Six Years Later

Six years later I still remember the nervous sweats I had as my airplane landed on the tarmac at Sky Harbor airport.  I hadn't seen my family in eighteen months.   Okay, if I'm going to be honest I'm sure I saw some member of my family a few months prior on the Square, but this was the first time I'd been home in a year and a half.  I called Tempe Square my home for those eighteen months, and I learned more life lessons during that short time than in my previous 21 years of living.  Six years ago I stepped off an airplane a new woman, unsure of how this new woman would adapt to this strange place I used to call home.

Since that February morning in 2007 that new woman graduated from college, married her soul mate, and birthed a beautiful baby boy.  I love being that new woman, and I owe much of my identity to those lesson I learned in eighteen months.

I learned that sometimes there is a greater power gently prodding us towards experiences that will make us better.  I call this greater power God.

I learned that it's possible to be homesick for heaven.  Even if I don't remember what it was like, there were moments when I felt a distinct ache to be there again.

I learned that it's okay to be scared.  When I was scared I made it a point to say a prayer, and afterwards I felt a little braver.

I experienced a heavy heartache previously uncharted by my little ticker.  I imagine it's the type of heartache God feels when his children hurt, or hurt others. 

I learned that what I want to happen isn't always what God wants to happen. 

I learned how to talk to strangers about ANYTHING.

I learned that miracles happen every. single. day.

I learned how to love people even when it's hard to love them.

I learned that I can do hard things.

I deepened my testimony of Jesus Christ.  He lives.

I learned to see people as my brothers and sisters.  Looking at them through this lens instantly changes your perspective.

I learned that it is always better to obey the commandments.

I learned how to tune out the world.

I learned how to grocery shop for myself.

I learned the consequence of not following the spirit.

I caught a glimpse of how wonderful eternity will be.

I learned how to strengthen my testimony.

I learned that deciding to serve a mission was one of the smartest things I've done.