how much of a failure I was. I would drive home and the thoughts of failure would drive home with me. I remembered every.little.mistake I had ever made, even years ago, and felt the sting and pain of being human with each and every one. I believed (and still do) in the atonement, but I just couldn’t see how that would work for me. I didn’t see how I could ever confess enough, plead for forgiveness, or ever do enough to qualify for complete peace.   I couldn’t see how I could possibly be forgiven for the mistakes I made. I couldn’t see how I could possibly do enough to make up for my shortcomings. Let me repeat that again, I could not see how I could do enough…ever. I had done the Godly sorrow thing, but I was having a bit of trouble bouncing back from it. I was stuck in a deep hole, a pit of despair you could call it, and I couldn’t see any way out. I jumped, I clawed, I begged, and prayed for a way out, but alas there I was at the bottom still.   I was trying everything I knew how to do. I went to church, I prayed, I read scriptures, I fasted, I talked with close friends, I talked with family, I talked with people I knew were supposed to help me. No one had the answer. No one had the one step trick to letting go and letting Christ take it for you. They all just kept telling me to draw closer to the spirit and keep praying, so I did.   Then, one day all my efforts just clicked into place. I realized exactly where the thought of “it will never be enough” was coming from, and I sent it straight back. You see, we couldn’t possibly ever do enough to make up for our mistakes because we don’t have to. It isn’t our responsibility to save ourselves and the world, that’s Christ’s job. He is the Redeemer and Savior of the world, not you and definitely not me.   I realized that Christ had heard the pleadings of my heart and was oh so willing to take every last drop of pain I would let him. I learned to trust him and to trust in his guiding hand to help me let go of the things I thought I possibly couldn’t. I learned to let him fill in the gaps with his perfect love and mercy. I let him pay every debt.   Christ doesn’t require us to be perfect to be worthy of his atonement. He doesn’t require us to be perfect to be worthy of his love. He just asks us to try, to be honest, to do the things we know we need to do in order to let the atonement work in our lives. He asks us to keep trying, to block Satan out of our minds—even if that means casting him out multiple times a day, and keep trying. He asks us to trust ourselves, trust in the divine potential we had in heaven and brought with us. We didn’t lose it. We were and still are sons and daughters of God, even if it’s a little hard to remember exactly what that entails at times.   Don’t ever let Satan tell you that your efforts couldn’t possibly be enough. Hit your knees, ask God for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, ask him to help you right your wrongs, get up, and get to work. I promise you that it’s okay that you will ‘never be enough’ because Christ already is. He’s done it, he’s paid the price, and he’s just waiting for you to say “okay Lord, here, take it.”   The best part is he will, I promise you with all the energy of my soul, he will.   "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."- 2 Nephi 1:15 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
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Gluten Free Pad Thai

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="27" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] December 2016 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes What You Need:
  • Gluten Free Pad Thai or Rice Stir-Fry Noodles
  • San-J Gluten Free Sweet & Tangy or Orange Sauce
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Assorted Veggies (I like to use broccoli slaw, snap peas, water chestnuts and cole slaw)
  • Dash of Garlic Powder
  • *Protein option: 1 egg
  • 2 cups water
  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0005.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0001.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0004.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] In a large skillet bring the 2 cups water to boil and add your rice noodles, veggies, sesame seeds (to taste), a dash of garlic powder, and drizzle with your sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Don't forget to stir noodles occasionally and add water as needed. When your noodles are soft, cover with a lid and let them cool for 1 minute. Add additional sauce as needed and salt and pepper to taste. *If you wanted the protein option, simply scramble the egg in a separate pan and add in at the end. These are best served hot, but do reheat as leftovers fairly well with the noodles keeping their texture consistently. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Read Me

Life’s too short to not have a nickname

Maybe it's because nicknames to me are a stepping stone. Feeling comfortable enough around someone to start giving them a nickname is a pretty big deal. It means you're friends. And not just the head nod, wave in public because you have to friends either.
Read Me

