Have you've ever felt forgotten? Overlooked? Invisible? I think everyone can say at one point in their lives they've felt one of the above. Maybe we're like Peter who was a simple fisherman who didn't feel like he had much to offer the Savior when He was invited to Follow Him. Maybe we've felt like Esther who was terrified to speak up in a world that tried to keep her quiet and destroy her people. Maybe we're like Moses who didn't quite know how to deliver his people. We could even see ourselves as young Joseph, who was seeking truth in a lost world. Whatever the circumstances are, we each have been there.
In each of these stories we can find one simple truth, Each person felt like they had failed, but when God enters into their stories - they prevailed. I am left in awe as I think of these ancient stories told within the scriptures, but then I realize that these miracles weren't just for their day. Miracles happen in OUR day too, for me and for you. Our lives are surrounded by miracles, we just have to take the time to see them.
Each of our stories are different and the beauty in that is seeing how each of us are Becoming His. This blog is dedicated to each of us. Each child of God who has felt rejected, judged, and unworthy. It's every person who has felt lost, confused, and out of place. Because each of us fit in these categories at some point in our lives. Each of us has had to find our own journey back to Him. Becoming His is the dedicated lifelong journey of the people.
I guess a good way to start is to share my own personal journey to becoming His. The journey hasn't ended, we're still very much in the long stretch of this race. But I hope that each story I share on this blog will be as Nephi promised in 1 Nephi 1:20 - "I will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Each story showing how God delivers us and that the tender mercies of the Lord are still extended to us today because of our faith.
It's been a long road for me. The journey has been nothing but a roller coaster ride but a good one nonetheless. I look back to when I was 15 and could see my young self confused, lacking self confidence, and trying to find her purpose. I mean what 15 year old has their life together anyways right? But this was different. I'll leave out the details but I found myself living two lives from ages 15-17. I hung out with the wrong friends and hadn't made great choices with the law of chastity and it led me to almost three years of darkness. I look back and ask myself; why did I let myself do those things? Why did I choose what everyone else was doing over what I knew was right? On top of all of the bad choices, I was diagnosed with clinical depression at 15 and didn't know how to navigate how I was feeling or why I was feeling certain ways. I wish I could tell you that everything went smooth and I just repented and all was well! But unfortunately that's not how this story went. I remember talking to my bishop for the first time and all of the visits that came after. I also remember the continued lies, manipulation, excuses, and fights that came after that first visit. I didn't want to change, and that's why I didn't. It wasn't until the summer before my senior year of high school that my parents were so fed up with me they had to send me to my aunt in Colorado.
Now you're probably thinking; "Colorado is so pretty! I'm sure it was more like a vacation than a punishment!" You're right, they lived in the middle of nowhere in Colorado, we did have so much fun because my younger siblings came with me, but I had no friends, no phone, nothing familiar besides my family, and daily PPI's with my dad. I thought it was such a dumb idea to send me away thinking it was going to fix me because at that point I really stopped caring. My depression and bad choices had led me to really not value anything important anymore. I realized my relationships with my siblings went from us being the best of friends to them not trusting me at all. I watched my relationship with my parents crumble and it got to the point where my mom didn't know what to say anymore so she stopped talking to me.
Spending that summer in Colorado with my aunt and her family changed my whole life. It took removing me from my environment for me to see things how they truly were. My aunt asked me questions I never wanted to answer out loud. She asked questions like: "Do you know how much you're loved?", "Do you believe we love you?", "Do you know your potential?" All of these questions always left me in tears because the answer up to that point in my life was a resounding "No." I had felt like I had made too many mistakes, said too many lies, and disappointed my family too many times that I led myself to believe that not only did my family not love me, but that God didn't love me either. Each day my aunt and uncle would take us out to this beautiful lake in the mountains of Colorado and we would swim and fish all day. One day I will never forget was one of our last days at the lake before we would return home to Utah for school. My aunt had come up to me standing on a sandy rock near the water and asked me to look around and tell her what I saw. I told her; trees, beautiful clear blue water, a sunset. She then proceeded to tell me that if I can clearly see the beauty that God has created all around me, why couldn't I see the beauty within myself? Obviously that statement left me in tears because I didn't know. I couldn't answer. But I left that beautiful lake that day committing to find the answer.
