Never Alone

I think it’s really easy for us to feel alone. I feel that way often, even if I know that I’m not.

Sunday’s can be really hard for me. I’m not sure why, but I can experience really bad anxiety when it comes to going to Church. It’s not because I don’t want to go, or using it as an excuse. All I know is it gets hard for me to breath and I cannot relax. This past Sunday, we had a baby blessing. With that comes what feels like a billion people. We already have a big ward as it is, so it was a full house! We were all dying of heat. I just felt like I was sweating to death and being sick just doesn’t mix well.

I got up after the Sacrament and left to the foyer where it was much cooler!! I remained there all of Sacrament meeting and it was really nice. It was just me and nobody else, which I was really surprised. While I was sitting out there, I saw this picture of Jesus Christ hanging on the wall. Now, Brady and I have been in many different wards during our four years of marriage, so I’ve seen this picture in this building, for probably 95% of my life. I thought to myself, why is this wall so bare? Why don’t they get a new image of Christ to hangup? It’s so outdated. It’s as old as I am! But then I decided to take a picture of it because I was quickly reminded that all we need in life is Jesus Christ. Yes, cheesy symbolism. But it’s so true.

Christ may be the only thing on this wall, but that’s okay. Because the only thing we need in life is our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is so easy to get distracted and forget who we really want to be. I know that I want to be like my Savior. I am faaaaar from being like Him, but I do my best every day. I can’t tell you most scripture stories, but I can bear my testimony on Christ. I can’t tell you much of His life, but I know that it was incredible.

Remember, the next time you might feel lonely. Christ is there. He is always there. Even if He is the only one, He is still there.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.John 14:18, KJV

Watching #ldsconf

Twice a year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for a meeting called General Conference. We watch, and listen to our Prophet, his counselors, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and many other General Authorities of the Church. They give amazing talks, and it’s always a great time of year! Many members meet inside the General Conference Center if they have tickets, and many members watch live online, on TV, or the radio from wherever they are! I’ve been blessed to be able to attend General Conference in the General Conference Center many times but I also love staying home and watching it on TV!

Because of his health, our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, stayed home to watch General Conference and we missed seeing him on the stand! We also had an Apostle of the Quorum of the Twelve absent from General Conference for his health as well. This Apostle was Elder Robert D. Hales, and sadly, he passed away just 15 minutes after the first session of General Conference ended. We will miss him dearly and we thank him for his incredible service!!

Brady and I stayed home together and it was really nice. I took a ton of photos of Scooter so, bear with me. We heard some amazing talks and you can watch/listen/read all of them by click here! I promise you won’t regret it! Hearing the words of our leaders in such a difficult time is so comforting. Our Father in Heaven is truly watching over us and I know that because of the testimonies shared by our leaders. I made some conference quotes for the General Women’s session of conference so I’ll definitely be making some for the remaining sessions. Be on the lookout! Also, in the title of my post is the hashtag, #ldsconf. This is the official hashtag the LDS Church uses for their social media during General Conference. You can view the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and probably many more websites!

We were out with Brady’s mom and step-dad when the first session was going so I missed that. I missed the second session because I had to get ready for work, so I’ll be catching up on the Saturday session’s today! I’m so excited :)

I have had many notebooks over the years for General Conference. I just recently purchased the Conference Notes notebook from Deseret Book before this fall’s session of #ldsconf. They have tiny ones, and then ones about the size of my hand. They are the PERFECT little notebook to write down thoughts, quotes from the talks and it just is so perfect. Haha, I’m definitely getting more of these for next conference!!

 

What did you love most about General Conference? What was your favorite talk?

I’m Still Ashley, Just Different

I’m not really doing okay right now. I was totally going for a long streak of 0 bad days but it just didn’t happen. I just need to get some things off of my chest and I want to do it here, and on my blog.

To my friends…. I’m sorry that I never wanna hangout. I’m sorry that I don’t make an effort anymore. I’m sorry that I’ve become a flaky person. I’m sorry that I disappoint you when I cancel on our plans. I’m really really sorry when I promise to come to a party of yours, and I just don’t make it. I really am. I’m sorry that I seem checked out, withdrawn or uninterested. 

It’s literally not you, it’s me.

I really struggle in social situations. If there are more people than just you and I, I have a really hard time getting myself to come anyway. It isn’t because I don’t like who is going to be there, who your other besties are, or where we’re even going. Being around other people (whether I know them a bit or not at all) just gives me the most anxiety I’ve ever had in my life. Yes, I used to be social, and outgoing, and loud and made friends easy…. but that’s not me anymore.

