Nov 16, 2015

My Sweet Bavid

Oh my sweet angel. How much I love you, no words will ever say.
I talk about myself and what I go through a lot on this blog. I rarely discuss how my sweetheart handles our tough situations. He's amazing. Dave handles me with such love, care, patience, and understanding. Not only with our battle to have children, but he's amazing with my Bipolar. I could never ask for a better man.

I always thank his Dad for raising him like he did. Dave is a true gentleman because of his Father. Lou is an absolutely amazing Father in Law. I can't put into words how much this man means to me. For those of you that don't know, Dave is the only boy of 7 girls. He was trained how to treat women. His Father made sure of that. Thank you Dad.

Not only did is Father teach him, but his mom taught him how to love. I never imagined that I would ever be loved like he loves me. It's breathtaking, life changing, and the most beautiful experience God has ever given to me. He truly is the most perfect man on the planet. I don't say lightly. Dave is the most incredible human being that God has ever created. He's definitely the most incredible man for me.

I know that Dave was put on this earth to be with me. We both went through so much to finally be together. Crazy thing, Dave and I were both at our best friend's wedding. Truly, 5 years before I met Dave, he was the best man to my best friend's husband. I didn't meet him. Then we worked out at the same gym for years, and I never met him. It's because neither of us were ready. It had to be the perfect time, and the perfect place. It truly was.

I never knew how amazing life could be. Even when it's difficult, and trying, and hard; it's beautiful. This life I'm allowed to live with this amazing man, is more than I could ever hope for. I'm so blessed. I'm so lucky. I'm so grateful, to a loving Heavenly Father that sent him to me.

My sweet Bavid, I love you more than life itself. I can't imagine a day without you in it. You make life beautiful, and fun, and exciting. I'm so thankful to be your partner in crime in this life. We truly are, "Just 2 lost Souls swimming in a fish bowl" that happened to find each other. I love you my angel. Thank you for being you.

Oct 16, 2015

I'm Pregnant....Just Kidding

This is a post that I have held off writing for over a year. When June 2015 hit I knew it was getting to that time when it needed to be posted. I can't suffer in silence anymore, when I feel like I'm dying inside. This will probably be the most raw and real I've ever been on this blog, so hang in there. You might have a bleep a few curse words out by the end. Fair warning, right?

In May of 2014 I got a huge surprise. My cycle had started after stopping for more than 4 years. The doctor's told me that my body had gone into early menopause, and then my body said, "Gotcha!" Of course Dave and I were thrilled so we tried to get pregnant right away. It blew my mind when it actually happened. That's right everyone. In June 2014 I was pregnant. I was also pregnant in August 2014, October 2014, December 2014, February 2015, April 2015, May 2015, and July 2015. You read all that right. I have been pregnant 7 times, and I've had 7 miscarriages. For those of you that have never had a miscarriage, I'm not sure I'll do it justice by putting it into words, but I'm going to try.

Over the past few weeks as I've thought about this subject, I thought about the term 'Miscarraige' it's as taboo as speaking about mental illness in my part of the world, yet 1 in every 4 women will have one. I noticed as women would open up to me about their struggle, I was feeling more comforted and loved. I realized that if they did this for me, than that's exactly what I had to do for someone else. Thus, this post is being written.

The 1st time I lost my baby, I was strangely calm, and at peace. The fact that I could get pregnant at all blew my mind and gave me a HUGE amount of hope. A month before remember, this wasn't an option. I figured the first time was a fluke, but now that my body knows what to expect it'd be fine.

Pregnancy 2 was a little tougher on me physically. I was really struggling. On my 9th week I thought I was home free and I would get this little guy here FINALLY! Then, 4am comes along, and I have a miscarriage. Dave was out of town, so I drove myself to the hospital and sat there by myself as they cleaned me up, and cleaned my baby out. That caused me to sink in a depression unlike any I've ever known. Nothing helped. I found comfort and peace in nothing. I was finding myself hating every pregnant person I saw, every baby that cried, and every baby shower I got invited to. I can't tell you the hell that you're in when you're torturing yourself within your own mind.

