This story does not begin with a “once upon a time” or end with a “happily ever after.”
Throughout my life, there have been periods of time in which I have been under a lot of stress and that has resulted in anxiety and insomnia. Finally it got to the point that I sought out help. I went to a counselor for a period of six months and thought I was “cured.”
But now here I am. Twenty-years old and living at home, not working or going to school, while I heal from the traumatic end of my beloved mission in Chicago, Illinois.
Looking back, it is crazy to think that the whole process of deciding to go on a mission including filling out my papers, receiving my call, going to the MTC, and being out in the field is already over. Even now as I write this I am weeping. It truly is a gift to weep. It is not one that I have been able to use often in my life, but it helps me to feel the pain and let it out in a physical way.
Anxiety and insomnia reared its ugly head once again towards the end of my mission when a perfect storm for stress occurred. I was serving in a densely populated area of Uptown Chicago. We traveled and contacted by bus and by train. The people in that area are diverse. They come from all over the world--China to Montenegro to the Philippines. I had recently switched companions and my ward boundaries had just changed. With my history of anxiety, it was a recipe for disaster.
My companion and I called our mission president for what we thought would just be helpful priesthood blessings. Little did I know at the time, the information we both shared with him showing the stress I was under would result in my coming home to heal.
Until I could get home the following Monday, I was put on medication that caused me to not feel like myself. Being watched over by everyone in the mission home and subsequently back here at home has made me feel like a child, though I know they only do what they do out of love.
I have since started going to counseling and have received medication, which is more tailored to my specific case. For now, I am home to heal. After spending the last four months on my mission trying to focus outward, this has been a major struggle for me to focus on my own needs.
This difficult experience has taught me to more trust in my Heavenly Father. I have been able to forge a relationship with Him that surpasses all. Sometimes I just get down on my knees and don’t say a word, I just give Him my indescribable feelings and feel of His complete love and acceptance for me in return.
I know that my Savior Jesus Christ has been walking alongside me throughout this whole journey. He has already walked the path that I now trod. I stumble, I fall, and He is there to pick me up. He is there to help me heal. At times I can’t even feel His presence, but I know without a doubt that He is there. I know my Redeemer lives. I know that He has suffered pains beyond my imagination. It is difficult to even put into words my love and admiration for Him.
He has suffered the pains of all those that I met in Chicago. He has suffered for all the pains of those who have gone before me and who will ever be on this earth. And He knows your pains. He knows you perfectly. No one else can understand you perfectly, but He can.
I am so grateful for this experience because it has deepened my love for my Savior and for my Father in Heaven. I’m so grateful to feel of that love through the Spirit. My love and compassion for others has grown as well.
So even though there are so many things I wish I could have, I know that Heavenly Father is omnipotent and omniscient. He knows me perfectly. He knows what is best for me.
I trust in Him.