Five Years.

This is coming a bit late; I readily acknowledge this fact.  But, let's be real.  The only person this matters to is me.  And I can live with it coming a few weeks late.

So, on June 11th of this year, the fifth anniversary of my baptism came and went.  It was, mainly, uneventful.  In fact, I can't really remember what I did on that Saturday.  It was, however, filled with the emotional and intellectual gravitas due such an event.

Five years is a long time.  There is no kidding around with five years.  To boot, a lot can happen in five years.  I've had eight addresses in those five years.  I have been at least three or four versions of myself in those five years.

Looking back, many, many more substantial things have come to pass.

I have found a deeper understanding of my purpose.  The world, my actions, my personhood have all gained gravity.  Or, rather, they have come into the orbit of something with much more gravity – the ultimate gravity.

I have become something more... or, maybe, something less.  Less confused.  Less anxious.  Less rowdy.  Less like every atom within me was pushing outward with equal force.  Less traveling in every direction.  Less.

But also something more.  More principled, that's for sure.  More certain.  More loved, loving and lovely.    More... me.

And, I am particularly grateful for these parts of me that are lesser and for those that are more.  As a convert, I am continually trying to display to my family and my old friends that I am the same person as I was before, just... with evolved priorities.  I think that there is truth in that, and that I certainly haven't been lying.  When I sat back this past June 11th, though, I wondered if those parts of me that are different haven't overwhelmed the parts of me that are the same.  Is sameness, after all, the goal of a continuing journey through life?

I remember a few years back when I just woke up one day with the absolute knowledge that all this, "this" being the sweeping expanse of the Gospel and my adherence therein, was true.  It became unquestionable - not that I couldn't question, just that I had literally no desire to do so.  Up until that point, I had believed.  I had hoped.  I had sought for ever-mounting evidence.  And then one day, I woke up and just knew.  I knew like I know that when you add one to one, you get two.  It was just... there.  And obvious.

That day changed my life.

It is quite remarkable, though, to lay out on the table that this day came a couple of years after baptism.  It took that long for me to get it.  Crazy.

In these five years, I have fought to become the person I want to be.  Maybe it was an invisible fight.  The fight was mine, and mine alone.  It still is.  I think, looking back, I have to conclude that I have made less room for frivolity in order to create space for stability.  (Imagine that from someone who has had more addresses than boyfriends in the past five years!)  I decided to give up the more ridiculous possibilities of my day-to-day in favor of inundating myself with goodness, strength, constancy and loyalty.  Sometimes I miss having the ridiculous sort of fun, but rarely and with less fervency each time.

I have loved these past five years.  I have found significant joy in the journey.  I have found joy in the heartache and in the confusion.  I have found joy in the evolution of myself.  My entire story – not just these past five years, but my lifetime – is a story of joy.  And isn't that exactly how it should be?

5 comments:

LiLa said...

you are such a beautiful person. i love you.

Katie said...

I remember the phone call when you told me about your conversion and baptism, I was so happy I cried, and that hardly ever happens, I was really happy! I think you have grown so much and we need to catch up at some point. Love you, thank you for this post, today was a rough day and I needed to read something like this.

Lilianne said...

Lo - what a remarkable person you are. I'm crying just a little reading this because I just think the world of you and have always since the second I met you. I love that you said that you are "fighting to be the person you want to be." I think, too, that this aligns with fighting to become the person that our Heavenly Father wants us to be. Congrats on five years! My how the time flies. And I just LOVE you. Like lots. xoxo

sylvia/ticklethepear said...

a great post! thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Lauren Kay said...

Thank you all! I really appreciate the love! You are all wonderful and I'm grateful for you having been along for the ride!

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