With the overcast skies and the bright blooming flowers all over campus, I am feeling especially nostalgic and inspired today. It’s been years since I have posted, but I am finally at a point where I’ve decided to try and weed out all of the chains in my life, fear being the biggest root of them all. To preface this post just a bit, I think it would be best to go back a few years and explain why fear would ever play a part in writing a blog.
Two years ago I felt like I had things figured out. I thought I understood who I was, what I wanted from life and what life wanted from me. Looking back now, I see through the masked grin that I plastered to my face. Writing back then was easy for me because I thought I had things figured out. I was confident in what I wanted to say. Things haven’t been so easy due to what has happened since those days.
Two years ago I decided to leave Utah and serve a mission for my church for 18 months. I served in Portland, Oregon and fell in love with the lifestyle, culture, and scenery. Portland was a time where I came to understand that I actually didn’t have anything figured out and that life as I knew it wasn’t exactly reality. During my time in Portland I changed. I saw the rawest parts of life where I came to see that I have had it pretty easy my entire life. I saw in the eyes of the people that I met pain that was foreign to my understanding. I longed to ease their pain, but I was helpless, only God could bring them healing. I saw and felt incredible things while in Portland. I spent all of my time trying to teach people about Jesus Christ, and why Jesus Christ would ever be relevant to them in their “Portlandish” lives. What I have come to know as truth through study, and experience is that when we choose to believe in Jesus Christ, learn of Him, and then test out His word, we experience the ability to change anything in our lives and to become our best selves. I saw that happen over and over again with the people of Portland, Oregon, and I even began to see it happening within myself.
With all of the change that I experienced while serving my mission, I came home after 18 months and realized that I didn’t want the same things out of life that I used to want. I didn’t feel like I had anything figured anymore. I craved change. Not just any kind of change, but the change that only a higher power, Jesus Christ, could offer. Change that cleansed and healed as it went through you, not the change of abandonment, scars and defeat that I knew before.
It is because of this change that I have been scared to write. Scared to let go of who I used to be. During my mission my old blogs and writings were somehow all deleted and destroyed. I came home to ash, having only my memories of what I wrote burning through my head. I was angry, upset and hurt. I had changed so much on my mission, and felt like God had given me a second chance at life, but I still wanted to hold on to my old life. I think all of us are like that at time… wanting change but unwilling to let ALL of the old go. We want to hold on to just a little tiny bit of it. I came home and didn’t have a choice. Time has helped me to realize that it was a gift to be given a completely clean slate. My fear has been that I won’t be able to write or express myself the way that I was before, but now I am seeing that I can write about the world through different lenses now. I’ve seen so much and felt so much. I can still be a beautiful writer. I can still inspire change within myself and others. I’ve been reluctant to let all of my old desires go, but I’m ready to become something greater. I’m ready to let myself change and to BE inspired every day. Just like a budding flower in the early spring, I am vulnerable and exposed but I am not afraid.