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DAY 18

February 19, 2016
Day 18 comes from my friend Catherine. WOW. I love this human. The funny thing is, I’ve never actually met Catherine in person. She’s been my online gal pal for years, and I can’t wait until we can be BFF in person. Whaaat? (No, I’m not being catfished, but if I was, NO REGRETS, because she is actually the best.) I got to know and love Catherine through her blog, “The Meaningful Pursuit.”  
In fact, the Days of Love Series is her brainchild — something I look forward to reading on her blog every year. Be sure to stop over and read her Days of Love. They are incredible! I’m so grateful she was so kind to allow me to share her beautiful idea here. But that’s just who she is! Catherine is so, deeply good. I love her heart and her perspectives on life, and her courage in sharing her faith, her struggles, her joy. She’s a true friend. She is so eloquent and you will probably see her change the world. We have lived somewhat parallel lives – grew up in the same area, have so many people in common, and having become buddies on this weird blogosphere, I have to tell you, I think it’s fate. Knowing her has bettered me and blessed my life, because Catherine is a true light, full of heavenly love. Speeeeaking of which:

“I remember coming back to Seattle after my first quarter of graduate school and first Christmas break (beginning of 2014). I sat in my room watching this movie for the first time, twinkle lights on and my Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk in hand. I hope this isn’t too much of a spoiler alert, but the movie ends with this quote. I remember contemplating the trials of the last few years of my life up to this point.

Growing up, I think the atonement seemed like a scary thing. I don’t know why, but when we studied the Atonement in Primary and even in Young Women’s, I always felt a bit intimidated by it. I did not understand the encompassing nature of it and the way it blesses our lives each day. I always felt it was about my shortcomings and repenting and becoming better. It seemed like I would never be good enough. It seemed like my shortcomings would be insurmountable. It seemed like a lifelong process of trying to always catch up. It is a lifelong process. And for a period of time from about twenty to twenty two, Sundays were constant reminders of those shortcomings for me.

Slowly but surely, I learned bit by bit how the Savior could help shoulder the burden and help me over come weaknesses. The hard times helped me realize that I wasn’t separate from acceptance and love. Through the Atonement, the Savior takes us as we are and makes us infinitely more as we bring to the altar our broken hearts and contrite spirits. He is the ultimate salve for a broken heart. Despite the heartbreak of life, we must keep our promises to the Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ. And He always, always, always keeps His promises to us. He heals the heartbreaks. He takes away the sting and bitterness. He binds us together through sacred temple ordinances, so we are able to return to Him one day. He is our advocate. He is merciful and unconditionally loving. He brings people together so they can build the kingdom together and form eternal families, the greatest bonds we can form in life.

“Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.” –Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Sunday Will Come”

Now, back to the quote at the beginning. I remember watching it and thinking about how I’d grown and where the Lord had led me, how Sunday had become my favorite day again. As I learned more lessons during my time in Seattle, I always kept in mind, “Sunday will come.” The joys, the heartbreaks, the people in my life–family, friends, roommates, ward members, classmates. I can’t explain the highs and lows, I can’t explain why people have this or that trial in life (and not just one, but likely many, many). I especially don’t know the reason why life seems to get harder when you thought it couldn’t get any more heartbreaking. Again, I remind myself, “Sunday will come.” And I know that it will all make sense, bit by bit, in the grand scheme of things. And the greatest gift of all? The Savior, our kind, wise, Heavenly friend, is with us through every step of the way. His love is unfathomable and reaches out to us in every season, any depth. This love is the greatest source of comfort and peace. Because I have been blessed to know of that love, because I have felt of that love in ways I can’t begin to express in words, I know I am the luckiest girl.”

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