I am blogging from my new computer and I think I'm in love...its a perfect pink Sony Vaio (of course, it had to be pink...but only because they didn't have yellow...) I will post pics of the trip to the Rexburg temple later; however, because they are all loaded onto the old one and I just can't bring myself to turn the poor old thing on again...its seven years old and has had better days. I will post them later for you all to see and ooooooohhhh and awwwwwww at.
Before I came back to Missoula, I had the distinct honor of visiting the Rexburg Temple before its dedication with my whole family. It was an awesome experience for many reasons...some of them too special to talk about. As for one of the big reasons that I really don't feel I should talk about, lets just say it started a mighty change or shift in life for someone that I am very close to and that person is working, slowly, on getting their life back on track. Visiting the temple has helped this person to realize what they are missing in their life, and I am so grateful for the sweet spirit that accompanied us all throughout the whole building while we were there, I know that it had a great deal to do with this change.
However, this experience also did a lot for me personally, and I don't mind sharing because I am one who believes that you should share your testimony at every opportunity and be bold.
So, the night didn't start off the greatest. It was snowing, people were cranky and the situation was volatile...which always tends to happen in my family before some great event...but what can I say, they are my family and it is one of those situations where you love everyone for their faults and try not to become too downhearted because everything isn't perfect... I am quite used to imperfection, I think it is one of my favorite things about my family. By worldly standards our dysfunction seems to make us a little closer to normal; however, also by normal standards my family still fits into the rung of perfection where despite differences we all keep trying to love eachother instead of giving up....
Anyway...tangent aside, we, in our functional dysfunction, made it to the Stake Center next to the temple without any scratches or major bodily injury to any party.
I was honored enough to be given the privilege of holding the hands of my four year old niece Macee and my five year old nephew Austin. They were in awe the entire time. It was so fun to watch the looks on their faces. As we looked at the murals in the baptistry waiting room they excitedly pointed out all the animals in the murals to me and showed me that they could name them. They held my hands tight and didn't let go. The spirit was so strong as I watched their little testimonies start to take form. Austin tugged on my dress and said "Aunt B, this is a special place isn't it...we heard the temple was special in primary, now I know that it IS as special as they say" Macee, being Macee, quickly chimed in with a "Me too!" she nodded her head and Austin put his arm around her. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up.
However, the tearing up finally happened. I started feeling funny as we sat in the Sealing Room, I knew the spirit was trying to speak to me. I couldn't be still to listen because Austin and Macee had decided that they couldn't pick a seat in the room and just sit there. Finally, I was able to grab their hands as the tour guides came to notify us that it was our turn to go into the Celestial Room. As we entered the tour guides asked us to be quiet...Austin leaned over to Macee and gave her the finger to the mouth shush (which we all know as the international symbol to be quiet) Their little hands clutched mine even more tightly as we walked into the grand room with these amazing...A-MA-ZING crystal chandliers and light fixtures.
I couldn't deny my feeling any longer. The spirit won out and the tears began to stream down my face. I heard the distinct words in my head..."Be still and know that I am God...it is enough...you are enough...be still...come here...come to me and be still, you are enough..." As these words were rolling through my mind, everything that I had needed to hear after a recent break up, I realized why I had been feeling so funny. I had thought that very soon I would be entering the temple to enter into the marriage covenant...I was prepared...and I realized that for some reason I had forgotten that I needed to care about who I wanted to enter into this covenant with. I realized that the pain of my heart wasn't so much about the lost "love" but about the fact that I had once again missed out on my "legitimate" opportunity to enter into the temple. Then clear as day, I heard my father's voice as if it was calling to me from beyond the veil "You're ready, why haven't you been here yet?" As I was hearing this I had another tug on the skirt of my dress. It was Austin. He whispered "Aunt B, do you get to go to the temple soon?" Trying to hold back more tears I replied "I hope so." He looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said " I hope so to. You deserve it, you're amazing Aunt B. " He hugged my leg and I put my arm around him.
