STORY TIME KIDS!
Ok. Once upon a time I lived on the planet Earth. And on this planet, I met a boy who was wrong for me in all the worst ways. And he changed everything about me. He changed the things I loved, he changed the things I avoided, he changed the things I worked towards, and he changed the things I placed at the top of my priority list. And I morphed into a girl who only focused on the boy, and the boy alone. I cannot explain to you how my mind changed. But it did. And I wasn't Amanda Grace Call anymore. I don't know who I was, really.
The day FINALLY came, (I cannot put enough emphasis on the word finally), where the boy who was wrong in all the worst ways, left this new unidentifiable girl. And her changed mind broke into a million crazy pieces.
That will never cease to amaze and confuse me forever. People talk about the pains of "heartbreak" and "an ache in your heart." But I didn't feel that at all. What I felt was in my mind. A mind that had been trained to think only of him, and focus only on the things he expected of me, became absolutely lost. And I couldn't remember how to find Amanda Grace Call again.
So when people talk about the sorrows of being ripped from someone you care deeply about - I know how they feel. Because I literally didn't know how to function without him telling me how I "should" be functioning. I feel like I malfunctioned. Like a computer. I just got all these viruses and started to shut down.
Now, in a fairytale world, I would have met Cole, and Cole would have saved me from this boy who was wrong in all the worst ways, and I would have been fixed by my Prince Charming, and swept away into a far away land. In a fairytale world, it would have been easy.
But this is not a fairytale world.
And I had to fix myself.
But guess what? It was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, and I am 100% positive that God knew that.
I cannot express how important I think it is for a lost girl, to be hurt and alone. As you can imagine, this is VERY hard to explain to a girl who is presently hurting and lost and hating being alone. I probably would have laughed in someone's face if they would've told me that when I was broken.
But being hurt and alone was the best thing to ever happen to me, to my faith, to my relationship with God, to my mind, and to my future with Cole.
At first, all I could do was focus on the pain. It was all I thought about. It was all I talked about. I spent ALL my spare time reading quotes about it, and books about it, and listening to songs about it. Sometimes I would be so focused on it, that I would throw up. It owned my existence. "That's the thing about pain - It DEMANDS to be felt."
And then I went to my Dad's Single's Ward.
Sometimes I honestly believe that's why my Dad was called into that bishopbric. I don't think he realizes it, but the way he magnified his calling healed his broken daughter.
Now, because I was alone, it was easy for me to dive right into the ward. I didn't dip my toe in. I didn't test the waters first. I didn't round up a group of people to dive in with me beforehand. I JUST JUMPED IN. And I cannot express to you how important that part was to my healing. It was VITAL that I gave my WHOLE SELF to God ALL at once.
The phrase "lose yourself in service" is kind of funny to me, because that is exactly where I found myself.
The concept is so simple, really; focus on others and you'll start to forget your own pain. But it is something that can't be told. It can't be taught. It has to be experienced.
I got a calling. I magnified it as much as a I could. I went to every ward activity I could find. I befriended the people I wouldn't normally be friends with. I offered to decorate things, and help out anyone I could. And I started to fit back into my old skin.
I went to God feeling completely empty. And because I was empty, He was able to fill me ENTIRELY up with the things HE knew were good for me.
And I liked the new version of myself even more than the old version of myself.
And then this new version of Amanda Grace Call met Cole.
If I had met Cole at ANY OTHER time in my life, we wouldn't be married right now. I am sure of that.
He wouldn't have wanted to spend eternity with the girl I used to be, and I wouldn't have set my bar so high in the first place.
God knew EXACTLY when to make me empty, when to fill me up, and when to put me in Cole Peterson's path.
And because of that, I have an undying testimony of God's timing. Not only does He know what's best for you, He knows WHEN it's best for you. And I will forever be in His debt for LETTING me break when I wasn't myself anymore, and LETTING me become so lost, that I had to go through Him to find myself again.
You can choose to dive headfirst into a new, better, brighter life - or you can choose to wallow in your despair. Either way, you're choosing. And I honestly believe that.
Happiness is a choice. Let yourself break for awhile, and choose Him.