Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Testimony Tuesday: Sophia

There are a few unwritten rules in life: never buy from traveling salesmen, don't say the word "bomb" in an airport, never date co-workers, or your best friend's crush for that matter.  Never ever allow yourself to purchase or drive a Trans Am.  And once you're married, don't go tracking down old boyfriends and setting up lunch dates and such.

As far as I can tell, there are no rules about steering clear from old boyfriend's sisters.  I can't deny the fact that the reason I met our guest writer today was because I once dated her older brother.  Kindof weird.  It's so irrelevant now, and it became irrelevant even back in "the day".     

For now, Sophia and I share in the roller coaster ride that is motherhood.  As a mother to three girls under age 4, Sophia demonstrates her mad skills by filling each day scrubbing up her kids to cute-ness with matching bows, reading to them, cleaning her house, counseling the young ladies at the church, fixing dinner, and working out.  Plus she gets to bed at a decent time.  Mister of the House, if you're reading this: please don't up your standards on me.  Just love me for my frenetic spontaneous energy bursts that seem to follow the moon, or maybe chocolate consumption

Over the coming years, I look forward to sitting back to see how her offspring turn out after spending their lives with this wise no-nonsense mother, who is level-headed, funny, and insightful.

As a bonus for you all: A kissing pic!  

And now,  Sophia's tips for maintaining her faith through life's craziness:

I’ve always believed in the existence of God, but it doesn’t automatically follow that I’ve always known that a connection to Him is a connection to happiness. Nor have I understood how my choices affected that connection. I feel that my testimony has grown “line upon line” as I’ve experienced life and made choices, for good or bad, in sometimes imperceptible increments. But I have had a few standout experiences that became pivot points.

Probably the most significant of these was a car accident I was involved in when I was 17. I was trying to beat a red light and ended up colliding with two boys on a motorcycle. They both died within the next several hours. It’s a difficult thing to figure out how you can possibly have the right to be happy, or even live, when you’ve been the instrument of so much pain. Some people are imprisoned for less than what I did and here I was, walking down the halls of my High School, sitting in class, planning a future, all the things any other teenager is allowed. I instantly started taking my choices more seriously, but it was a couple years later that I finally began to feel I was also allowed to pursue happiness. That was when I began to learn about the Atonement and the great paradox of how He who deserved it least experienced the indescribable weight of us all. The fact was, I didn’t deserve happiness (no one does) but He offers it anyway. He carries the pain that we can’t. Because of His sacrifice we can reach out and pluck happiness like the fruit in Lehi’s dream. Instead of earning, we’re reaching and in the process we’re filled.

The great paradox of the Atonement applies to other areas as well. Just like a common mistake isn’t supposed to end in death, a God powerful enough to create worlds and posterity as the sand of the sea isn’t supposed to know and love a rebellious an evil, carnal, weak piece of dust; the most important message of all time can’t possibly be entrusted to the weak and ignorant; the one experience most commonly shared by women throughout the world and time, bearing children, can’t also be the most personal, intimate, unique, heart-wrenching experience for each one; each of Heavenly Father’s billions of children is entrusted with agency and so, because it will be through as many different paths as there are people to walk them, can’t possibly each arrive at the exact same truth. Reason doesn’t explain these things—only the Atonement does. Miracles don’t make sense but they are real, and even common.

I believe in God and in obeying Him, not because I think it will eliminate my trials and suffering, but because it gives meaning, perspective, and even joy to them. I actually know that it’s possible to have indescribable joy in the midst of excruciating pain. In fact, that kind of joy isn’t possible without it. I have faith because I’ve experienced the sweetness of His promised blessings. I don’t know how the miracles in my life have happened, only that they came after the faith.

Having faith means that just my efforts are good enough. Even though I can’t be a perfect mother, I have peace and joy in mothering because of faith that God will teach and protect my children simply because I try. I don’t have to earn or deserve anything—only have faith in His mercy and allow the miracle of the Atonement to magnify my efforts. I know that when I follow Him the very best of everything follows. He is the only place that offers that kind of peace and joy.


Lee Family said...

Sophia, thanks for sharing your testimony. I have always admired you. Congratulations on your beautiful family. Love from Amber's mom, Marilyn

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful to read the testimony of a beautiful girl I once shared an MTC room with. I loved it, Sophia. It was rich in purpose and emotion.


Lee Family said...

i feel like every Tuesday I can be a little bit better, see things a little more clearly, and appreciate motherhood a little bit more. Thank you Sophia. . . and bos.

Bridget said...

Thank you.

Sophia said...

Napes, I forgot you were tight with Mrs. Olsen-- very great to hear from you. Thanks Niki. Congrats on yours, too!