Have you ever had a time in your life where you just feel like nothing is going right? You are doing everything you can, you keep pressing on and staying positive, but just when you think you are in the clear once again something bad happens? I recently had a spout of this. Initially, I thought it was just plain bad luck. But now I realize it was so much more than that.
Shortly after I had turned my heart over to my Heavenly Father, and just before my wedding, my life started to unravel. It was supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life, but nothing seemed to be going my way and I just couldn’t understand why. First and foremost, I was having terrible anxiety. I’m going to refer to it as “engagement anxiety.” I have never done well with change, and getting married is a huge life transformation. A happy transformation, but it still brings change. My mind kept dissecting all of the things that could go wrong and I could not stop questioning myself. I knew that marrying Gabe was most definitely what I was supposed to be doing, and I had received confirmation of this through prayer, so I had no idea why I couldn’t shake the anxiety!
Due to the anxious state I was constantly living in, I was always on edge. It seemed like even the littlest thing could put me into a serious slump. And it was adding tension to my relationships. I spent my days talking myself down, reminding myself that I was on the right path and this anxiety would one day subside. But it was quite exhausting. I wanted to be enjoying every moment of wedding planning, enjoying every moment with my fiancé, but it just wasn’t happening for me. Gabe and I got in our first real argument during this time, and it only added to my ever increasing unease. I am forever grateful for the patience Gabe has for me. He endured my bad times and just kept on loving me like a good man would, even when I’m sure he was frustrated.
Right in a midst of it all, I received a call from my soon-to-be husband saying I needed to come get him from work and bring him to the emergency room. He was cleaning out a gutter during a thunderstorm and received an electrical shock. He seemed to be fine, but still needed to get checked for any internal damage. As if things couldn’t get any more stressful, I was now leaving one of my three jobs and rushing to the ER with Gabe just a couple of weeks before our wedding! Everything was just piling on, and I was trying to take it as it came. He was thankfully just fine, and the only side effect he experiened was numbness in his hand for a week or so.
Then, just shortly before the wedding date, my family dog Joey got very sick. He had been struggling with pancreatitis for a while, and it all reached a peak right before my wedding. We had to put him down just four days before I was supposed to get married. It was the biggest loss I have ever suffered in my entire life. Never had I felt so heartbroken. I know some of you have probably lost a loved one very close to you, so it may seem silly that I was so distraught after the loss of a dog. But I loved that dog with all of my heart. I loved how excited he got every single time I went over to my parent’s house. I loved how he would chase a tennis ball for hours on end, ecstatic that someone was throwing his favorite toy for him. I loved all the funny noises he would make and the way he always craved attention from his humans. He was truly a bright light in my world that I always looked forward to seeing, so having to say goodbye at such a pivotal point in my life was painful.
I pushed through and started gathering and preparing everything that I would need for my wedding, brushing aside the feelings of despair and anxiety that were plaguing me. We all made it out to the Black Hills in one piece, despite the drama of the week. My angel Mom, who had put in endless hours to help me prepare for this day, made sure everything was in its proper place so the day went by without a hitch. And sure enough, everything was beautifully perfect and my wedding day was the happiest day of my life thus far! I put on my white dress, got myself ready, and began to feel much better. I finally was able to breathe a sigh of relief as we said our vows out in the beautiful tress of western South Dakota. The engagement anxiety dispersed out of my body. The good had finally come. I made it to the moment I had been waiting for, the moment I knew was orchestrated by the heavens. Gabe and I were always meant to be eternal companions, together forever.
And guess what I realized? There is someone who most definitely did not want us to get married. There is someone who will do everything in his power to ensure that families don’t even exist on this earth. There is someone who, when you choose the right path, will try to make you question it. He will do everything he can to bring you back to a place of misery. I refer to him as Satan, or the devil, and boy oh boy was he working on me. He knew what was happening. I was changing my life for the better. I now knew God, so Satan’s power over me was diminishing. He was panicking, pulling out all of the stops to try and push me back into old habits and stop me from getting married. He sees how much joy and good is found in families, so when a new family is being created he squirms. He knows how much happier people are when they are following God rather than him. But finally, he accepted defeat (yay!) as I continued to follow God through it all and stand by the promptings I had received to marry Gabe.
If you feel like nothing is going your way in your life even though you’re doing all the right things, don’t panic. The anxiety may come, the bad things may continue to happen, but I know without a doubt that everything seems to be the worst just before great things are going to occur. Keep trying, keep pushing forward, and know that the Great One who is on your side is a much better teammate than the miserable one who is trying to drag you down. Goodness will always prevail if we can only make it through lifes bumpiest patches. The Creator will never, ever forget about you. And for every hard thing you endure, there are an infinite number of bright and happy things that will come to you if you continue to choose the right. I’m rooting for you!
Bright Blue Stone
p.s. Gabe and I are SO looking forward to our ‘second wedding’ in an LDS temple next summer, a year after he was baptized! Learn more about the importance of eternal families here!