Hi, my name is Annie. I’m kind of a private person when it comes to me, but I have a bigger picture to look at. I know that a lot of people think that they are alone, unwanted, or generally just feel overwhelmed with struggles. I want to create a place of openness and love. I want to share the deepest, rawest parts of me and be completely honest with what I am facing. I struggle with speaking to people about a lot of things, but I can write about almost anything.
The only thing that I’ve let stand on this blog now holds untrue. I am not longer in college because I moved out of state and wasn’t able to unenroll from the on-campus classes in time. I’m very sad, as I enjoyed those classes quite a bit. I was doing wonderfully and very happy with what I was learning, so I did feel very cheated for a short while. However, recent events have led me to understand the divine reasoning behind this and that it was much more of a mercy than a punishment.
I may no longer have a job soon, which saddens me beyond what it should. These past three weeks have been the first ones that I ever felt like more than a burden on someone. I was making my way in the world, paying off debts, and on my way to making a fair amount of savings. I felt like I was finally in a position to give back to anyone and everyone who had given me anything. Again, I feel very cheated. I was happy and secure and I felt like I was in a good place.
As it turns out, my idea of good and Heavenly Father’s idea of good are not at all the same. He said over and over in my heart, gently but firmly, “it’s too much Annie. Not yet. Not right now. Wait a little bit longer.” But I’d been waiting too long. I convinced myself that those words didn’t come from God, but my own cowering heart. The world kept telling me “you can do it!”and oh, how I wanted to believe those words. Some people at work were doing a lot more than I was doing- doing much harder things and doing a better job of it. I wanted to prove to Him, to everyone, and to myself that I could run just as fast or faster than anyone else. I was sick of taking the slow, easy road.
God is always, always right. Saturday night I experienced my first big public health issue. It was very showy and dramatic, and the kind of thing that I hate myself for. I like to think that I’m so sneaky and private that no matter how impossible it is to control certain things , that I most definitely can. I’ve found that if I skim over certain details, people will brush them aside and I can go on my way. But this time, I had sure, clear witnesses.
Now I’m an undesirable employee. Despite all of the rave reviews I had gotten for my hard work and effort, the instant I had any problems, the owner of the restaurant began to criticize everything I’d ever done. Suddenly I was anti-social, slow, and just generally had a bad attitude. It didn’t matter that I got compliments from regulars about how kind and friendly I was to customers, or that my coworkers thought I was the happiest, smiliest person in the world. It was all a bit hard to swallow. I take pride in serving others, and I try to treat each person I talk to like a Son or Daughter of God and let them feel my love for them. I have put everything I have into doing that, even though fast food involves interacting with a lot of people and it’s kind of exhausting. I don’t know how soon I’ll get over that blow. (This was certainly not to complain about how much I sacrifice for others; more of a sadness that someone felt strongly enough that these things were true and that I really don’t like people. A small part of me feels that I failed in my quest somewhere, and another feels my efforts have been rejected by someone. I’m not sure which hurts more.)
Now I’m left wondering, now what? Is it even possible to get a job while still dealing with my issues? How am I supposed to save for school and a mission if I can’t get a job?
Probably the most pressing questions to my heart right now are more along the lines of, I was promised a mission…how do I do that now? I surely can’t afford it. I get it, I’m not going to make it on a traditional one because of health reasons, but why? I love people so much. I love sharing my testimony and watching the Spirit work in the hearts of men. I adore everything about missionary work. I love the idea of being able to forget about my own well-being and focusing on others. I have been wanting to go on a mission for as long as I can remember the urge to breathe. I’m beginning to think I’ll be forced to eternally focus on taking care of myself- my absolute least favorite activity when there are so many others to take care of.
I think that I could be okay with doing a service mission, particularly if I can do something involving family history. I’m just a little bit saddened. In my heart I had hoped for a calling to South Africa. I have recently found South African ancestry in my family history, and I have gotten the idea into my head that I will find more (my research has concluded that my nose shape is that of South African descent, as I will not hesitate to tell anyone and everyone. The remainder of my facial features stem from French and German roots, of which I have plenty). I have always felt in my heart a particular love for the people there, just as my heart has a soft spot for other places I have found ancestors. It was my hope to share their feelings of love and joy with them. I do believe them to be some of the happiest and humblest people in the world. However, this one means a bit more to me than the others, because I felt a connection even before I found one. I feel called to serve the people there. But perhaps I am meant to serve them through my family history efforts, rather than serving them while being physically present.
That does not make the service mission idea any less great. I would adore that kind of calling.I recently spent a few days in Utah before flying out, and I absolutely fell in love with the family history center. There were old and young people, busily working away at different computers. I wanted so badly to spend every minute of my life there, possibly completing everything in my line, and then moving on to assisting everyone else. What a dream that would be! Though in all honesty I am a bit wary of Utah (I absolutely do not fit in. I am not a typical Mormon, nor will I ever be. I’ve had too many bizarre life experiences to qualify), so I feel quite out of place. I feel afraid to share experiences, but only because they are important pieces of my life and deeply personal. But I think Utah is the place I need to share my messages most.
I don’t know where I’m headed. I don’t know how long the healing process from my past will take, and I don’t know how I am to serve in the Gospel, but I know that God is clearly leading things. He speaks to my heart and my passions, and he leads my inner compass to where I belong. He is truly my Teacher, because he allows me to make my own decisions, but he is also my Healer, because he knows when to take that burden away and carry me forward. I love my Savior, because he loves me enough to let me know that I can make a difference. I love my Savior because he loves me enough to make the difference. I am grateful to be where I am in life. I’ve had the opportunity to be served by so many in my lifetime, and it looks as though that pattern will continue. God is truly good.