Wow. Life is beautiful. And I have so much to be grateful for.
This semester has been very difficult for me. I'm taking physics, which is very hard to comprehend and advanced french grammar, also difficult to understand. I'm working 15 hours at my regular job, and then 8 hours in the anatomy lab. I knew when I signed up that I was fully capable of doing it, but that I would need to stay on top of things (very un-Morgan, as those of you who know me are aware..) and would need a lot of help from Heavenly Father. Well, I fell behind and then struggled, unsuccessfully, to get back on top. I wasn't sleeping or exercising, wasn't taking time out for socializing or for increasing my spirituality. I kept falling asleep while doing my homework, so would wake up the next morning feeling terrible not only because I had failed to finish homework yet again, but because I hadn't washed my face, showered, read my scriptures, or said my prayers. Icky, icky times.
[I don't mean for this to be a pity Morgan. I'm pointing out the error in my perception. And I realize you all, as well as others, are going through much harder times than I was]
I still knew that life was a wonderful thing, but didn't love it quite as much as I had my whole life. Throughout high school, people told me I was the happiest person they knew. I didn't believe there was any such thing as a bad day. But this semester, that changed a little. People would ask how I was, how life was, and my answer was always "good" and it was always a lie; life was consumed solely by school and school was practically unbearable. I wasn't looking for the good things I had in my life or the good traits I was blessed with. Rather, I was focusing on that which I didn't have and that which I wasn't.
About a week ago, I decided I was going to do well on my upcoming physics exam, no matter what it took. I knew I could get a B on it if I tried. If you had asked me the first week of class how I would score on the exams, I would have laughed and said there was no way I could ever comprehend physics and would therefore fail every exam. Well, after a week of returning home at 10:30 pm, a week of practically nothing else, a week of next to zero social activity, after a good handful of skipped classes (bad!) and a Halloween evening spent in the physics lab, I took my physics exam and got an 88%! Not super impressive to most of you, but to me, it means the whole world. I never thought it was possible. But it was. And had I studied a bit more, I know I could have gotten an A. An A! In physics! Now to most of you I'm sure that wouldn't be difficult, but it was difficult for me and I am so grateful for the help I had and cannot deny the divine hand that supplied it.
I returned home last night a new person. On the walk home, I realized life will always be beautiful when there is love, the gospel, knowledge of a Heavenly Father that loves, helps, and blesses you, and music. I know there are many others and that music is kind of superficial compared to the others listed, but these were the ones I was thinking of at the time. I came home and began and submitted a project that was due at midnight. I got up and washed my face. I said my prayers. I read my scriptures. And then I got into bed. And I opened the window. And I laid my head on my pillow. And I closed my eyes. And...... I couldn't fall asleep. So I sat and thought about HOW grateful I was. For everything. It was an incredible experience. The soft, cool wind caressed my skin and carried in the scent of a still night. I opened the window further and stared out the window. I looked down at the beautiful, quiet street. I don't know why, but it was SO BEAUTIFUL to me. I saw a few windows with lights on and prayed that they weren't stressed with late assignments, but rather having fun doing something they loved. I smelled the cool crisp Autumn air I love so much. I looked up at the beautiful sky, still light despite the late hour. And I just sat there, looking out the window, looking at the street, at the houses, at the mountains and the sky. I can't even tell you what thoughts I had over the long period. I was mainly just reveling in contentment, soaking it up with deep, calm breaths, a huge smile, and satisfied sighs.
I pondered the gospel a bit. Thought about Joseph Smith and Moroni and Mormon, mostly.
And then I thought about those things I was most grateful for at that moment, and other collected moments throughout that day:
--That Heavenly Father had woken me up that morning at THE EXACT moment I needed to wake up (and has done so more than ten times in this semester alone). The number of times proves that this is no coincidence. It is SUCH a miracle. No human body would naturally wake up so early when it is so deprived of sleep.
--The beautiful weather we've been having.
--The physics TAs who explain torque and centrifigal forces and Newton's second law in a way that makes sense to me. Some are so brilliant I just don't understand anything they're saying; we don't think on the same level. But Mary, Rich, Alex, Jeffrey, and Michael all explain it in a way I understand without making me feel dumb for calling them over multiple times for one problem.
--That the physics test was postponed. It was scheduled for Monday, but Prof. Magleby postponed it till Wednesday. I'm sure that was an answer to about 30 prayers :)
--That my vocal teacher didn't chastise me for forgetting my music. And that through him, my voice has improved so I am proud of it. No, I won't sing for you, but I enjoy singing to myself. Not because it sounds particularly beautiful, but because it's not bad and it's mine.
--That I can TA for anatomy, a subject which I love with all my heart and strengthens my faith.
--That a friend gave me a lot of Conference talks that I have been able to listen to on my iPod throughout the days of the past week.
--That I have fantastic co-workers that strive to make me feel included. Even during Star Wars and zombie discussions.
--That my current and past roommates think I'm funny and not weird! Well, maybe a little weird, but not outlandishly :)
--That I have a mind and a body that work.
--That I am a woman.
--That my mother loves me and supports me and sees strengths I can't.
--That my dad, for reasons I will never see, thinks higher about me than anyone else does and has more belief in me than I ever would.
--That something I have been praying for for years is beginning to happen. This is the greatest miracle.
--That Joseph Smith prayed in the grove and brought the gospel to Earth. That I know of its truth.
--That I can pray with questions and uncertainties. And that I know my creator is listening and responding with comfort, aide, blessings, and revelation.
-- That nothing tragic has happened in my life.
--That I know people who love me and that I know my Heavenly Father and Savior love me.
There are many other things I am grateful for, but these were the ones I pondered. I lay in bed and my heart rate quickened. I was excited for today. I couldn't wait to start a new day and do it the right way. I couldn't wait to get on top of everything and do what I need to be doing.
Well, life is beautiful. Hopefully I will never doubt that again. I love the beauty of this earth. I love the gospel. I love my family, and I love you. May you have an incredible day every day!