I noticed after each pregnancy, and each loss, that I had one day where I was fine. Not fine; I was numb. This was one instance where I welcomed the nothingness. Then the next day would wake up and that crushing pain in my stomach reminding me that there's no longer a child inside me would hit. It took everything I had to get out of my bed just for the bathroom on those days. That's a hurt I can't describe in words. All I can say is that it's the closest thing I've ever known to hell on earth. I never imagined I'd go through it 5 more times.

You would think as each miscarriage happened that I'd give it a rest or take a breather, but I had the baby crave. Once you've had a human life growing inside you, you want it all the more. Every miscarriage I'd go through the same process, and then suck it up and tell myself I could do it all over again.

After a year I went to the doctor and told him what was going on. They put me on fertility drugs. Pardon my french but they are the shittiest drugs on the planet! They make you feel like you're pregnant x 10, yet you're body is just getting itself ready. The best part is when those fertility drugs don't take month, after month, and you feel like you're gaining weight and going through hell for something that will never happen.

Finally after 7 miscarriages, I had to take a break. I had to breathe. I had to refocus and realize that Jill is amazing. Jill as a functioning adult woman kicks ass. Would she make an amazing mother? She WILL make an amazing Mother, someday.

So that's where I'm at today. I'm still at that point where babies send me over the edge, where pregnant mama's make me cry, and where at least once a day I have a pity party for myself. As long as I can keep all the crazy thoughts aside (like God doesn't want to have a kid-I'm too crazy-You'll be a screaming maniac) I can focus on the day before me. I breathe in and breathe out and enjoy what I have right now (easier said than done).

I know some of you will tell me that I'm so young and I have all the time in the world. Time is not what I'm worried about. My psyche is what I'm betting on here, and it ain't lookin too good on my side of the dugout.

Through all of this, I'm grateful for the most amazing husband who always cheerfully says, "We'll just try again next month babe!" or, "I know it's hard love. We'll get our babies here. Don't you worry. You're too good a woman to not be a mom of your own." He's amazing. Dave is my strength, my saving grace, the love of my life, my best friend, and my true soulmate. I don't know what I'd do without that kid by my side. I'm blessed beyond words.

I'm also very grateful for the knowledge that God loves me. He's aware of me. He knows that I'm hurting. He counts my tears, and he holds me as I cry, I never get an explanation, but his comfort is as good as gold. The comfort, peace, and love, he sends me, sustains me. I know I can keep going. I will keep going.

To all of you amazing, beautiful, talented, women out there that have experienced something similar, don't ever be ashamed about it. Don't talk about it as if you did something wrong, because you didn't. You're perfect as you are and some time science just doesn't work in our favor. God is all powerful and in total control, but he doesn't tell the rock slide to happen and crush the couple walking, or the car accident while someone is texting, or your body not agreeing with a fetus and it rejects it. He's not punishing you even though it some times feels that way. He's there for you. He loves you. Ask, and he'll lift you in your time of need.

To all you other ladies still trying, don't give up hope. If I can keep going, I know you all can too! Even if I don't know you, you're in my prayers daily. My heart aches for you and wish I could give you the biggest hug in the world. I'd tell you, "Keep going. Keep fighting. It won't feel like this forever. This time too shall pass. This is but a small moment in your journey, and if you endure it well, you'll come out on top!" I promise. I truly believe that. If you need an extra boost feel free to email me. xo

Sep 4, 2015

Be Fruitful, Multiply, and Subdue the Earth

As most of you know, I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If you follow my blog, you also know that I believe that everyone should have something that brings them hope and comfort in their lives. It doesn't matter what religion, or God, or Mother Earth, that you have faith and hope in. The only thing that's important is that you have your own belief and faith in whatever capacity that may be. That being said, I'm going to talk about a subject that came up in the April 2015 LDS General Conference. I just wanted to prepare you all for that.

Elder Joseph Sitati, gave a talk about the title of this blog post, "Be Fruitful, Multiply, and Subdue the Earth". He taught us that the reason we were commanded to multiply is because it prepares us to be like our Father in Heaven. God loves each of his children here on earth, and those that have yet to come. He loves each of us perfectly and unconditionally. The only way we would be able to gain a knowledge of that love is to have children of our own (however that may be accomplished). Then he said this, "Those that don't have the opportunity to have children on this earth because of something not of their making or will, will have the opportunity to have that blessing in Heaven". That's great and all, but it doesn't ease my aching heart right now. Is that God's fault or my own?

