Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago - a result of several forms of abuse I endured as a child. The largest effect it has had on me is my need to control situations around me. Not necessarily in the "you will do what I say, how I say and when I say" scary way. More in the "I have planned this out in my mind and know exactly how things should go and when they don't I freak" OCD type of way. If you've ever worked with me on a large project, event or anything of the sort, you probably already knew this about me though. ;)

One thing I've really wanted to "fix" about myself is my ability to react calmly/rationally when things don't go quite as planned. After all, when do things EVER go as planned? Well Heavenly Father recently blessed me beyond my capacity in this area and I am so grateful.

(A quick side-note as all readers are not LDS and I don't want to leave anyone in the dark. If you are unsure what an LDS Temple is or it's purpose, check out this great video....or even if you know, check it out anyhow - it's fantastic!)

Now, don't you feel all warm and fuzzy inside after watching that? I know I do, every single time. It's only a portion of the "warm and fuzzy" I feel when I attend the temple. Matt & I were blessed to be called as Temple workers our very first time to the temple. It was scary to me at first, but has since blessed my life in ways unimaginable. This past Saturday's shift was no exception.

Due to some health & other problems, it had been about four months since I was last able to work at the temple. I had missed it sooo much, but was feeling a lot of anxiety about it as well. The adversary knew this and tried everything in his power to keep me from going. The night before my neighbors kept me up ALL night, and we had to wake up at 3:30 to be able to leave and get there by 7:30. When I woke up I was making sure I had all of the necessary things in my temple bag, and realized my recommend was MIA. There are only two places I have EVER put it and it made 100% no sense why it wasn't in one of those two places, but it wasn't, nor was it anywhere else to be found. It was only 4am so there was no way I wanted to call someone so part of me decided I wasn't meant to go to the temple that day and I let Matt know he'd be making the trip by himself. He said he would respect whatever my decision was, but he didn't agree I shouldn't be there and gently pushed me to make the right decision. (side note: I'm very grateful for a righteous husband who takes his Priesthood responsibility to be the Spiritual leader in our home very seriously).

We started the trip to Columbus and things went as normal. I texted the Bishop to have him call me as soon as he woke up - but hadn't heard from him by the time we arrived at 7:30. I called and Natalie answered (she's 7) and I knew leaving a message with her probably wasn't going to produce any desired result, but I did it anyhow. After talking to the front desk (someone that was new to our shift since my last time there so he didn't even know if he should trust I was a worker) I learned the procedure changed and was more strict than in the past. So now I had to wait until the Temple Presidency could call a member of the Bishopric, and they could only use the numbers on file. Knowing the number for my Bishop was probably incorrect, and that one counselor was in Oklahoma, and the other was at work...let's just say, I wasn't hopeful. One thing I failed to remember was the Stake Presidency could vouch for me as well - and I was more than pleased when President Brandt came out and said they were able to get a hold of President Snyder from the stake.

So....keeping in mind my previous mentioned anxiety issue....

My shift was anything but normal, and I was given the opportunity to deal with 3 situations unique to me (1 unique to most of the workers). One of them involved assisting my trainer with preparing a large group of sister missionaries who were extremely unprepared to be there. To put it plainly, my trainer freaked. She is a brand new trainer and that was already causing her a lot of stress....so when this situation came up she just didn't have it in her. I did the best I could to assist, but at the time felt I may have been causing more of a struggle because of my limited knowledge on where some things were kept in the cupboards. A while after the chaos had passed, she pulled me aside and thanked me for my calm reaction to the situation and told me it was the only reason she didn't completely lose her head. She thanked ME! The person who completely FREAKS when the tiniest thing is out of order or not according to plan.

After my shift was over I had a lot of time to reflect on the day. I realized that I had some major 'triggers' that day that in any other situation would have caused me to have at least one panic attack and be down for the count. I also realized that during those events, I felt more peaceful than I had in a long time. The more I reflect on the day the more grateful I become for Heavenly Father's gift of those trials while at the temple. We truly do grow the most through our trials. I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn that I really can do this.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve the Lord in the Temple as I know I couldn't have learned that lesson among the chaos of the outside world. It was there where I was finally able to depart from the temporal world, and realize the potential Heavenly Father has given me to overcome my weaknesses. It was there, through serving Him, that I was able to find hope. Hope that one day, I might be normal ;).

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