Don’t Forget To Love Yourself First

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="6" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] January 2017 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I’m going to start this by explaining I don’t really do resolutions, I do goals. It’s quirky, and has a mile-long explanation (as most things in my world do) that I’ll spare you from for now. So, let’s talk about 2016. 2016 was my year of self-respect. It’s the year I learned to say goodbye to people that weren’t building me up, I learned to say goodbye to parts of me that weren’t serving my greater good, and I learned to say goodbye to situations and relationship that were heavy, debilitating, and dragging me down to a place I didn’t necessarily want to go.   I started 2016 a little rocky. I was heart-broken in more ways than one, lost, confused, terrified, and searching to find a new normal in my “let’s just throw it in the blender and hit puree” world. I made a decision in late December that I wanted 2016 to be the year that I loved myself first. The year I had so much self-respect that anything not serving me, my purpose, or my greater good or the good of God would not be able to stand to be in my presence because I had such a flaming self-respect and love for the person I was and would be becoming in my future. Yeah, it was quite the hefty goal and came complete with Rachel Platten’s Fight Song as its own personal theme song. Moving on. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/14102920_10154521704864706_8767812351742770682_o.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="||on||"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Was it easy? No. Did I nail it at first? Definitely not. Am I an expert at it now? Most certainly not. I would love to tell you that at that moment I had some alternate universe life transformation where all the energy of the universe combined to protect me and suddenly I had a self-respect of such a level that man had no way to measure it. Sounds pretty good right? But it’s not the truth.   The truth is I had to work at it, every.single.day. I saved hundreds of quotes on my phone, computer, and any scrap piece of paper that would remind me of the worth that I brought to this earth with me. Did you catch that? Brought to this earth with me. Remember, we all brought an immeasurable amount of worth with us to earth simply by being the children of God that we are. Worth is not something you gain on this earth and it’s certainly not something you earn.   I spent a lot of time on my knees, in the temple, and in a church pew pleading with my father in heaven to remind me. Remind me of the worth I felt before I came here, before Satan’s lies were in my head, before I made mistakes, and before worldly trials convinced me otherwise. I made a considerable effort to be nicer to myself and to others. I quit putting so much emphasis on the negative parts of myself I didn’t like, and instead tried to focus on the positive. I kept a gratitude journal. I surrounded myself with positive uplifting people that knew their worth and mine and showed it through their actions and their words. That’s important. Actions always speak louder than words, and people always show you what they think of you with how they treat you.   Never ever ever ever feel bad for letting people go who don’t know your value and respect you for it. Value, self-worth, worth of others, and respect isn’t something that you can teach someone. Those are things that they will have to spend time figuring out for themselves, and they can do that. That’s the beautiful thing about life, we are all here to learn and grow.   So, like I said I worked really hard at this goal and I didn’t really realize how far I had come until I had an experience that shocked me. I had someone tell me once that “you don’t find girls like you every day. You just don’t. You’re nice, you’re intelligent, you’re smart, you’re funny, you’re self-sufficient, you’re pretty, you have a great personality, and you have a great smile. That’s just really hard to come by, and you….you just don’t find girls like you.” And you know what? I didn’t argue. In fact, if I remember right I either said out loud or something along the lines in my head “you’re right. You don’t find girls like me every day.” Now before you roll your eyes and judge me, know I meant that in the most humble way possible.   This past year I’ve really come to know my worth through my Heavenly Father’s eyes, and through my own and it’s really shown. It is so important that you learn to love yourself first, whether you’re single, dating, married, divorced, widowed….whatever, learn to love yourself first. This applies to relationships, from romantic to family, to friends and work. I truly believe that people treat us how we allow them to treat us. Now a little disclaimer, awful things happen to great people that can’t be explained and is in no way that person’s fault. That is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is we can demand a certain level of respect to ourselves and to others, and people who don’t have that will naturally gravitate away from us. The beautiful part of that is that people who do have that same level of self-respect, love, and compassion will naturally gravitate towards us. That’s just how it works!   This goal is something that I’ve worked on for a year, and I’m certainly nowhere near perfect with it. However I’m a lot better than I used to be and it’s something I’ll continue to work on the rest of my life. Always remember how much you are loved by your father in heaven, by your family on earth and on the other side, and by your true friends. Remember you brought your worth with you to this earth, it is never something you gain here and definitely NOT something you earn. Love yourself enough to demand the respect you deserve and put up with nothing less. Love yourself enough to treat others with the level of respect you would want, and help build them up in a world that is so easy to tear them down. Your worth is something that can’t be measured in this world because it isn’t of this world. It’s eternal, it’s divine, it’s the upmost expression of love and respect, and it’s entirely yours. Never forget that. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Read Me