I know my Father in Heaven loves. He tells me so each and everyday with little things that happen in my life. The one part where I question him constantly is why in the hell He refuses to give me children? I know I'm not perfect, and I've made a lot of mistakes, and I'm going to make a lot more, but I'm just as loving, and caring as any Mother out there. I don't understand why some women get this blessing/commandment from God, and a lot of us don't. A lot of the times women who don't want to be Mother's at all because of their circumstance in life, still get children. How in the world is that fair?!

As I sat listening to this talk, I prayed for comfort. I prayed to know why I must suffer through this insanely tough trial. That answer came very quickly, and it wasn't something I wanted to hear. My Father in Heaven told me that this is our (all women that have infertility) cross to bear. He gives us trials to strengthen us, and to mold us into the women that we have always been meant to be. It's teaching us that even though we can't bring children into this world, we can still love the children in this world. We can help them, love them, and teach them about their Father's plan for them.

I'm currently a Sunday school teacher in my church. I teach the 16-18 year old young adults. What I have learned by teaching this class, is that I'm able to love these children as if they were my own. The young adults I teach text back and forth with me throughout the week about life, and the lesson that I'll be teaching on Sunday. Those kids (that's what I call everyone) are amazing. I didn't go to church as a teenager. It blows my mind that these 18 year old kids have the faith and knowledge that Jesus came to this earth to atone for their sins, pains, and heartaches. They know He loves them. They KNOW it. That's something that I didn't get until my 20's. 

Before I taught the teenagers, I taught the 3 year old children. That was the class that taught me about love. Those were the sweet angels that touched my heart in a way they will never be able to comprehend. They changed the course of my life for the better. They taught me, in a very small capacity, what the Savior feels towards children. I love each of them more than I can ever express. I still keep in contact with my sweet angels even though I've moved from that city, and I always will. I truly loved them as if they were my own. I have the capacity to be Fruitful, and to teach the children in this world about their Father's plan for them, and the love their Savior has for them. He did bless me with this gift/commandment. He just blessed me with it in a different way than most.

To those of you women that are heartbroken, sad, angry, depressed, resentful, and just plain pissed off at God; I understand. I know that pain that feels your heart every time someone in your family has a new baby. I understand how badly you hate to go to baby showers, and sometimes you simply just can't show up. I know the anger that you have in your heart with each month that goes by and you don't get pregnant. I know how horrible fertility drugs are, and how devastating it is when they don't work. I get it. I know your heart. I know your pain. I know your anger. I want YOU to know that I love you, and I'm always here for you.

The pain that we feel by not being able to carry our own children is often unbearable. Their is someone that can ease that pain, and cure your aching heart. Your Savior, Jesus Christ came to this earth, bled in the garden, and died on the cross for that exact reason. The atonement wasn't just meant for the sins we commit, or grace from our Father. The atonement was to heal all aches (physically, emotionally, and mentally), all pains, all heartbreaks, and all anger.

Your Savior can ease your heart and soul. I know this because he does it for me all the time. Does that mean that you're never going to hurt again? Of course not. You'll hurt for the rest of your life, but through that hurt and pain, know that your heart can be healed. Your broken heart can be mended, and you will be able to feel of your Saviors love as he sends you the peace you ask for. Remember, "Ask and ye shall Receive". That's a promise from our loving Heavenly Father. Ask for that comfort in the name of Jesus Christ, and he will send it. I promise.

Jul 27, 2015

Project Semicolon

 I don't know what a semicolon means to you, but to me it stands for something far more important that a simple punctuation.

Most of you that read my blog know that I have Bipolar I Disorder. What does that mean? Well, it means way too much to get into right now, but part of it means that I get depressed. At times, suicidal.

Before I was diagnosed with this disease I didn't know what was going on inside my brain. I knew I was different, but I didn't know why. At age 16, 18, and 22, I had to be put in a psychiatric hospital because I had either attempted suicide, or knew I wasn't safe alone. These were some of the most hard, trying, and lonely, times of my life.

