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It took not hopping on a plane to fly back home to find God

Nov 18, 2022

A week ago I told my husband that I was really confused about my relationship with God. 

I felt mad that I could never quite seem to understand how he was talking to me. His answers seem to just always leave room for questioning they came from Him whenever I got one at least. 

I wasn’t mad at Him,  I was mad that I didn’t know how to recognize His voice as much as I wanted to and as much as I have had other times.

I have been trying to rebuild spiritual momentum to be closer to Him by reading scriptures, going to the temple. But the usual things weren’t working out anymore.

In face last time my husband and I went to the temple just two weeks ago we got in an argument right after. We usually always leave feeling happy and refreshed and more at peace. We never had argued after the temple. Maybe before from the stress of having to make it there and leave everything out the door before entering. But never after.

In the midst of this conversation Zara sweetly heard me and knew I was sad and crying and said: 

“Mom, you go in your room, find a quiet space, and pray to Jesus.”

It wasn’t as simple to do what she mentioned but yet a few days later I did it. 

Here is why it was more complicated than to do than I thought. At our home is never quiet 🤫. I am the glue that holds everyone together but that means that everyone needs me at all hours all day every day at all times.

Lately I have been mentally exhausted for months and months. I am lucky I can sleep 😴 a full night of rest.

Life seems to be so fast paced and no matter how many things I get rid of, my life at home is just busy. I also really dislike winters. Not all the time. I love the snow. But I am a beach type person on a sunny day. That is MY own personal definition of joy, peace,…ZEN!

Then it hit me. I have been feeling so many promptings lately I have been ignoring them all they all had accumulated and basically I had very long spiritual to do list.

So I  took a week to find silence in my life. 

For the first time in my life I went to a vacation. By myself. All alone.

It was by the beach. We managed to do it because we were traveling to Miami for work for David. So I already had the place and a car. I simply didn’t get on the plane.

Truth I have been feeling for more than two years that I need to have a lone vacation where I can find myself. I wanted it to be with my hubby more often than not but we got kids and no grandparents to help us out.

I was lucky enough I was able to stay behind in Miami at one of our properties so I felt safe and I was in a good place with my favorite type of  weather. It was the perfect set up because I would have never have done it otherwise. Because I am super picky about where I sleep, which toilet I sit on, security and safety. But I was staying at a place where you have to have an extensive application and background check just to apply to live in here, with private elevators. It’s not about lifestyle, it’s a choice.  I worry a lot and get scared easily.

Before this happened I had spent months watching some of my friends who are very open about their mental struggle talk about how they check themselves in a facility. I didn’t think I was doing bad enough to need that. Although as a mom sometimes you are really pushed to a threshold that is just… let’s just one it makes one feel mentally not sane.

Most people call their girl pals and go exotic places when doing these kind of vacations. They go shopping all the time, eat out, tan at the beach, order drinks.

I had no idea what it would all look like and how long I would last. Hence why I didn’t even buy a ticket home right away.

I also knew I had 20 years of accumulated hardships and I knew it was going to take longer than a few days to detox out of this one. So a short vacation wasn’t goin to be enough.

Yeah we often travel to Europe and had fun. But lately even our vacations felt differently. This time it was just a different type of time away I needed.

I wanted to find God and I wanted to find me.

Remember the girl that was so happy when she was 16. That loved herself. That heard God. That wasn’t rushed all the time. That could wake up and not have the day start by running. No impossible to finish to do lists.

I realized that  didn’t even want words actually. Just silence. I listened to classical music mostly. 

For the first time I realized I had songs stuck in my head at times.

I didn’t want temporary fixed to make me find joy. So I ate good food but simple. I didn’t want to shop and get my dopamine from clicking a purchase button. I didn’t want to be happy because of temporary endorphins from exercise only.

I wanted the true and lasting joy that comes from inner peace. I wanted to tap into every reason why I wasn’t feeling that peace in my life and figure out everything that was stressing out our family and help us solve it.

Both from a temporal aspect but also from a spiritual perspective.

I meditated a lot. And I took time to dig deep into the source of all my fears and my questions. I took time to reorganize my brain. 

It would take hours sometimes to break down all the fears I have been having lately. They’re sources and to find solutions to fix them.

I slowly cracked open things that I needed to take care of in my life I didn’t even know existed. Mistakes people that work for us that they had made. Solutions to problems we had been having for over a year. Answers to questions I have had.

And I’d set a time pray for 5 minutes whether I felt I needed to. 

Then I listened. I was frank with God and asked Him to hear clearer answers. 

And I journaled. I wrote down what I heard. 

Then I read scriptures and talks from the prophets. 

I no longer did it while multitasking. I focused in fact on being present with all I was doing. And on stretching and being in tune to what I was feeling. 

I worked out a few days. Stretched for over an hour one day. I have had on my list to work on the middle splits because I have super tight hips and legs for over a year. This was finally me being able to tackle that. To some this may seem dumb, but our muscles shut down when we stop using them all together and other parts take over which can lead to injury.

My body was so sore the first few days from all the stress I have been carrying lately. It seemed like every part of my body was aching at first.

With the silence I was able to tap into my fears and joys. 

I wrote everything down. Reorganized my life. 

Wrote what I want to keep doing when I go home. Every thought that came to my mind. I took the time to stare at the ocean. Watch people. But also tune out distractions. Not even look up when reading a book and someone walks by or I hear an interesting but distraction conversation. Just do me and not focus on anyone else. Because life is full of distractions. As a kid I used to read a book in a day and I haven’t done in years as an adult.

I realized how little as humans we actually need to be happy. Yet we spend so much time chasing after so much.

I was actually glad my apartment was nearly empty because I didn’t want to have to clean anything or stress about doing laundry and taking care of the things I owned. I wanted just time for me.

I remembered one morning that I secretly have always loved staying at the hospital after a delivery, because there is someone taking care of me. My mom past away when I was 17 which made me always so sad whenever I had a baby and we had zero family support once we came home. I love every second of motherhood, I always took it very seriously, but with that mantle has always come a lot of tiredness.

After a few days my body started to ache less. My anxieties started to dissipate. I could understand His answers more too. 

Not everyone may have this opportunity. It was my once in 20 years opportunity. But I took it. I grew in the way that I learned that I was not alone. I was so glad I had my family, but I also knew that I could take are of myself if I needed to. I knew how to find me and find joy once again. I knew how to also find God. My next to do list is to go to the temple again as well once I get home.

 

Serena Essuman

   

Serena Essuman

   
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