Monday, November 25, 2013

Home for the Holidays

One of my favorite quotes of all time is the one that pretty much everyone has hanging in their homes- "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." Being home has been like a ongoing storm and the only thing I can do is dance. Dancing isn't ignoring the rain, its accepting it. There is no way to stop the rain but there is a way to make the most of it. 
So it's been a long time since I last "blogged" and I had a nagging voice in the back of my head for about 2 weeks to write. I hate backtracking to the past, even when I'm trying to record experiences in my journal. However, despite any grumbling and inner angst that may come from finishing the story, I'm going to backtrack to the MTC. I last wrote about Friday, right? 

So then, Saturday. Saturday I woke up with the most incredible sense of peace. It was stronger than just an average, "I think everything will be okay" peace. This was hardcore, overwhelming peace- Heavenly Father gently telling me that everything is in His hands. And, okay, if I have learned ANYTHING while being home, it's that Heavenly Father is in control. I have truly come to love the scripture words, "Be still, and know that I am God."
However, I am in NO WAY saying I got over the idea of coming home. I don't think I ever will "get over" the idea. I accepted it though. I knew it was what God had planned for me and I decided I couldn't stop the rain now. I could only dance. 
Honestly though, there were several times throughout that day that I really, truly believed I was dreaming. I would try to wake myself up somehow and realize that it was true. In 2 days, I wouldn't be a missionary. 
I did all the p-day stuff and then went over to talk with the district president because I STILL hadn’t heard anything from my parents. (Talk about stress!) I went to the front desk and my conversation went something like this.
“Hi, my name is Sister Beaumont and my district is leaving in a day but I’m not going with them because I broke my thumb three days ago and need surgery for it and I need to speak to my parents so I know when they are picking me up and I don’t know who to talk to because the district office is closed. (deep breath) And… I lost my ctr ring. It’s white. With flowers.”
The man eyes popped for a second. Then he regained composure and said, “Let’s see what we can do.”
I got in really fast, probably because I was beginning to look on the wild side. (No idea what was going on with going home, GOING home, broken thumb, not being able to do my hair or make-up, etc) The district president immediately brought me into another room and called my mom for me. Then he took my kasama out so I could talk to them alone. After some tears and some reassurance, it was decided that they would pick me up at 5:30am Monday, right after my district left. 
We went back for district lunch. As we ate, I felt like a fly on the wall. I wasn’t a part of those excited and scared out of their minds missionaries anymore- I was in a group of some of the best friends I ever had and never had I felt so alone. The temple couldn’t have come sooner.
I hoped to feel peace and have a revelation of why I needed to go home while in the temple. I was surprised by a strong feeling of detachment. I think that the "mantel" of a missionary was leaving me and I could feel it. My heart was so heavy and my mind kept racing and racing. With tears I silently prayed. “I want to be thy servant, Father. I’ve only ever wanted to be thy servant. Please, please let me serve thee.”
All the feelings of discouragement and detachment left and my mind emptied. Suddenly the words of I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go came to me. It may not be on the mountain height or over the stormy sea, it may not be at the battle front my Lord will have need of me… I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord… I’ll be what you want me to be.
Tears streaming I realized that I was still a servant of God. Through my desire to serve Him, He was placing me where I was needed most.
On our way back, a sister in my zone stopped me and told me she had been fasting for me all day. Another sister stopped me and said, “So… I think your name ended up on the temple roll over 5 times.” I looked at my own district and saw their deep love for me in their eyes. I felt their prayers and knew it was their prayers that brought such strong peace to me that day. 

Sunday came and went like the space of a few hours. There were a few hard moments but my district always supported me. In relief society, the president had all the missionaries entering the field that week stand. I watched, heart-broken, as all the sisters around me stood- all except me… and my companion. She smiled at me and said, “I don’t feel like standing.” I found out that a few of my elders fasted for me that day too.
For our district musical number in sacrament meeting we sung our favorite song, “Nearer my God to thee” and then with the other departing district, “God be with you till we meet again”. Just as the tears started, my district goofed the song horribly and I was too busy trying to contain my laughter to cry. I realized more and more, I wasn't alone at all. I was supported by so many and most importantly, I was supported by God. 

The next morning came too fast. Suddenly it was 4:30 and I was standing with my district in a long line, waiting for their buses. A few sisters from my zone woke up to say goodbye and stick with me. It didn't hit me until my district started to load. Sister Burt came to me first for the hug. I realized this was it. This was the moment I dreaded for so long. The final moment, when we would part ways. I broke down. I sobbed into everyone’s shoulder as I hugged them goodbye for the last time. The elders all shook my hand with their reassuring smiles, and I just sobbed. Sister Williams was the last of my district to board and she called back to me, “See you in a few weeks Sister Beaumont!” I was so relieved that the other sisters had come, because I sobbed into their shoulders until I regained composure. I took a deep breath and told myself, “Time to start your next adventure.”
We took my suitcases to the front, a long parade of about 12 people following who had all come to say goodbye. We called my dad and less than 5 minutes later, he was there. 
With a heavy heart but faith in God that this was all His plan, I got into the car and drove away. And that was it. I wasn't a missionary. I was just plain me again. 

You know though, I think that was exactly what Heavenly Father wanted me to know all along. It isn't about the nametag or the title, it's about the service. Since being home, I have served Heavenly Father in so many unique and unexpected ways. Though not a missionary, I am a child of God and further, I am still his servant. I am going to serve a mission, and hopefully the waiting is almost up. I'm crossing my fingers to leave by the first week of December. But a missionary isn't what Heavenly Father expects right now.
Just plain me is all He needs. 

Last day as a district (Left to right, back to front: President Anderson, Elder Burbidge, Elder Matina, Elder Sailsbury, Elder Johnston, Elder Creager, Elder Jenkins, Sister Martinez, Sister Williams, Sister Gaspar De Alba, Sister Beaumont, Sister Seastrand, Sister Burt)

Sisters in the Zone- Last night in the MTC 

Last Devo- Kasamas! (With Elder Jenkins, photo bombing!)