22 June 2020: Spiritual Awakening

1:20 AM

Somehow I don’t feel like 90 minutes of sleep is gonna be enough to carry me throughout the day.  Tonight was the first major nightmare I’ve had since being out of the hospital.  I’m not exactly sure what I dreamed…I can only remember little snippets, but I am still shaking.  I woke up in a panic…I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think clearly, and my whole body was shaking.  I’m still super on edge and my insides are trying to get out.  The panic has passed…but there’s a lot of anxiety and discomfort and I fucking hate this.  

I’m hoping that if I can pound out a little bit, I’ll be able to get back to sleep.  I suppose only time will tell.  

I was interrupted yesterday as I was trying to write down my thoughts and impressions from the day.  So, let’s start with the positives.

Yesterday I went to church for the first time in months.  Our ward started holding Sacrament Meeting, and the hubs and I decided not to take the kiddos yet, so we went to meetings opposite one another.  It was a strange feeling being at church alone, with no kiddos and not having to wrangle them.  And it was strange that there were only about 60 people in the meeting.  During this whole pandemic, I’ve been really grateful that I haven’t had to go to church and that we’ve been able to just relax and do other things.  But I realized today that I have been significantly spiritually starved.  I haven’t done much with my spirituality over the past few months, and I’m certain that has a little bit to do with my ability to cope with things.  

The meeting started with “I Am a Child of God” and I burst into freakin’ tears.  The reminder that He knows my needs…that they’re great…but that I’ve been blessed with a lot of tools to figure things out.  There seemed to be a lot of ward and stake business…and then the sacrament hymn they chose was “I Stand All Amazed”.  And there was this emotion that hit me to my very core and I sat on the back pew sobbing.  Like, snot running down my face, can’t catch my breath kind of sobbing.  (thank goodness for masks!)  “I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me…confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me…”  I know the Savior loves me…that He died and suffered for ME.  For everyone, but particularly I needed to remember that it was for me.  And how confused I am at why He would suffer, bleed and die for a sinner like me.  For someone who does life so imperfectly.  For someone who is rebellious.  Why?  

So many emotions…feelings of sorrow for my sins and shortcomings…feelings of immense love…regret…shame…unworthiness.  I felt a pain so great…like Jesus was trying to hug me so hard that all my broken pieces would come together and be fixed.  And as difficult as these crazy powerful emotions were…there was something that was incredibly soothing.  Like God was telling me that it’s okay, that all those hard feelings…all the pain, sorrow, regret…that’s okay and He’s there to hold me up, sit with me as I feel all of it.  

A young man gave the talk today.  He recently came home from his mission.  He served for 21 months and came home in the middle of the pandemic when things were getting shut down.  And he could easily chalk up the early return to the craziness of everything, but he was brave today and talked about his experience coming home due to anxiety.  That he wrestled with it and counseled with his mission president and parents before deciding that it was time to come home for mental health treatment.  

It has been years since missionaries reporting in church, or coming home early has triggered me.  It’s been years since it’s felt painful.  But today it did.  As he talked about his experience talking with his parents and telling them he was coming home early…and I felt like I was back in South America as a 21 year old kid going through the same thing, with a very different response and outcome.  I felt the pain, the gut wrenching sorrow…and it was incredibly difficult to sit in those feelings.  

So there were a lot of hard things that happened, but there were also a lot of really good things.  I could almost physically feel God just holding me.  And it sounds stupid…but it’s something that I needed to be reminded of.  That I’ve felt that before and I can feel it again.  

It’s after 2 AM now…I’ve gotta try to get a few hours of sleep.  The jittering has decreased and my vision is getting blurry which signals to me that it’s time to try to sleep again.  I’m trusting that God will throw me a bone and help me out.  

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