I told Tara (my old roommate, a good friend, and my visiting teacher) that tonight wouldn't be a good night to visit teach me. I wasn't feeling badly or anything, but everytime she has asked me how I have been, I've told her I'm great, and she seems to be seeing right through me. Well, It's not a lie, I'm doing pretty good despite everything -- I have a peace that I didn't have before. Ok so I'm not jumping up and down ecstatically and smiling from ear to ear, but I'm really ok. I'm not depressed, just a little glum sometimes. But I'm not depressed because of my faith in my Savior, and the peace he has given me is such a miracle.
But she came over anyway with a note and a candle. I asked her how she was doing and she told me the past two months have been difficult for her, and she's had a case of the winter blues. Then she asked me again how I was doing. I told her the truth this time; I told her I was ok. Then she looked me in the eye and said, "Michelle, you say you are great, but I know something is hurting you." I just shrugged. Then she asked how Jeremy was. I looked at her, and my eyes threatened to tear up, but then I just smiled. The tears went away as quickly as they had come, and peace filled me heart. I told her I wasn't sure, but I hoped he was doing well. Then as tactfully and as I could I told her what happened. She gave me a big hug, and knowing me as well as she did (we lived together for a year) she just mentioned how far I had come.
You know, I didn't want to tell her anything. But I know I said it in a way that was righteous and truthful -- no resentment or bitterness at all. There are no victims and no instigators. But peace did warm my heart as I shared as quitely and as peacefully as I could what I had been going through, but I did tell her how grateful I was for the experience as well.
When she left I realized that I was grateful that she came over. I hadn't wanted her to; but I have been kind of avoiding my friends lately because of my desire to keep my peace and control and to NOT talk about it, but sharing as little as I did with her really helped. I was also grateful for her friendship, and a light flickered inside of me and reminded me of why the visiting teaching and home teaching programs had been instituted to begin with. It helped increase my budding testimony on these programs. Tara is a return missionary, and I then told her excitedly about my missionary experience on my way to Jacksonville. I told her I finally understood what all the fuss was about, and why Jeremy wanted to serve a mission. I had had such bad experiences sharing my testimony in the past; Jaime always dismissed me as if I was crazy and so had others. It just really had hurt me so much that I was sure I would never be a good missionary. But this time I had had a good experience, and it really confirmed to me the importance and the beauty that lie in serving the Lord in this fashion. It was only then that I actually wanted, with all my heart and soul, for Jeremy to serve a mission...and I even wanted to do one myself, but if I couldn't do that, I could do what I could to support the missionaries here and those who were serving and who would serve. I could also be a member missionary.
I never had a testimony on missionary work. I always admired those young men and women and I had always had a soft spot in my heart for them, especially after helping them out when I was living in Spain, but I never had a testimony of it because of my previous experiences. But I do now. It's still budding, but I see what joy comes from it. I am so proud of Jeremy that he wants to serve in this capacity, and that he did not allow my foolish immaturity to detract him from his goal. I didn't know then...I really didn't understand. I actually thought his reaons for serving might be selfish. I didn't like hearing that he would give me up so that he could serve. I know I told him otherwise, but that thought really bothered me.
Now I know that it was the Adversary working on me. My true desire to fall in love with a man who put the Lord before me became solid. It's too bad it happened after the fact; but at least I now know that this is the number one quality that I look for in an eternal companion. I know my insensitive and immature actions caused an utterly regrettable rift between Jeremy and I; but I am so proud of him that he wants to serve. I am just so happy for him.