When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned: Kathryn

Kathryn and I served in the same mission (kind of a common theme lately). She and I were never companions but lived in the same apartment. She was a huge blessing to me in a moment of struggle and need. I didn’t even know her that well and she listened and loved.

Kathryn is currently a 2nd-grade teacher in Orem and absolutely loves the littles! When she happens to drag herself away from school, she likes to be in nature, hiking, taking pictures, star gazing, etc, or at the gym learning some mad kickboxing skills! She’s the 4th of 5 children and her siblings are her best friends.

I came home from serving a mission in June. I got set up on a blind date in September. We immediately started dating, got engaged in March, and we got married in the Manti temple in May. It was the fairytale story. He was the man of my dreams. He was exactly what I was looking for. He and I were going to make a happy life together and work through difficult situations together and those would bring us closer together. We would raise a family together. We would make traditions together. We would have a friend group. Through our time of being engaged, we established strong communication skills, we set goals, we helped each other become stronger. We were referred to as the “dynamic duo.” Love was on our side. It was us against the world. We were ready to take it on together.

Then something changed. We didn’t have each other’s backs anymore. We didn’t make our relationship a priority. We developed our own dreams, instead of developing dreams together. We set goals, but neither one of us followed through with them. Our priorities changed, and they weren’t changed together. We each had our own priorities and we were unable to compromise.

Eventually, our relationship came to a crossroad. A choice had to be made. Neither one of us were happy. We either needed to part ways, or we needed serious intervention. We didn’t feel that trust could ever be healed, and we weren’t sure if the other would put in the work and time to make our relationship healthy again. We didn’t feel like we would ever be completely honest and open with each other.

So, the difficult decision was made. We parted ways. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I thought the mission was, and would always be, the hardest thing I had to go through. It was only preparing me for what was to come. I married the man of my dreams. I loved him. He was my world. I devoted everything to him. I tried so hard to make things work, but I knew that parting ways was the only way both of us would be truly happy in the end. It was torturous. It physically hurt. There was physical pain- excruciating pain. We made promises to Heavenly Father that we were going to be a family forever, and now, we were breaking that promise. I didn’t know if I would ever find someone who compared to the man I fell in love with.

I got very angry with God. I was angry that He allowed me to get married to someone He knew I wouldn’t end up with. I was angry that He allowed me to go through so much pain and suffering. I felt like I was always the girl that made the right choices in High School. I studied the scriptures every night. I prayed. I went to early morning seminary and even did assignments over the summer. I did the Personal Progress Program multiple times. I was constantly preparing to serve a mission.I served faithfully and with all my heart and strength. I married in the temple. I did everything right. I followed the commandments the best I could.

I got on social media and saw my friends who didn’t have the same standards as I did, and they were happily married with children. I was angry because I didn’t understand why God would take away a happy marriage and a family from me when I did everything I was supposed to. Why would He give that opportunity to those who I felt didn’t have the same standards?

I was bitter, cynical. I hated everything and everyone. I had constant anger with me all the time, and no one, not even me, knew when I would explode. Sometimes, it was in my car when I was alone, sometimes it was at my family members who were trying to support me, and sometimes it was in my classroom full of children.

Eventually, I started to see miracles and tender mercies from Heavenly Father. I was humbled because of all the things He was doing for me to carry me through this trial. I got a renter for our apartment within a couple days. I got a check in the mail that I wasn’t expecting that covered the termination fee, and the debt we had accrued together. I had an amazing work family that was so supportive and always willing to help out in any way possible. I had a class full of wonderful, tender, and understanding kids, who gave me hugs all day long. I truly believe that angels in Heaven were working through those kids. I can’t help but believe that Heavenly Father gave me that specific group of kids because He knew they would take care of me.

I started to see all these little things that let me know Heavenly Father does love me. He is looking out for me even if I am having a hard time. I saw a counselor who told me that she felt Heavenly Father was understanding of those feelings and that He wasn’t going to judge or condemn me for having them. That changed everything. I felt better about being angry, which made it less intense.

I learned to do things I loved again. I learned to lean on my Savior again. I learned to appreciate Him and that He felt what I feel. I was humbled, immensely, knowing that Heavenly Father loves me even if I was mad at Him, and blamed Him for everything that went wrong.
I am still working through this change, but I can always see my Savior’s guidance, and I can always tell that I’m not alone, that at times, I am being carried. We can see our Savior’s love if we look for it. We can also see hatred and anger if we look for it. Our emotions reflect what we are focusing on. Thankfully, I was at a point where I had no one else to turn to for help or guidance or a soundboard, then my Heavenly Father.

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