I got diagnosed with Bipolar I at age 18. Even after being on medication I became suicidal (my medication wasn't working correctly). I isolated myself, and shut the world out. I sunk lower and lower than I ever imagined possible. I finally got to a place that was so dark, and empty, that I became completely numb. If you've been there, you know that feeling anything is better than feeling nothing at all.

I had left early one morning, walked up this mountain and came to a cliff. I sat there talking to God and making peace before I jumped. I knew how much he loved me, and I knew he'd understand. No one deserved to feel this way. If anyone knew how this felt, they wouldn't ask me to keep going. As I stepped onto the edge of that cliff, an angel in the form of an inspired woman stopped me. She literally talked me off the ledge.

I didn't how I was going to get better, but while in the hospital I found some hope. I still wanted to die, but I also wanted to LIVE. I knew that if I could hold onto that hope, I might have a chance.

Over 10 years have come and gone since that moment. I've spoken to schools, on Oprah, to mental health professionals, newspapers, and government agencies, all over America, with the hope of getting medical coverage for mental illness, AND letting people know that they can learn to live again. I promise, it is possible to come back from suicide. It is possible to truly Live Again.

A few years back I lost one of my best friends, along with my uncle to suicide. It's been my mission from that point on to teach everyone I can that you can learn to love life again, and that it's okay to struggle. It's okay to ask for help, and it's even more okay to accept it.

If you know or think someone is struggling but don't know what to do, simply reach out. Send a text, an email, a phone call, a card, ANYTHING. Be a Savior to someone. You never know what an impact it will make if you don't Try.
YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE (just like mine).

Jul 5, 2015


“If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived.” 
-Jeffrey R. Holland

Each of us wake up everyday with a trial of some kind. If you don't, you're sure to have on by the end of the day. Whether it's trying to get out of bed because of your depression, trying to not take that pill when you know you've already had the prescribed amount, trying to not use profanity, trying to be more polite, or just trying to survive the day. Everyone has trials. The question is, what can we do about them?

I started this post off with one of my most favorite quotes. It's brought me so much comfort over the years. There are times when I feel as though I'm doing everything God asks of me, and I'm just barely keeping my head above water. Then in the distance I see a Tsunami headed right for me. I know I'm going to drown. I know that if this Tsunami hits me, I'm done. I can hardly keep my head up as it is, how on earth am I going to survive this?!

All at once when you're struggling to stay about water the Tsunami hits. You're tossed and turned under the water, just coming up for air every 20 seconds to gasp and then you're tossed back under. Finally after the waves settle, you realize you're still alive. You're broken, and beat up, but you're alive.

Why is that? Why is it when we know we can't take anything else on, the wave comes, and yet we are still able to go on? I've thought about this a lot in my life. When I can't take 1 more thing, and that 1 more thing comes anyway, I still wake up. The sun still rises, and the world keeps turning. I may be bruised, but I can keep going. Again, why is that?

I don't know how many people believe in God, but that's not the point. The way I get through Tsunami's is by getting on my knees. When I can't stand anymore, I kneel. 

He never takes my trials away because God doesn't do that. He has to follow the laws of the universe just as you and I do, but he will send his son and the holy spirit to comfort me. He will send those guardian angels to my side as I sit on my knees, and they'll pray with me. I know this is the case because I feel it. When I can't possibly go on anymore, I feel the strength he sends me, and I'm able to keep going.

For people that don't believe in God, that's fine too. I'm just telling you what I do. If you believe in Good Energy, Love & Light, Karma, or a different God than me, that's the only thing that matters.When you can't do it alone anymore, but you also don't think there's anyone out there that you can ask for help, ask the world to send good vibes to you, ask your God to give you strength, ask mother earth to send Love & Light into your life. Ask because it helps. Ask because it's healing. Ask because it's accepting that you are human, and you have weaknesses. Ask because it'll make you a better person.

There's something very humbling about admitting that you can't do it alone and need help. Why is that so hard? I know when I'm in my darkest moments, those are the times that I isolate and push the world away. Why would I do that, when I so desperately need the love and understanding from others? Why am I ashamed to have trials? Everyone has their "thing" that causes them grief, so why can't we lean on each other and help bring others back to life?

