I remember hating the word "forgiveness."
It seemed so foreign, so impossible. It went against every emotions that was raking through my soul. I clung to President Faust's words to "leave a little place" for it and welcome it when it comes.
One day, it was there. It was like a miraculous ray of light that burst onto the scene. It enveloped the past AND -much to my surprise -the future. Is pre-forgiveness even a THING?
I remember hating the word "detaching."
It seemed so unnatural, so wrong. It went against every thought that was raking through my brain. But, like forgiveness, I left a little place for it.
One day, after spending a very pregnant shopping trip at Wal-Mart, it was there. I seriously QUIT caring. I let go. I looked at him and said with genuine care behind my words, "I just don't care anymore."
Both occasions are precious to me -they're milestones I don't share on facebook or during Relief Society's "Good News Minute."
But I hold them close. They're precious. I can pinpoint where I was when I felt and realized them completely.
As I came to see that I never truly understood WHO I am, I followed the same protocol. I decided to continue to study the topic -as I had with forgiveness and detachment -and I left a little place for the truth, so that when I truly recognized, felt and understood that I AM a literal, priceless daughter of God, I would welcome it and write in my journal about THE DAY it came to be.
But something extraordinary has happened.
I can't pinpoint a moment, a day, a time, or an experience. I can only say that the Lord has given me understanding all along the way. Some came when I was 8 and 12 and 17 and and and...
But as I sat tall on my bed and said the words, "I'm done" to my husband, I KNEW. I didn't FEEL it in the moment, but a Daughter of God KNOWS when she's done her part, when she's done all that is required, when it's time to leave.
A week or two before, there had been an altercation between my husband and I. As he stormed off and out of the scene, I felt the urge to cower... to curl up and hide from the entire situation. And as I mulled the thought over, a strong voice spoke to me.
"A Daughter of God has no need of cowering."
That empowering moment -along with sitting tall on my bed and declaring my independence -have been gifts of epic proportions. I've been stronger, shown less fear, and begun to see life entirely differently.
As a result, my own lust issues have taken a dramatic turn for the better... along with seeing myself in my true form, I naturally see others in theirs. I look around me and see men NOT as instruments to validate my desirability but as brothers.
And as I take this bold step into the dark, I have plunged my entire being into God's hands.
My Father. My unseen but ever-present and ever-felt Father.
And just like that, my hands have been literally FILLED. My life has fallen into perfect place.
I found a job that answers not only my own prayers but the prayers of my extended family.
It doesn't pay enough to sustain me and my children, but it pays enough to lightly pad a bank account in the event of divorce or separation. It's my GO bag.
My husband doesn't want me to go, and he's bearing the heaviness that comes with LIVING WITH a wife who isn't participating in couple-y things while she prepares mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically to "go it alone."
I'm paying for my own credit card, my own toiletries, my own anything.
There's been a stream of phone calls, of knocks on the door, a whole lot of "I don't know why I felt I should, but I did."
My daughter has three new pair of shoes -needed, but not at the top of my list right now. But it was important to HER and SHE is important to HIM. And through an angel Primary Teacher, my daughter now has church shoes and play shoes that fit beautifully.
A friend showed up on my doorstep with two grocery bags filled with snacks. Trail mix, fresh fruit, crackers.
Enough to sufficiently stretch the grocery budget that has suddenly expanded with the need to pack daily lunches for my daughter and feed an infant that eats more than any infant I've ever had.
Seriously. I don't know how she only weighs 13 pounds. That baby can really eat.
Dad's birthday is Sunday.
In the midst of all of the happenings in my marriage and the life-altering decisions being made, I forgot. I forgot to buy the ingredients to make Dad's brisket. He asks for it every year, and he looks forward to it. And I.
The brisket takes special ingredients and planning. It needs to marinate in a store-bought aluminum roasting pan for 36 hours.
It's a GIFT from ME -something I articulated specifically to my husband that I would pay for on my own. He offered his checkbook to me with pleading eyes, "please let me pay..."
But I can not break boundaries.
One valuable lesson I've learned in the past two weeks is that
It is a privilege to care for a child of God.
My husband has had that privilege revoked for the present time.
I will pay for Dad's birthday gift. But with WHAT?
I don't start my job until Thursday. My piano students have all quit for the summer and won't begin again until next week -AFTER Dad's birthday.
It's such a small thing -such a very small thing. Surely, I could just PAY my husband back. A small loan...
But it didn't feel right. I held fast to the hope that the money would come.
Today, I went to get the mail. In it was a package.
Last week, I acted on a prompting to Phone a Friend. My best friend that has gone through every stage of life with me beginning with infancy and knows what's going on in my marriage, but I don't call her about it. I don't phone her often. When she's with me, we don't talk about it. She lives hours away now, and any time spent TOGETHER I want untainted by porn.
But Monday, after my husband had left for training and I was left to myself and my seriously detached state, I finally cried.
I wasn't crying about my marriage or the detachment or the "is this my life NOW?" ness of it all. I was too tired, too worn, too far into the acceptance phase. Is jaded the right word?
The tears were over my children. They aren't supposed to be in day care. They're not supposed to share their little triumphs and joys with another mother. Those are mine. That is MY dream.
I'm their constant. They know where I am and what I do and that there's a snack in the late afternoon.
But that's over now.
I called my friend and told her all. My voice held steady until I brought up daycare, and then the tears coursed down my cheeks... I wasn't ready to leave my children, not even for a few hours, not BECAUSE OF ADDICTION.
My sweet understanding friend cried with me. She held her sleeping daughter -who rarely sleeps -on her chest and wept on the other side of the line.
And this morning, I went to the Post Office to find a package full of answers, support, and validation. My friend has always understood more than I have WHO she is. She sees me clearly because she knows her own identity and worth.
She sent me things that smell sweet, taste sweet... a small trophy of An Undefeated Girl.
And then there was a check... more than enough to pay for brisket ingredients. It's a symbol of a fresh start, a deposit into My New Life.
And as I sob, I feel the utter bliss and gravity of WHO I am.
I am taken care of. I am plunged into the hollow of His Hand. He is lovingly patient and aware of me, and He works mighty miracles through angels on the end of phone lines and the other side of doors.
My prayer is simply that I might have the privilege of being one of those caring angels someday...
That I might always be privy to the privilege of taking care of his children.