So I went to TOFW (time out for women) with Patty, Denise, Cheryl, Susan, and Becky. That is my mother-in-law, her three sisters, and one of her sister's friends.
Me, Patty, Cheryl, Denise, Susan, Becky
I have to admit something to you. I was a bit nervous for this weekend. Last year I was kind of in a darker place in my life where I was feeling like I had it REALLY bad. I kind of feel like I was hangin on by a thread and so when I went to TOFW I literally came home and BAWLED. In a bad way. Not in an uplifted way, but in a way that made me feel like my life was never getting better. I mean, I got over it...but it wasn't the most uplifting experience for me at the time.
I thought I'd give it another try this year because Patty invited me and well I will tell you- I AM SO GLAD I WENT! This year was FAR AND AWAY so much better than last year and I left feeling so so uplifted. So uplifted I went to work on Monday and told my co-workers all about it! I have to write some of my feelings because I don't want to forget this particular one.
The last speaker was amazing to say the least. She had cancer as a baby and had to have radiation. Apparently the radiation she had as a baby then caused her cancer again in her adult years, causing her to have five surgeries in five months in order to simply survive. Through her treatment she lost her eyesight, and had an entire eye removed. She had to have a bunch of tissue and things removed from her face and it left her blind, quite different looking, and depressed. Well...she didn't let it keep her down. First off, she found humor in it and was able to joke about her blindness and her fake eye.
Secondly, she was able to heal through the atonement. She talked about it in a way I hadn't quite connected with until now. She said that for the longest time she was so dark, so sad, so depressed because she was always thinking about who she was, and how she could be who she was before the cancer again. But there came a time when she realized she would never be that woman again. It was time to offer her old, broken heart to the Lord, and by doing so he then gave her a new heart to move on with. She said that THAT is the power of the atonement, to give Christ our broken hearts so that he can give us new ones that we can move on with. She said that she will never be the woman she once was, but she can be a new woman and have a wonderful life still if she lets herself move on, and accept this new heart.
I love that. It relates so well for me because I feel like I have been stuck a lot the past few years in, "When will I get my old life back", when will I feel like me again, when will it be normal again. The truth is, my old life "before Lyme", is just that. My old life. I wont see it again. And that is okay. I can move on, build a new life that is still good, even better possibly, WITH Lyme. My life will never be the same, and I accept that. Every person has limits, every person has heart aches, it's what we do with them that matters. I am sick of wondering when I will get my life back, or when I will be able to "start" my life, or when things will be normal. None of those things are realities and it doesn't even have to be depressing. Think of the life ahead of me! So much good things in store. Another speaker there said, "Never say WHY ME? Always say WHAT NOW?" I have definitely asked myself Why ME?!?! So many times. No more. We ALL have storms. Even if I got cured of Lyme forever, I'd still get another storm. I feel like the trial has nothing to do with me, but I have everything to do with the "What now" part. What will I do now? Trials are always a crossroads. What direction will I let this trial take me in my life? Sometimes we can pick the wrong direction and get lost for a while...but I know if we look to the right source for direction (scriptures, prayer), we can always find our way back to the right path.
TOFW was awesome. So many good speakers. Good music. Loved it. I've been thinking about it all week since I went. I figured I'd better share :)