Everything in this life is a give and take. I know some people feel guilt when they ask for help. Next time you need help, and have to ask, remember this; there's going to come a time when someone will need your help and you'll be able to return the favor. Karma is real, and a very beautiful thing. It's something we all need in our lives.

I want each of you to know that I know what it's like to struggle. I know what it's like to lock yourself in your mind and not allow anyone in. Don't think that I'm great at asking for help because I'm writing this post. I assure you, I'm not. It's hard. It's the hardest thing I have ever done, and yet I did it. When I was dying and in the hospital for 3 months, and then sent home to live out the rest of my days (which they gave me about 3 months) I had to reach out. I had to ask for help. I needed people because I couldn't do it alone. It was so hard, but so beautiful. The love and kindness I've been showed will stay with me forever. Thank you.

People want to help, they just don't know how. Most people would be there in a second for you, but you have to ask. You have to force yourself to pick up that phone and call or text a friend for help. Don't stay locked in your cage. Every bird needs to escape and spread their wings. Allow your friend to help you learn to fly. 

You'll always have hard times. You'll always have a trial. Just remember that the reason you're having a trial (or many) is because it's an opportunity for someone to help and love you. Something each of us desperately need in this life. Let people in. Let people love you. Allow them to carry you until you can carry yourself. I promise you, it works.

 “If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.”
-Jeffrey R. Holland

May 29, 2015

He Knows Me

As I get ready to celebrate my Birthday next week, I was thinking about this past year. It's truly been one of the hardest years of my life. I never knew how strong I was until God put me through the "Wine Press" so to speak. I also never realized how much I would grow to lean on my Savior, understand my calling in this life, and feel the love from my Father in Heaven, and so many of You.

There have been times over this past year when I have been lower than I could imagine possible for a human being to feel. It's at those exact moments that one of you will email me, text me, or call me. I know I don't always respond, but please know that your love means more than you will ever know. 

I'm often not able to respond when in my darkest moments. It's at those moments that you all carry me, along with a loving Heavenly Father. I truly believe that he sent some of you here just for me. I can think of a few of my dearest friends that have been there for me, even when they didn't know I was in need. Please know that you didn't just think of me. A loving Heavenly Father inspired you to contact me at just such a time. For this I am certain.

One of those moments happened tonight. I was sitting, studying the scriptures before Dave gets home. It's a very peaceful and quiet time of night for me. Today had been especially rough. After going through hours of Doctor appointments that left me feeling like a pin cushion, I sat crying as I read the words of God. I was wondering if I really did receive answers to my prayers, why did he send me here, what's my purpose? It's something that for so long I believed that I knew, and yet tonight I couldn't pull that inspiration from so long ago, into my brain. I just needed him to speak to me.

Through the tears I read exactly what I needed. At that moment, as I sit there crying one of my best friends sent me a text. It simply said, "I think you're going through something far more difficult than just your everyday health issues. I love you." Oh my goodness you beautiful soul. How blessed and honored I am to call you my friend. How amazing you are, and how much I love you; I will never be able to put into words. Thank You! Thank you for a loving Father, and an even better listener.

We get so wrapped up in religion, and that you don't believe what I do, but it doesn't matter. None of it does if we can't love one another. I mean what is the point to being here, surrounded by human beings who love God, and yet we're not Christlike to one another. We claim to know the truth, and understand God's words, yet we don't live it. How in the world do we call ourselves Christians, if we can't even follow one of the greatest commandments ever given?

Those of you that do listen, and follow him; I thank you. You are the select few that have come into my life at the exact moment that I've needed, and offered nothing but love. I hope one day I can pay back this beautiful gift that our Lord has given me.

Through trials and tribulations are the most beautiful people of the world born. The ones that have walked through fire, endured burning, and go through endless amounts of heartache and pain, You Are the Chosen ones. You are the ones that were sent here to show the world what true Christlike people truly are. I'm honored to be in your company. I'm honored to call you my friends.

