For all of you who know, or don't know, I was engaged for a week and a half and then my fiance left me. The details of why or how are not so important at this time, I write to tell you the life lessons that came about when I lost, who I thought to be, the love of my life.
People will (and have) criticize me for going so quickly in the relationship. We were together for 3 months total. Some have said I was "naive" and "foolish" others told me that I had it coming because, obviously, how could you know someone in 3 months. But I just don't care what these people think. I was following the spirit. The spirit was telling me "go on, it will all be ok." Every obstacle stopping me from continuing the relationship, (either my own feelings or his own mistakes) I would pray fervently if he was the right person to be with and my answer was always "go on, it will all be ok." I forgave him for his faults, I sucked up my fear and I "went on" because I knew it was all going to be ok.
Little did I know...
"Ok" to God and "Ok" to us human beings are two VERY different things. Why I haven't figured this out yet, is astounding!
So there I was, standing on my front porch fiance-less and ring-less, feeling the most intense sense of loss and abandonment. (Interestingly enough, being abandoned has been my biggest fear for some time.) And in that moment, my worst fears didn't just creep up on me, they jumped me at my most vulnerable state of being. Over the next week or so I mourned the loss of my future marriage and husband, but mostly, I mourned the loss of my best friend. I was actually keeping things together and glad that I could move on so quickly. But after experiencing a *burnt toast moment, I came to realize my biggest predicament.
I was abandoned. And it hurt.
So at 1:30 in the morning I frantically called my sister, Rachel. (Who has been a HUGE help in all of this). I called her and blurted out desperately, "Rachel, I was just abandoned. I was just faced with my biggest fear and it hurt more than I could imagine." After over 2 hours of talking she brought up a very good point; I was confronted with my biggest fear, and I turned out just fine. What a huge realization this was! As hard as this loss is, it's not the hardest thing I've ever dealt with. A bolt of lightning struck me "Liz, you're ok."
So what are these life lessons, you ask? Well, one of them happens to be that I can do hard things. I have overcome death, disease, loss, abuse, and the pain that comes from my own sins, and I have come out the victor. (Of course none of this can have been accomplished without the Savior and the Atonement). Another is: having to face my fears is incredibly freeing. I was so desperate to not be abandoned that I was begging him to stay and offering up the best parts about me to be with him. Thankfully, the spirit (and his agency) intervened and he left anyway. Next time, I will have the knowledge that even if the next "love of my life" leaves me, the pain of abandonment will be insignificant to the pain that will be later felt by giving up the best parts of me to be with that person.
Unfortunately, one of the other life lessons I learned was: Now what? I had a very clear future in mind when he proposed to me. Not so much a "happily ever after" but I knew that whatever obstacle that we faced, we would be able to face them together. No longer would I have to fight my way through life alone. I would be a wife and a mother. All of these clear decisions I made have now been fogged over. I was going to have a place to live, a job to go to, and a very comfortable life with my "honey bun". In the process of these "clear decisions" I gave up my apartment, my schooling, and my life back in Salt Lake City. I now don't even know if the business I have always wanted is the right path for me. I guess you can say, I've entered into my Quarter Life Crisis and I have to start all over again.
Where am I going? What will I be doing? Who will I be meeting? Are all nagging questions I'm faced with. Somedays I see it as an adventure. I get a free pass to start my whole life over! While it's exciting it is also a bit overwhelming. Somedays I see it as a chore: Figure out what you want to do and don't screw it up!
So, here I start my new stage of life. I guess we can call this chapter: "New Beginnings". The "unknown" is always a bit scary, but I'm excited for this fresh start. I'm incredibly grateful to my Savior for letting me start over. I guess that's the most beautiful part about the atonement.
Life Lessons By Liz: Go on, it will all be ok.
*burnt toast moment: The moment when a piece of burnt toast leaves you crumbling on the floor bawling your eyes out, when previous (and much harder) obstacles have failed to do the same. And we all know, it has nothing to do with the toast.