I guess I'll start with a small testimony.
I know who I am, I know that I am a Daughter of God. I know that He sees more in me than I see in myself. I know I have faults. I've sinned. But I know that I have a Savior, a Savior that loves and cares for me enough that He died for me. I can become a new person each day. I know who I am and my Savior knows my heart. That's all that matters.
In saying that, I had a really unsettling experience a few weeks ago. An individual said to me that I am not the person I claim to be.
My reply- My Heavenly Father and Savior know me, they know all of me. I am confident that they know where my heart lies.
This comment hurt. Man, it hurt a lot. Mainly because it came from an individual who doesn't know me enough to judge, even though they probably should know me.
I won't blame them for it all, I know I haven't done my part- but that is no excuse for them.
One thing that is great about the Gospel is that I can become a new person, I can redirect my life. Nothing can ever stop my progression. Nothing.
Here it goes. I thought I'd make this public so there is no confusion or distortion about what I say.
I'm sorry dad. I'm sorry that I am not the daughter you want. I'm sorry that we do not have a great relationship, heck we don't really have any relationship. I'm sorry that I didn't get to grow up with you. I'm sorry that we fight more than laugh. There are things I do get from you though, and you should know. My creativity, although I know I'll never be as good of an artist as you- I know that's where it came from. My mom always says that the joy I have and express in pictures and videos reminds her of your dad, my grandfather. I want you to know that I love you. I think that there needs to be less bringing up of the past. Especially the choice my mom made to move us from New Mexico to Washington because I am grateful for that choice. I wouldn't be who I am had I not grown up in Washington. I'm not going to say the things that I am mad at you for, because I'm letting them go. Just one thing, you can't put all the weight of communication on my shoulders.
However, I am extremely grateful to my mother. I am glad that I grew up in the beautiful state of Washington. I'm grateful that I could experience snow, the ocean, cozy falls, and green scenery. I'm grateful to my mom for being an example of hard work. I've never seen in my life a woman who has worked so hard yet received so little in return. Of course we've fought, but they never ended in 'I'll wait until you contact me'. I am my mothers child. I am an animal lover, partial hippie :), compassionate, and stubborn. I love my mom. Every time I think about her I end up in tears. My mom is my best friend. We may fight, but our fights always end in smiles and hugs.
To my siblings. I love you.
A lot of people ask me about my siblings. Oh you have 1/2, step, what not. I have never in my life looked at Devynne, Jacob, or Logan as anything but my family.
Devynne, you have no idea how proud I am of you. You have your life together and are going to do amazing things in your future.
Jacob, I know you get down on yourself. But know that I love you. You're my brother, I'll never forget the toe-knuckle cracks that I hated, or danger-danger, or that you're the crusty bum :) I love you, you've just got to believe in yourself.
Logan, such a funny 12 year old. I admire your singing voice. I love that you're more awkward than I was! I miss you Logie, I really do!
to my other siblings: Genesis, Candice, James (Claire), Jennifer (Richard). I wish I knew you better and I hope your lives are great!
G-ma&G-pa Lewis, I hope you know I love you too. And I hope that you know that my mom has nothing but good things to say about you.
Grandma Thiessen, I LOVE you! I am so grateful that you are in my life and that I had the time to visit with you a few times this year. I definitely got my sewing talent from you, despite the fact that my idea of a dress is a sheet compared to what you can create! :)
Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. I admire you and I love you. It's so fun to see all the things you are doing with your lives.
A few, non-related individuals I'd like to express my gratitude towards:
Frau K, thanks for instilling a love of Deutschland in my heart.
Mr. Silvernale, If I ever were to be a teacher- I'd probably be like you :) "you are rude!" Thanks for the fun and knowledge!
Bishop Bushman, Thank you for your encouragement and for being an excellent example to me.
Marci Monfredi, I adore you. You know I love you and I love that I was always welcomed in your home. I love your family.
Sheridan Jones (still weird) :), Thanks for being there in the beginning of my conversion- to help me get on the right course and to be an example. I love you.
Ashley Linton, you know I love you. I don't think I'll ever know how to express what you mean to me. Thank you. For everything you've done for me and will continue to do.
Megan Christopher, you were an amazing room-mate. I learned so much from you. I love you and I am so excited for you and your new adventures. Know that part of my wanting to serve a mission is because of you.
Clair Kaufmann, everything about you makes me smile. Thanks for being a great friend, roomm-mate, and example. I hope you're having loads of fun in NORWOOD. :)
There are so many other people that I could express gratitude towards, but this post has already turned into a list that I hadn't anticipated.
What I want to convey is that I am who I am, and I am that person not because of myself but because of you all. I wouldn't be who I am or love the things I do if it weren't for you.
I guess I needed someone to say something mean in order for me to really think about that.
I'm sorry if I've ever said something to make you confused about where I stand.
I'm sorry if I was ever mean. We all strive to be better.
As I've been telling myself these past few years. I'm just trying to be a good person.
I don't like Thanksgiving food, but I sure do love that this season reminds us all to reflect on who we are.