As I turn the corner and approach the age of 31, I think about what this beautiful life has given me, what it's taken away, and all that it has left to give, and I'm humbled. I'm so touched that my Father loves me. I'm so touched that He listens to me. I'm brought to my knees by how He knows me. He knows me individually. He knows my heartaches, my pains, my passions, my triumphs; He knows me. Just as He knows each of you.

He loves us. Even at our darkest times, our most weak, and humiliating times, He loves us. He loves us Perfectly. Let me say that again, HE LOVES US PERFECTLY. He Loves YOU Perfectly. For that I will be eternally grateful.

Mar 5, 2015

It's Never Too Late

Earlier this week I was going through some drawers when I came across a journal from 2006. For those of you that know me, you know that I have kept a journal faithfully since I was 8 years old. The main reason I keep journals is because it allows me to work through the thoughts in my head, how I'm feeling, or see it on paper instead of in my chaotic brain. This journal was one that made my stomach turn. This was a year that I didn't remember too well. It was a year I would've liked to forget.

As I sat in my chair early that morning, I started to read through this journal of a girl that I don't know anymore. It felt so foreign that I couldn't believe it was me. The things I was doing at that time in my life don't even make sense to me anymore. It felt so far away, and that was the moment I realized how much I've changed. I realized that it's never too late to change your life, and become the person you've always wanted.

For those of you that don't know me, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was born into the church, but I left at the age of 14. From 14-24 I had nothing to do with the church. I never brought it up, I didn't tell people that I was part of the church, and I stopped hanging out with anyone who was active. I didn't want anything to do with it. I wasn't ready to live that lifestyle, and I didn't know if I ever would be.

During those years from age 14-24 I partied, I drank, I did wild and crazy things, and I thought I was happy. I thought I was having fun, and "experiencing life". I thought that this was what my life was going to be like forever. I never wanted to get married, I had no desire to ever be a mother, and I lived for the moment. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. That was exactly how I lived my life. I don't think this is a bad way to live your life (just FYI), I just didn't realize that it wasn't the way I wanted to live mine.

At 24 I started going back to church. My Dad was Bishop (the leader of our branch) of my singles ward, which was funny because he was Bishop when I stopped going to church too. I went to church every now and then but it wasn't consistent. I started going again because I had reached a point in my life where I realized something needed to change. I had just ended a serious relationship, I had been laid off, and I realized that the life I was living wasn't making me happy. I didn't know what would make me happy, but I knew this life wasn't it. The only thing I could think of was to try to give the church I was born into a chance. I had exhausted all of the other religions I was interested in, so why not?

Slowly I started to feel more comfortable at church. I still struggled with the other single adults that went because well, let's face it; they had never had any of the experiences I had. They really hadn't even come close to going through what I'd gone through. Most of them hadn't even questioned the truthfulness of the church in their life. How in the world would I relate to these people?

My 2nd month going back to church I got a new job as a manager of a boxing gym. On my first day of work I met the man that would soon become my husband. After knowing Dave for 2 months, and realizing he wasn't going to ask me out, I bit the bullet and asked him if I could take him out for his Birthday. He agreed, and our romance began.

After 3 months of dating each other I figured we were getting ready to make our relationship official and take it to the next level. I wanted him to call me his girlfriend. Who wouldn't want that?! One night I was snooping around his room while he was in the bathroom and I found a scrapbook of his. As I started to look through it, I realized it was a mission scrapbook. What?! Dave was a Mormon? How had we not talked about that? How did I not know that the boy I was dating was a Mormon? When he came back in the room I asked him about it. He told me about his mission, and said he hadn't brought it up because he didn't know if I was Mormon. That was a day that will go down in history as the day I started to change my life.

After a few more months of dating we realized we were falling for each other. We brought up getting married one day and Dave told me that he wouldn't get married anywhere but in an LDS Temple. I instantly got sick to my stomach. I 1. Never wanted to get married before now, and 2. Never wanted to get married in the temple. The thought never crossed my mind, and now I was being forced to face it. He told me that he understood if that's not what I wanted, but that's the only place he'd get married.

