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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Gluten Free Almond Flour Banana Bread (Easy Guide)

[et_pb_section transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="on" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title title="on" meta="on" author="on" date="off" categories="on" 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)" admin_label="Post_Title" 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_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_number_counter number="31" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" admin_label="Number Counter" number_font="Lora||||" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] March 2019 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

Here's my latest recipe for easy gluten free banana bread using almond flour.

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 1 1/2 - 2 mashed ripe bananas
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • generous helping of chocolate chips
    • 1 tbls of butter or butter replacement
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 small bread pans or 1 large bread pan
    • coconut oil
    • 1/8 cup oats (optional)- if you do add oats, be sure to add at least 2 ripe bananas so the texture of the bread isn't dry
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="3_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/DSC_0178.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="||on||" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]
  • Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350* F
  • Coat your pans with a generous amount of coconut oil (I like to spread it on with a paper towel so it's even)
  • Combine almond flour, (optional) oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla and egg and stir
  • After mashing bananas in a separate bowl, stir those in as well
  • The final touch is adding as many chocolate chips as you like (I go for the generous side of things)
  • Pour batter into one large bread pan, or split evenly between the two small (batter should be 1/2-3/4 the way up the smaller bread pans. If using a larger bread pan spread it more thinly so the inside can cook as well.)
  • Bake at 350* F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the middle of the loaf and removed cleanly. Cooking time may be shorter if you use multiple smaller bread pans.
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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

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. [/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

It’s on you: To the guy who catcalled me today

I’m a pretty cautious person in general. I always wear my seat belt, I carry pepper spray and I always check my backseat when getting into the car. It was natural for me to glance in my rear view mirror before opening my door. I bet you saw me do a double take, when I realized you and your friend were leaning against the car, staring and waiting.
Read Me

I’ve decided to try to be a poet

One of my closest friends in the whole wide world is an absolutely brilliant poet. After begging her to read me one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever heard, (which she wrote), I asked why she wrote poetry.
Read Me