I’ve changed.

This isn’t me having let anxiety take over my life. THIS IS WHAT ANXIETY IS. This is literally what I experience and it’s hard for you to understand, unless you experience yourself. I’m sorry, but it just is. Do you know how terrible it makes me feel when I cancel our plans? Do you know how sick to my stomach it makes me that my efforts are basically non-existent? Do you know how heartbroken that I am, watching my friends withdraw and find new friends? Heartbroken. H E A R T B R O K E N. I’ve spent many nights just crying and crying. Not focusing at work because I can’t stop thinking about all of the friends I’ve lost over the last 2 years. It isn’t easy for me. And I’m sorry it makes you upset. I am not doing this intentionally. Something in my brain, chemically, makes it hard for me to be in social situations, with a lot of people, or a few. That sounds needy, and dependent on others. It’s not, I just know (from experience) how my anxiety works and doesn’t work in different situations.

I’m a quiet person now. I prefer to keep things to myself (with the occasional Instagram post). I just want to be at home, with my husband, reading a book. It’s weird. I miss me. I miss being outgoing, and spontaneous, wild and loud… I miss being happy and friends with everyone… but I’m just not anymore. I’m good to have a close friend or two… someone I can truly trust with everything in my life. I need someone to love me. I need someone to stay in my life, as my friend, regardless of the struggle I have when it comes to socializing. I understand that everyone is different, and I’m not demanding all of my friends to attend to my every need. But what I am saying, is that it’s hurtful. It’s hurtful to know that I’ve disappointed you. It’s hurtful to know that I’ve hurt you by not being there. It’s just as hurtful for me as it is for you. And carrying that, is an even bigger weight. I’m sorry, I’m gonna say it like it is, without the intention of you doing everything wrong. Because that is most definitely NOT what I’m saying. 

All I’m saying is this. I’m losing my friends, left and right. More and more people I’m losing contact with. I know that 75% to probably 99% is my fault but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about you. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about you every single day. It doesn’t mean that I don’t wish and pray for, every day, that we could spend more time together, and strengthen our friendship. I feel so lonely. Yes, I do have my husband, but he is not a girl, and girls need their girlfriends and girl nights. I’m only saying this because I don’t want anyone to assume anymore who I am, what I’m feeling, or decide for me, what I can and cannot handle as their friend. I’m just tired of it. I’ve changed. It’s okay. People change!! I didn’t expect to change, and I’m sure you didn’t either. But it’s okay. I love having friends, I do. And I wish that this wasn’t an issue in my life, but it is.

I feel really lonely. I feel sad that it’s hard for me to make an effort to be friends with someone. I’ve been on the back burner in many friendships before and it’s hard to continually put myself out there, despite my anxiety, only to be reminded that I’m not exactly that friend I thought I was all along. Gah, there’s so many mixed feelings going on in this post. Anyway, I mainly just wanted to say that I’ve changed. And yes, I’m well aware of how much I do not socialize anymore. I’m very aware of how different and withdrawn I am. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want any of you to be my friends. It doesn’t mean that one single bit. I’m just different, and I’m just asking you to love me for who I am now, instead of who I used to be. I’m still Ashley, I’m still here, I’m just different now.

I love you guys. I love all of my friends very deeply. I would do anything for any of you. I’m thinking and praying for you always.

xoxo

#collaboreads: A Brand New Book

The brand new book I chose to read this month is called Seek This Jesus by Neill Marriott. The cover surely caught my attention and I knew I had to read it for myself.

It’s phenomenal. It’s absolutely amazing! Neill shares so much of her life in this book. She shares the life she had while attending a Methodist church in the south, to feeling forgotten by God, to joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). I just am in awe at her journey!

My favorite part of the book are pages 69 – 73. She shares the story of her daughter who passed away from getting hit by a car. But it’s the way she talks about staying connected to God, grieving and what each year felt like when it came to connecting with God and grieving her loss.

I think it left an impression on me, obviously because my dad passed away and I’m still grieving so bad. But I don’t think I’ve ever had someone describe grieving the way she does in those pages. The transitions and how each year passing is different but she grew closer to God each year.

I am just certain that everyone needs to own this book. I wouldn’t necessarily say anybody who isn’t LDS wouldn’t enjoy it, but it is centered around God, and Jesus Christ. Their love for us and a woman’s story. I give it 5 stars! 

↑ Read this book for FREE when you sign up for a 30-day trial with Deseret Bookshelf PLUS!

 

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