I was still going to church when Dave and I had the conversation about getting married in the temple. I went home from his house that night, and decided that I needed to decide if this church was for me. Was I willing to change completely from the girl I was to the girl I was sort of scared of, but deep down wanted to become? The truth is, I didn't think I was strong enough. I didn't think I was worthy of God's love for all the mistakes I'd made in my past. I didn't know if I could stop being the party girl Jill and become the "Mormon Housewife". It was time for me to pray and ask God to tell me what he wanted my life to look like.

I'll never forget what happened the following morning after Dave and I had this conversation.  I was out for a run when I remembered a journal that I started when I was 14, only months before I left the church. I had a dream about a "Dave" at 14. He had blonde hair, blue eyes, drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I met him at a gym (yes, all of these things were true about my Dave). Over 3 days I had 3 different dreams about this boy (no I'm not making this up and yes I have the journal to prove it). I wrote about each of these dreams at the age of 14, and then I said this in my journal: "Wouldn't it be cool if Dave were real, and I really got to marry this boy one day. I can dream." I ran home, and searched for this journal. I found it. As I sat there pouring over these dreams, I knew what my answer was. God had told me when I was 14. Dave was the man I was meant to be with.

This was the first time in my life that I sat down and read the Book of Mormon. I had to know what this church was about if I was going to be a member. I had to know that it was right for me before I ever said I would get married in the temple. I may not have been active for 10 years, but I knew enough to know that going through the temple was a major step, and if I was going to do it then I needed to be a ready for it.

A year after meeting Dave, we were going to church every Sunday together. I had stopped going out to clubs, stopped drinking, I started wearing modest clothing (which was a HUGE step for me), and I started to have a relationship with God. I started to believe that he loved me and cared for me. I still wasn't 100% on all the churches teachings, but I didn't need to be. I had read the Book of Mormon and I knew it was true for me. I knew that this was the church I wanted to belong to. It was the one that made me feel most complete. I know it's not for everyone, and I think that you should belong to whatever you feel is the best for your life, but this was best for me.

13 months of dating flew by, and Dave asked me to marry him. It was amazing. I couldn't believe the girl that I was when I met him, because I wasn't that girl anymore. I was still outgoing, accepting, loving, kind, fun, happy, and respectful, but I was different. I woke up each morning and talked to God. For the first time I felt love for him, and I knew he loved me too. I woke up knowing something I hadn't known for the last 10 years. I was a daughter of God. I was special. I was important. I was worthy of love.

Now does this mean that people who party aren't all those things? Of course not! I'm just saying that for me, I didn't know those things about myself until I came back to the church. The reason it took me coming back to the church is because that's when I put forth effort to have a relationship with God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gave me that relationship. It gave me the push I needed to start to become the woman that I not only wanted, but that God wanted me to be.

So many people that I speak with tell me how they feel like they've screwed up so bad that they can never change. I want to tell you all that, that's simply not true. Whether it's coming back to the Mormon church, or going to your church, or even just learning that you have a beautiful soul, with beautiful energy, and learning to love the person  you are, You Can Change. It's never too late to become the person you want. You have NEVER sinned too much. You have never walked so far away that you can't turn around and walk back. I promise you, you can come back. You can decide today that you're not happy and want to make some changes. I'm here to tell you that you can. You can be the person you've always wanted, even if you're not sure what it takes to get there. It's never too late. I know, because I did it.

As I sit here at my computer with a picture of Dave and I on our wedding day (6 years ago next week) I'm touched by the simple fact that I know God loves me. I know I matter. I know I'm special to him. If you don't believe in God, know that you're special to so many. You're loved by so many. You matter to so many. If you don't believe me,  just ask. I'll make sure you know that I love you, and that you're special to me. It's Never Too Late. You can always come back.

Jan 29, 2015

What I'd tell the 300lb Jill.

I've thought long and hard about this post ever since it hit me that I needed to write it. Let me say that my hope for this post is that anyone battling an issue with weight, or any body issue, that they will find comfort in knowing that someone out there in this big universe understands. I hope they know they're not alone because I know many times I felt like I was fighting a war all by myself. That being said, I want to let you all know what I would tell the 300lb Jill now.

