I've found a new ingredient in my recipe for happy. His name is Chris. And he's my boyfriend.
I realize that in this post, I risk sounding overly sappy - and like I'm getting ahead of myself. But hopefully I can invite you, readers, to come a little closer to Heavenly Father as a result of experiences that have brought me closer to Him as well.
I met Chris after a knock-down, drag-out couple of months. One by one, every piece of my life had came undone. In the midst of these experiences, the Lord would often remind me that all I really needed to do was stay connected with Him and take care of myself -- in that order. Throughout 2011 I had concentrated on doing what makes me genuinely happy, regardless of who I left behind in the process. I told myself every day I need to to trust myself as much as Heavenly Father does. I worked hard to be at peace with a quiet life, sans academia or fulfilling employment or dramatic dating experiences.
Enter Chris. He's pretty much everything I've ever wanted, in addition to a few things I didn't know I need. He's smarter than I am, which reminds me to stay humble. And yet he's got a speech impediment, which prevents his awesomeness from intimidating me entirely. He's so funny - simultaneously goofy and snarky, much like yours truly. He also has this secret emotionally intuitive side that loves poetry and art. And me.
That, perhaps, is the strangest thing of all. I told him today that I'm just not used to being on a pedestal. He gave me a classically Chris "you gotta be kidding me" look and said, "Just because some guy isn't trying to climb it doesn't mean you aren't on one, Sara."
I've always known that, in one way or another. Some days it's been harder to believe than others. Some days people have tried to pull me down. But in the end the fact still stands: I am a chainbreaker. And as such, I am a future mother in Zion, and a teacher, and a disciple. As such, I am pretty great. It's just strange that now, I'm not the only one who gets how great I am. Strange and wonderful. I am so, so blessed.
So, readers. Don't give up. There will be days when it is just. so. hard. Days when your purpose seems impossibly distant, or worse, days when you question whether you have a purpose is at all. But don't lose hope. I testify that Heavenly Father knows us individually - not just who we are now, but what we need now in order to become the people He wants us to be.
Even if that means going through really hard things, to prepare us for our birthrights of joy.