It's 9:02. I knew that Jake was going to be home later tonight, but I can't remember what time he said. Is it weird that I'm not even phased by it? Let's see, he's been gone for a little over 14 hours so far today.
On Sunday I'm teaching a lesson called "Why is Jesus Christ important in my life." In typing it out just now, I don't know that I love it, but I'll rename it in my mind later.
[9:06 and he's home! It always happens when I think about how he's not home...I hear his key in the door. I think it's magic.]
[And after an 8-minute conversation, he let me know that he's done at 5:30 on Friday. And he said he's literally [he sometimes judges people for saying literally] been playing piano from 7 this morning until he left at 9 tonight with the exception of a few 10-minute breaks, and that his arms are feeling it. I hope you all took note of his six minute commute time. That includes leaving the music school, getting to and on Scoot (which involves putting a helmet on), coming home, pulling Scoot into the garage, and walking into Dot (the garage is detached, mind you).]
Back to the lesson. So I've been thinking about why Christ is important to me, and I've been trying to remember how I felt about Christ when I was 14 and 15. I'm sure there was a lot more tearful sentiment attached, even though what I feel now has a much greater depth. What to do? I went to the trunk in our room (our hope chest) and pulled out my journal from that time in my life.
My first entry is December 25, 1999. I was 14 (and a half). Here are a few entries:
March 24, 2000:
I've come to soooo many beautiful realizations. I've come to a greater understanding of the human soul. [...] I appreciate self-worth more than I ever have, or ever thought that I could. People are sooo beautiful. Everyone. We are all children of God. I am never alone. All of these things I've known for sooo long, but I'm doing more to help others with this knowledge. It feels so good. I am so overflowing with the spirit right now. I want everyone to love their brothers and sisters. I want people to look in the mirror and say that they are beautiful. I want them to look at sunsets and soak up all of the glorious magic. I want them to know how beautiful nature is, how wonderful it is to be a part of it all. I want everyone to think about these things. I think that I've been given something special, the ability to see people. I think that might be my divine quality.
In the following post, I'd been talking about how I was going to be in the fall play, and was trying to figure out how I would balance that and cross-country.
September 10, 2000:
Everything will work out. I just need to always do my school work first and remain in close contact with Heavenly Father! I know that Jesus Christ is the Messiah! I'm so very thankful for the atonement. He endured the worst pain so that I might live again. He set a wonderful example w/ the teachings that he shared with all. He was most humble. I wouldn't be who I am with-out Him. I am sorry that I don't feel more or better realize his importance in my life or the life of everyone. It is my goal from right now on to obtain a better knowledge and greater respect, love, and admiration for Christ and His sacrifice.
March 23, 2002:
I was reading in the Book of Mormon just now,...Jesus was talking to his disciples telling them that they had seen and heard things more beautiful than any had seen or heard before. I was thinkin' about that. Like I'm sure that I can't even comprehend those things...but I wonder if they are the equivalent to a beautiful sunset or a baby being born. It's like there are so many beautiful things that happen everyday - to people's spirits and just everything, everywhere - all the time. I wonder if they're anywhere close to the things he's speaking of...and if so, maybe we just forget to notice. I wonder if they are examples of perfect love...I look forward to the idea - the knowledge - that I will one day be able to love perfectly. Sometimes I think that I'm very cruel...never to anyone's face, just in my thoughts...And I love those people - but yeah; to love them perfectly...that's something that I want to strive for. It's on, well one of the things on the top of my "To do" list. The wind has been blowing quite a bit here in my "ThiNk SPot"...I wonder if beautiful things are hidden in its sound...if it carries some wonderful message that you have to be on some level to hear...Well I'm going to be off for now.
This is the latter half of an entry. I don't know how related it is, but the stream of consciousness quality caught my eye.
March 30, 2003:
I really hope that I'm doing all right spiritually. I don't feel like I'm learning like I used to, and it's because I'm not questioning as much. I miss that, and honestly - it does make me feel a little dumb. There's no reason why I couldn't have been top of my class. No reason at all. I really love the stars so much. The moon and stars. I was looking at constellations today. I'm going to learn them more. I love space and trying to grasp it all. I really hope I get all of the money I need for college soon!!!
I just spent two hours reading through my old journal. It's both sentimental and tedious to read through the journal that houses all of my high school years. There are a lot of entries about boys. Not a lot of boys, but a lot of entries about a few boys. One was a boyfriend for way too long in high school years, and three were really good friends who at one time or another made my heart go pitter-patter (the boyfriend was also a friend, but we let the "way too long in high school years" part of our relationship ruin our friendship). And of course, I met Jake towards the end of these entries. I wrote a lot about "Heavenly Father" and Jesus Christ. "Heavenly Father" is emphasized because that was God's title in my mind for so much of my existence. In the last few years, I've been redefining a lot of things. Redefining isn't the right word, but my ideas had come to a point in their evolution that the same terms and titles didn't feel right anymore. Do I still feel God to be a father? Yes, a heavenly one at that, but defining him almost exclusively as "Heavenly Father" didn't feel the same as it had in all those years before. It's like discovering that Bill is really a William, or William is really a Bill. Or maybe it's the difference in calling one's dad, "Papa," or "Father," or "Daddy," or "Don." For a Young Women project somewhere along the way, we were asked to write our testimony of Christ. While I don't have a copy of what I wrote, I remember feeling very connected to what ended up on the page. I wish I had it to compare. (Young Women is the youth group in the Mormon church specifically for girls 12-18.)
Anyway, I think reading through my own experiences at the same age of the girls I teach will be useful. It's fun to be reminded of the way I used to see the world. I don't know that my way of seeing is so different, but the world was still so wide open. I think it's good to remember how wide open the world once was, and how important that is for dreams. On a final note: one thing I noticed a lot of was reference to my future children. Jake has been gone for 12+ hours a lot lately, and it's been my girls and me from the time I wake up until just about the time I'm ready to fall into my bed (tonight is an exception, and I hope I don't super regret it when 6 AM rolls around). While my teenage self had no idea the mental toughness required to make it through some days as a stay-at-home mom, I hope that I can recapture some of the dreamy idealism I had of motherhood then because it's all still floating around, I just forget how to grasp it and pull it down to fill our days with wonder. Kids are great at that, I need to remember to let them be my teacher more often. To just go with it.
This post really started out with one purpose. If you've made it this far, and wouldn't mind sharing, tell me why Jesus Christ is important in your life. You can either write it publicly or send me a personal message or email. It can be as long or short as you'd like. It can be full of certainty or questions. I'd love to know. And I don't have a timeline. If you think of something three months from now, I still want to hear.
PS: I don't think I'm done sharing from my journal. Things like September 11, 2001 and going to war in Iraq are documented.