Dear Jill,
I know you're waking up today like every other day. You don't want to get out of bed and face the world. You don't want to be looked at, judged, or feel the "Evil Eye" from anyone else. You don't want to see your family and be reminded that you're different. You don't want to feel like a project when someone asks you if you want to go workout with them. You don't want to feel like every eye is on you when you put something in your mouth. More than anything, you don't want to feel unworthy of love one more day.

My beautiful Jill, I get it. You are not alone. There are so many fighting this battle along with you, and they all feel the exact same way as you do. I know this because I've received thousands of emails from people telling me all about it.  How they feel ugly, unwanted, depressed, sad, unworthy, unlovable, angry, hurt, and some even suicidal. They feel the same way you do at this very moment. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Now that you know that, I want you to know some things about you, that you don't even know about yourself. You are magnificent. You are the most beautiful girl in this world. You have a smile that lights up a room. You have a heart of Gold. You're the most kind, loving, caring, and considerate person I know. 

Jill, you're a friend to the friendless. People lean on you because THEY NEED YOU. They don't want to be in your life out of pity or because they look at you as a project. You truly brighten people's lives. You make other people forget about their problems. You make others feel loved, and needed. I don't think I've ever heard you say something mean to someone in my life. Even when others are mean to you, you choose to love them. These are not characteristics of an unlovable and unworthy woman. These are qualities of a beautiful daughter of God.

You are so special. You're special beyond what you can even imagine. You make so many people happy.  There isn't a person you meet that doesn't leave your presence with a smile on their face. You're positive, optimistic, happy, and you always have a smile on even when you're hurting. You ALWAYS put others before yourself. Do these sound like something a horrible person would do?

I know that when you look in the mirror you don't see someone beautiful. You see that your face is too fat, your clothes are too tight, your hair isn't long enough, your boobs aren't big enough, your waist isn't small enough, your teeth aren't white enough, your clothes aren't cute enough, and most importantly; You are Not Enough. I'm here to tell you that You Are.

You may ask how I know this about you when you don't know it about yourself. I know because I was you. I've felt how you've felt, I've cried the same tears, I've begged God for all the same things. I know you. I was you. I Am You.

No one can judge you until they've walked in your shoes. No one can degrade you unless you let them. No one can hurt you unless you believe what they say, and you can Choose to Believe anyone. Please Believe Me. I'll never lie to you. I'll never hurt you. You can trust me.

You're beautiful beyond words. Your physical shape doesn't matter and never will.  The people that it matters to, are people that don't matter. What matters is the beautiful light you have inside. The light that shines through your smile. The light that makes others feel loved. The light that you were born with that has never left, it just gets shaded at times. It's the Light of Christ. That Light is within You.

I know it's hard when you're putting on your clothes in the morning and the tag doesn't read size 4. I promise you that when it does, that won't be good enough either. You'll never be happy with your size, shape, or anything else, until you learn to Love Jill. 

When you learn to love yourself, the rest of your issues melt away. No one can hurt you when you love yourself, because you don't need love from anyone. Your guard will be dropped, your defenses will fall down, and you'll finally realize what was there all along. You are a beautiful woman because of who you are inside and not what you look like on the outside.

I'm sorry it will take some drastic measures for you to find yourself. The  good thing is that even though you will go through some really hard times, and you will do things to change who you are physically, you will get to a place where you learn that your body appearance doesn't matter. You will be able to put on any size clothes, and care about how they look and not what the tag reads. You will walk with your head held high, and not constantly be thinking about what others are thinking about you, because you'll truly believe you are beautiful. You will KNOW that You Are Beautiful.

I've been a size 24 and I've been a size 4. Neither one made me happy. I felt ugly at both points. I didn't accept my body or myself at either size. It wasn't until I stopped caring about the number, and more about who the girl was that was wearing it that I started to feel beautiful. The size no longer defines me. The love I have for myself is what makes me who I am, and I truly am beautiful.

I know it's hard right now. I know you're in pain, and I know your heart is hurting, but remember what you've been taught. It won't feel like this forever. This too shall pass. This is but a brief moment in your life. You will endure it well, and you will become the person you've always wanted to be. The person that God always knew you were, and the woman that I am very proud to be. You are beautiful. You are wonderful. You are Perfect.