the next step, and the faith to get there

Well world, I’m home now, after exactly 6 months.Image

I guess it’s time to explain.

I have been sick with an illness called valley fever for 1 1/2 years. Two Sundays ago, I was sitting with my companion in church when my chest started to feel like I was being stabbed. I could barely breathe and had to be rushed to the hospital. They told me that my lung was swollen up and was inflamed. They told me there was nothing they could do. Pain pills didn’t work. So they gave me a choice.Β To stay in Chile in pain, or to go home and recover. I prayed and fasted. I really thought about it more than any other decision. But I realized that my Heavenly Father would love me no matter what. And I know now that I couldn’t have helped His children when I was sick like that.

But being home does not make it easier.Β Image

I have reached a point in my illness where I am being told that there is essentially nothing that anyone can do. I am kind of stuck with pain and being tired all the time.

I feel sad sometimes because it is hard to understand how to deal with a sickness like this. It is hard to accept that this is my life. It is hard when people don’t understand me. I try more than anything to not let my valley fever interfere with my life. If I am in pain, I try to hide it. If I am feeling sad, I still hang out with friends… I still get ready and do my thang. I don’t lay in bed rotting all day, and I think sometimes people don’t understand why if I’m “so sick” why I’m not dying in my bed.Β Image

But more than anything, I am sad sometimes because I miss my mission. I worked harder than I have ever worked for anything to go on my mission.
I loved my mission more than anything I have ever done in my life. I love the Chilean people, the Chilean culture. I loved my companions. I loved being so close to the Spirit.

BUT. I cannot deny the feeling I got when Heavenly Father let me know that I needed to come home. It was just a feeling of peace. A feeling that no matter what, it was going to be okay.

So here I am πŸ™‚

Missing my Chile, but happy with my life and my choices πŸ™‚

There is no cookie cutter life for members of the Church. Not every girl must go on a mission after high school, graduate with a bachelors in nursing or cosmetology from BYU, and get married in the Salt Lake Temple to a blonde return missionary, all before age 23.

No, that’s not how it always works in this life.

And even if that’s the life you want, sometimes that’s not what Heavenly Father has in store. I’ll tell ya right now my plan was NOT to have a debilitating illness for the past 2 years of my life that interrupted my mission and my entire future plans.

But ya know what? That’s where faith comes in. That right there is one thing I learned on my mission.

Faith. So simple and we talk about it all the time. Actually, almost every religion talks about faith as though it is built upon it. (As it should be!!) But even as Latter Day Saints, do we even know what faith REALLY is?? I sure didn’t 6 months ago. Sure, faith is believing that God and Jesus Christ live and that Jesus died for us.

But for some of us, that is basic knowledge. For me, it is. Faith for me is now a lot deeper. Faith for me means that i have the trust that the future is going to be okay. And not in a really general way of speaking either. But really, really knowing that coming home from my mission with no job and no money and no plans, with an illness and no car, that I’d be okay.

I made sure that before I went home that I KNEW I trusted in Him. I had to know, or I wouldn’t have done it. So prayed and promised my Heavenly Father that I would follow these promptings as long as he helped me do it, and that I trusted in him.

Guess what?? 2 days after I got home, I bought a car. I don’t know how I did that.

And I am finding ways to get a job, go back to school, and opportunities are opening up for me that I didn’t even think about before.

I am putting my faith in Him, and he is guiding me.Image

Is everything perfect? FLIP no. Seriously, my life has never been harder.

But I am happy πŸ™‚

I am completely and utterly happy with my life right now πŸ™‚ I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that I will be okay πŸ™‚ I am happy with my choices and I don’t care what anyone says. I know I am good with God, so I’m good with myself. And Satan (and anyone else who wants to say anything) can kindly suck on that.

So what’s the next step? Well, I am still working on that one.

But I really don’t think that I will be heading out on the mission. At least not at this point in time. I need to focus on some other things right now. But I am happy with my life, and I encourage everyone else to put their trust in Heavenly Father and find true, real happiness.

 

saying goodbye to my favorite people on earth

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Well, this is it. I’m beginning a new, new chapter in my life, haha.

But I feel awesome about all of it, and I am ready to take on whatever this world wants to hit me with. πŸ˜‰

Let me have it Satan, I can take you. πŸ˜‰

CHAO

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3 thoughts on “the next step, and the faith to get there

  1. juancito400m says:

    Sister Dunne, thank you for your testimony. I too, came home from my mission early, only for psychological reasons. Since then, I’ve been put into a mental hospital, put on lots of drugs, and have done my best in school. Still looking for the right girl, etc. I just believe that you can get through any trials the Lord puts you through with faith. Thank you for your post. You’re not the only one out there.

    John G.

  2. Katie says:

    Julia Dunne,

    You rock. You tell it how it is and you have faith that radiates. Thank you, for being so open and honest and everything. Your blog has helped so many, and I’m sure has helped those who have came home early or even just preparing for a mission. You have definitely helped me.

    Thank you.
    -Katie.

  3. Melissa says:

    Hey Julia! This is Hermana Blau’s mom. We have been following your blog ever since you and Laney were compies in the CCM, and we have loved the enthusiasm and fun that comes out through your words as you talked about your missionary experience. I just want you to know just how much we appreciate you and all that you did for Laney while you were in the CCM together. You were a light for her during that time, and you made the transition to missionary life an easy one for her. I hope you know that you made a huge difference to those you encountered on your mission, and we will be forever grateful to you for all you have done for Laney. Don’t let anyone give you grief for coming home early. The Lord doesn’t care about specific time allotments. He only cares that we are where we need to be when we need to be there and that we are willing to go where He needs us to go. You have proven already an ability to do that and follow His promptings. You are a rock star! Thank you for your example and your faith!!!

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