My whole life I have been average. I was an average teenager. I did things average teenagers did.
You know those movies? The ones that show these AMAZING parties with people drinking, hooking up and having fun? Well, that's what teenagers were supposed to do, so that's what I did. I had FUN. I was happy.
What wasn't to love about a life like that? Sure, I woke up on Sunday, not remembering Saturday night, (it was before the days of text messages, and YouTube, so i didn't' have visual reminders of just how compromised I allowed myself to become) but it was GREAT. I was skilled in the art of hiding it from my Mother, so I never got caught... I had an amazing boyfriend who loved me, and we were going to grow up and get married. We had life figured out. I was on top of the world......
Then one night, at one of these AMAZING parties, my boyfriend got too wasted. He drank too much for his body to handle. He passed out. Not wanting to get caught, nobody called for help. I wasn't there. I would like to think that if I was, I would have called for help, but nobody did. He never woke up.
My perfect world shattered down around me. I realized that this AVERAGE teenage life I was living, needed to change. I realized I had so much more than AVERAGE waiting for me. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know where to find it. But I knew that I needed it. I knew there was so much more waiting for me. So, I began my search.
I was surrounded by good, faithful LDS friends, I knew everything about the Gospel that they clung to, but it didn't "fill my heart" or "calm the storm" that was inside my head they way so many of them claimed it did for them. I felt nothing when they told me about how true it was. About how alive it made them feel.
Inside, I felt like I was dying. There was a big black whole in my heart, a void that, I knew, no amount of faith could ever take away.
Then, I met some not-so-average people. The funny thing is, I had known them all along. I just began to notice them. A LOT.
These people weren't young men, dressed in suits that had given up two years of their lives, to come and knock on my door, and teach me about the religion I never knew I needed.....they were my peers. They were ones I walked passed every day in high school. The ones who had such a power inside their hearts, that it would shine from their eyes. People who made your head turn, because the peace within them radiated from every part of their being. They didn't know how beautiful they were, or how powerful they were. They had no idea that their light, somehow, found the blackness in my heart....
Perhaps it was the darkness that consumed me, that allowed me to finally see the light. I wanted to know more. I wanted to feel more. But I couldn't. Could I? I had never prayed in my life.
I didn't know how to use the words Thee and Thou, and I certainly didn't want to talk to someone who wasn't listening. Then, one day, one of my friends asked me if I had ever prayed. I explained my situation to him. I told him I didn't know how to pray. He told me to think of of it as bugging a best friend to tell me a secret. He said "Jessica, Christ is your friend, This Gospel is his secret, bug Him until you get an answer..."
I went home that night, and I said
"HI. if you know me as well as they say you do, you know that there is a lot wrong with me. If you love me, they way they say you do, than it seems you can look past that, into my un broken heart. If you are as real, as they say you are, will you help me? Will you help me to see my un broken heart? Will you teach me to feel what they can feel? If you are there, like they say you are, please...PLEASE don't leave me. I want to know you are real, before you ever leave....Amen...I guess"
The darkness started disappearing that day. That void in my heart began to fill.
Remember those young men in suits? Well, I called them, and told them I NEEDED to be baptized. That I knew, this was the way to become so much more than average. I begged them to come over. To teach me what I needed to know, to be a part of this great, and beautiful gospel. They came. They taught me, and my whole world changed.
The day I was baptized I had a new hope burning in my un-broken heart. It turned out that this was just the right amount of faith, to take the darkness away.
That was almost fourteen years ago, and I have never looked back to my average life.
Now, I am a wife. I am a mother. My world revolves around my Husband and my kids, but it is now, and will always be, centered in Jesus Christ.
How grateful I am for the love that the He gives me! For the many, many times He has helped me to look past my world of fear, doubt and uncertainty, and helped me to see my un-broken heart. I know He is the life and light of this world.
I know that, because He is the light among the darkness, in my world.
Everyday, I stumble. Everyday, I falter, and stray away from what I know I should be doing. But every day , I am reminded that I am so much more than average. That I, am a daughter of a kind and loving God.
That's what being Mormon does for me. Teaches me, over and over and over again, that I am never out of the Lords reach, and that with the Lord on my side. I CANNOT lose. I cannot fall where I won't be able to rise up again.
I know what its like to live in darkness so deep, that you don't think you will ever see the light again, but I promise, there is no darkness that Christ can't reach. Let Him be your light, and your darkness will slowly disappear. Leaving only love, and light in its place. It's not easy.
But trust me. It is worth it.