Austin always amazes me...he says things that seem so beyond him, like telling me that I'm amazing. He has this huge vocabulary and I don't think he realizes how smart he is....but that is a story for another day...right now all I want to do is thank my Heavenly Father that I had him there to make this experience even more special.
As we walked down the stairs another tour guide came up and watched me as I led the kids down the stairs. She told the kids to look over the rails to see how far up they'd come. We all looked over and there was the general Macee/Austin ooooohh awwww session. They kept looking over the rails as we went down the stairs. They were baffled that the building was so tall...My heart had wings as I helped them down the stairs...I was ready to go home and try to digest even a tenth of all that I had experienced...I am still digesting it.
After much prayer and meditation, I decided that I needed to talk to my Bishop. I kept thinking, how could it be fair that I, someone who feels spiritually ready to go to the temple, be banned from it because I am not going on a mission or getting married...After more prayer and meditation, I realized I wasn't banned...I just needed to prove that I was prepared and wanting to go for the right reasons. I made up my mind...I needed to talk to my Bishop.
So on Tuesday, I went to his regular office hours. He wouldn't have asked me to be in the temple prep class last semester if he didn't see that I was ready... I needed some direction. We chatted and laughed and I told him about my impressions and all about how I was feeling. I was by no means expecting him to hand me a temple recommend and tell me to see the stake president, which is good, because that definitely didn't happen.
He explained that the new temple policy didn't apply to me. It applied to people 19, 20(etc.) years old who want to go to the temple to watch relatives or friends marry and aren't really prepared for the covenants that they make there. He said that he definitely sees me taking out my endowments this spring... I am supposed to do a reading assignment, write down my impressions, and go back and talk to him after conference...I am very eager and excited to undertake this, I'm not going to lie...
I feel ready to enter the temple. I can't explain it...but I have grown so much closer to God in this last few years...the last few months especially...maybe it is because I don't have my own parents to lean on as much...I don't know. But I have learned the contentment that comes from knowing how God speaks to you and the feeling of peace and security that comes from knowing that you have him at the helm in your ship of life. It has caused me to be able to go with the flow more, I trust that all will work out for the best and that if I have done my part to make situations improve that God will do the rest. It is a very cool feeling...this loss of control... I wish everyone could find this contentment...it brings you to this point of realizing that in reality yes, you have choices to make, but God will always tell you what is right...he will always put you where he needs you and in turn you will be placed where you need and want to be...
Okay... I'm not making any sense. Long story short...my big announcement is that I am working with my Bishop towards taking out my temple Endowment. I am very excited. I feel like it will open a new chapter in my life...a chapter where I can continue to grow spiritually and become more of the person that God wants me to be, more of the person that he planned for me to be.
There isn't any solid date yet, but I will keep everyone posted. Right now, it is looking like I will take out my endowment in May after I get home from school, but we shall see...who knows, I may do the reading and some more meditation and realize that maybe I need to wait just a little while longer.
I am at this point of complete peace and I love it. I wish I could break off a small shard of it to share with everyone. All I can say is, if you want complete peace, give your life and your problems over to Heavenly Father. If you've done all you can do he will do the rest, he will make sure that if you are living righteously things will work out in your favor. Send what you want out into the Universe and it will come back to you...right now I am sending out a vibe for hot chocolate...and what I can to do get that is actually make it for myself...I'm sure that it will taste even better than I imagine though...aren't your senses super cool...so much better than imagination...
Alright...I am talking nonsense. It is late and I need to meet with a man about some sand. The pumpkin hour is upon us kiddies. Good night...and believe me when I say that all the negatives in your life right now are for the greater good. Give the problem back to God...stop wrestling with it, and he will pave a golden path that is smooth and easy to follow...because he loves you that much! Hang in there...I rooting for you, I'm nothing if not a cheerleader!
Hugs and Loves to you all!