The Blessing Of True Friendship

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="28" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="11" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] November 2016 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I’ve always had an appreciation for really great friendships. I remember my parents sitting down with my when I was younger, usually after some big fight with various childhood friends, and explaining the types of friendships you find in life. It usually went something like this, “Lindsey, you’re going to have many different types of friends in your life. I have many different types of friends in life, and they constantly change. Of all my friendships, I can only count on my fingers how many true friends I have, and best friends on one hand.”   As a child, I had a bit of a hard time grasping this. To me, everyone was a ‘best friend’, a life-long confidant. I learned through many tears, the second lesson my parents taught me. “You’re going to have many acquaintances in life, you’re going to have many friends, but you’ll only have a few true best friends.” Acquaintances? Yeah, try explaining acquaintances to a child, not so easy. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_gallery admin_label="Gallery" gallery_ids="4188,4187,4185,4184,4190" fullwidth="on" show_title_and_caption="on" show_pagination="on" background_layout="light" auto="off" hover_overlay_color="rgba(255,255,255,0.9)" caption_all_caps="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_gallery][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I’ve taken that advice with me as I’ve navigated my life. I’ve found many acquaintances, truly good people that brought sunshine into my life, even if for a moment. I’ve had many friends, people I spent time with, had similarities with, and enjoyed the interactions of our life. Like my parents told me, I can honestly say I now only have a few best friends that I can count on my hands, and they change all the time.   My acquaintances, ah, let me tell you about these people. They’re the nice girls at work, who greet me with a smile in the morning, bring me a Reese’s peanut butter cup because they know I have an obsession, and ask general questions about how my life is going. They’re the people in my ward that gush with me over Gilmore Girls and the fact that we have all have a serious love-hate relationship with Logan Huntsburger. They share in my love of Christmas, and help me spread that cheer to co-workers and beyond. My acquaintances and I interact on a daily, weekly, something monthly basis, but they’re always there. We’re that little boost for each other, the little ray of sunshine that you sometimes need to make it through a somewhat cloudy day.   My friends, now, these people are fun. They’re the people I met in school, in my ward, in my clubs. We’re friends on social media, and some of us still keep in touch, but boy do we have a lot of memories. These were the people that were by my side while I was going through the various stages a college student goes through. They’re those people in High School that I text every month or so to catch up on the little ones, the mission, the new job, the crazy school schedule, the new boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend, and everything in-between. They’re my people, my fan club, my support system, the basis of too many memories to count and shapers of the person I am today.   Now, let’s get to the big ones, the ones I protect the most fiercely and support the strongest. These are my inner circle, my crowd, the keepers of my darkest secrets, my best friends. These people made sure to answer the phone when I called every single day after my mom died, and congratulate me on making it through the first two hours of the day, all the while reassuring me I could make it two more hours until lunch. These people were there when I was shattered--heart, mind, body, and soul. Completely void of the life I thought I would have, a dream and heart shattered everywhere. They were there, turning on the light, holding my hand, supporting me as I lifted myself off the ground and put the pieces of my life back together. They’re there at 12 a.m. when my mind won’t shut up and I have to talk it out before I go insane. They’re the words of encouragement when I’m not sure if I can ever open my heart and soul to love again, reminding me of the knowledge I’ve gained and the potential of my future. Some of them have fought on my team since we were in diapers, and we’ve come in and out of each other’s lives, shifting from friendship level as needed. Bottom line, these are my soul connections, my family, the people I truly believe I’ve known for eternity. They know Lindsey, and then they know Lindsey. They see my soul and I see theirs, and it’s really quite beautiful to have a connection like that.   Now, the last point my parents taught me was the one constant in life, change. This was as equally hard to grasp as the concept of acquaintances, but I think with the years I’ve become a little more used to it. It used to bother me, the concept of losing friends. With some people I felt such an intense connection, I couldn’t fathom how our lives would ever survive without that. Here’s one thing I’ve learned, where one friend is lost another is waiting to be gained. I value the concept of change, because it brings with it the hope that wherever you are at in your life, you will have what you need through current or new friendships. It’s exciting, meeting new people and gaining perspectives and cultures.   Of course, we don’t lose all of our friends, some we may keep most of our lives, but the beauty of change is that it brings hope, perspective, and brightness for the future.   I’ve moved quite a bit since May, I moved home where I needed friends and people to lift me up as I searched for a job, and God happily provided. I moved to Salt Lake, a humongous city that felt like it was going to swallow me whole, and I needed friends to keep the jaws open, and show me the beauty that can be found in dark places—God happily provided. Most recently I moved to Orem, a city I never expected to live in, and I desperately needed friends. I needed people that accepted me as I was, supported me as I struggled to start on the new path my life is in, and help me as I discovered new roads and perspectives I didn’t know I had. God has happily provided.   I guess lately I’ve just been extremely grateful for the friendship and people my life. I look back and recognize the people that helped me on my way, turning around on their own paths to give me a hand and pull me a little farther up the mountain. There are individuals who quite literally saved my life, and although I have tried I can never thank them enough.   My life isn’t anywhere near where I thought it would be, but I do know it’s everything it’s supposed to be. There are some holes here and there, but those holes are filled with countless friendship that I know God put in my life exactly for that reason. No matter which category you think you fall into, know that I truly love and appreciate each and every one of you. You are needed, you are loved, and you are appreciated exactly as you are. 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