October 2, 2022

feeling it all and finding rest

It has been such an emotional week. All I want to do/need to do is curl up in my bed for 24 hours with the hope that with some rest my emotions will settle down.

Sometimes feeling everything so deeply is a beautiful blessing. The joy! The fun! The wonder! The adventure! The connection!

And sometimes it leaves me utterly exhausted.  

I took my girls to Disneyland at the beginning of this week. Just me and my girls. When I was there, I remembered that Disneyland reminds me of my mom. Of my family. My grief washed over me numerous times as I rode certain rides or walked by certain places. So much has changed in my Allen family since those years of Disney vacations. My heart feels so happy that we made so many wonderful memories growing up, but also so sad and achy for the ways things have changed. 

I miss my mom so intensely. And I am so sad about the way she died. It breaks my heart. And it lights a fire under me to be there for my own kids. My kids need a mom. I need a mom. The world needs moms.

We made the really hard decision to put our foster care license on hold. It was so emotional to sign that paper. It doesn't mean closed forever but even closed for now breaks my heart.

I've been sorting through childhood trauma and acknowledging my feelings and pain. I am choosing deliberately the boundaries I want to set in place and the ways in which I want to show up. It's a complicated process. I try not to blame other people and acknowledge they must be doing their best. My pain and my hurt is mine to carry, to work through, and to release. I am trying to turn anger, frustration, and hurt into acceptance, compassion, and peace in Christ.

Perry's behaviors have been extremely difficult. Eric has started traveling again. Being at home without someone to tag team feels impossible. Perry is too heavy for me to remove when he is verbally and physically aggressive towards us. It is hard emotionally to have someone scream and call you and your other children names on a regular basis, especially for things that are unreasonable. The physical aggressiveness is scary for all of us, too. It is exhausting to continually show up with all the patience, assertiveness, and unconditional love. All the time. That's why we continually schedule fun things, self care, breaks, date nights, and vacations. It is how we survive. But it's harder to do when one of us travels.

We met as a book club at my house after reading "Just Mercy." Such a powerful book! It changed me and fills me with greater compassion and a will to do more to help others.

I watched Dear Evan Hansen with a friend one night this week. The tears flowed down both of our cheeks. I feel that movie from every single angle. I'm so grateful for a friend right now who also feels it completely and could analyze all the things with me--anxiety, depression, loneliness, trauma, mistakes, parenting, suicide.

I had my injection on Friday. The girl who gave it was covering for the nurse who was out on vacation. And she totally did it wrong and injected my stomach muscle and I've been in so much ab pain since then. Which increases my medical anxiety.

I ran the Mud Girl with Layla and a friend and her daughter. So glad to yet again complete a race that supports women, breast cancer, and gives us the opportunity to do hard things together. But it triggers memories of cancer, of frustration that my body can't do all the things I want it to do without pain, and other past experiences.

With all of these feelings flowing through me this week, I was ready for general conference weekend. The first talk I listened to on saturday afternoon was exactly one of the things that had been weighing heavily on me this weekend. This conference has been talk after talk that my soul needed.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not perfect--I have been personally hurt and confused by local leaders before. I have seen much fake/hypocritical behavior. I know pieces of the history of the church are confusing and hurtful. But at its core, which we hear at conference and read in the scriptures, it is the most true thing I have ever seen. It is a church that believes in repentance and change--in our personal lives and collectively. It is a church of growth. It is a church that always points me to Christ--not to a man. It is a place to find peace and strength. No matter where I go, I know I will always have the fellowship of a church family. It is a church that strives to live principles and virtues of a good, fulfilling life. It helps me recognize God and miracles in my life. It teaches me who I am and my purpose in my life. 

With all my big feelings and challenges in life, I NEED the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. I don't just casually want a church. I NEED a church that helps me draw close to Christ and the peace only He has brought into my life. I need the organization that supports me and my family throughout my life. I need this place where I can remember to have hope and find answers to all of my feelings, questions, and problems. 

I feel like I have felt it all this week. But now, I remember, I can hand it all over to the Lord for awhile and find some rest. True rest. The kind of rest that just might be better ad more realistic than the 24 hour nap I was dreaming of.