There was a certain point in all the darkness that I had really thought that life wasn't worth living anymore. I hadn't prayed in what seemed like years, but I had a plan and if it didn't work, I vowed to take my life and make (what I thought at the time) my families life easier. I knelt down in prayer that day and just talked to God. Pleading with Heavenly Father (if He was even real) that if I'm meant to stay then he needed to tell me because I was over the countless years of unhappiness and darkness. As I cried next to my bed, I accidentally bumped my nightstand and my scriptures opened up to 2 Nephi 1 and the only verse highlighted on that page was verse 15. It said: "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love." I kid you not, immediately after reading that verse, I felt arms wrap around me giving me a big warm hug. I cried at the disbelief but also in the relief of knowing that He heard me, He's aware of my needs and feelings, and that He loves me and was ready to pull me out of my personal hell. Although it might not look the same for you, He will deliver you. In ways that only you can see and feel His love.
Throughout that summer my dad had called me every single night. He had taught me principles of the gospel to help me understand why my choices weren't the best, but he never failed to tell me how much he and my mom loved me regardless of my choices. Little did I know that those two to three years of darkness and not being able to feel the spirit, quickly turned around to a summer filled with love and light. It was through the subtle and simple acts of kindness and love that brought me back to the gospel. When no one, including myself, saw the good in me...my little sister did. Even after all of the lies and hurt, she found herself checking on me and loving me when I didn't even love myself. Some days that I found myself back in that dark place of not wanting to live, my little brother would come home early from hanging out with his friends because he felt like he needed to come home to watch a movie with me. He never knew how much that meant to me, he's saved my life so many times I can't even count. On the days that I felt like I was far from the love of God, my family reminded me in our daily conversations that God hadn't given up on me, because they didn't give up on me.
I came home with a renewed commitment to turn away from who I used to be and to become who I was destined to be. I took the necessary steps to repent and senior year couldn't have been better. It was full of moments of finding myself, loving the struggle, and reconnecting with my family & good friends. I took time out of every day to not only mend my relationships with my family, but to fix my relationships with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I could feel the Atonement work in my life as it cleansed me from my sin, but more importantly it enabled me to do good and become better. The more I involved the Savior in my day to day routine, I could see his tender mercies as he brought good friends into my life, helped me refocus on sports, school, and mend my relationships with my family.
It didn't happen overnight but after much effort and many days of consistent actions to show I've changed, the trust in my relationships had returned and I began to trust myself again. It's not smooth sailing from there though, here I am 10 years later and I still find myself struggling from time to time. I still have my days of feeling less than or invisible. Sometimes the fear of becoming my 15 year old self creeps in to my thoughts and then I'm reminded that in the process of Becoming His, we have to remember that when we've repented of our sins...He remembers them no more. A full time mission, lots of schooling, work, and years later, I write this blog in hopes that others who are struggling to find themselves and find Him, can look at my experience and see that no one is too far from the loving reach of the Savior and His Atonement.
In the 25 years of life that I've experienced, there's nothing better than experiencing God's love for me and helping others feel and see the love that God has for them.
Becoming His doesn't mean becoming perfect. It sometimes means becoming perfect in trying. Trying to overcome our personal demons with Him, trusting that He has our best interest in mind and loves us perfectly. Treating others the way that He would treat them and ultimately becoming like Him. Whatever struggles you go through in your lifetime, remember that it's not the OUTCOME but who you BECOME that is important. God's greatest work is His people, so why not become the greatest YOU, today? Look to Him and LIVE.
Kamalei is willing to support you on your mental health journey. Email her at
firstname.lastname@example.org for additional support!