Well, we've had some great success on this blog! Congratulations to Kris and Marcia! You are true inspirations! I know I've learned a lot from your experiences and posts.
In 2003, my best friend and roommate got engaged and was going to move out. I remember distinctly one very cold morning I was walking from my car into work and pondering this huge change in her life. And I tried to put myself in her shoes and envision myself getting married: putting myself in a wedding dress, envisioning a reception...what it would look like...what HE would look like. And the harder I tried, the more I couldn't do it. I could NOT see myself being married! Since my biggest desire was to be married, it scared me to death!
When I was 16 years old, I decided I wanted to go to BYU's study abroad program in Israel. At the time it seemed SO far away and so impossible to accomplish, but it's what I wanted. And from what limited knowledge I had about Israel and the BYU center, I could envision myself being there...going to classes and seeing the country. A lot of what I pictured wasn't even close to what happened or how it really was, but I could see myself there. It was a hard road getting there (lack of money, political unrest, etc.) - but without that picture in my head, I honestly don't believe I would have gotten there and experienced the Holy Land.
So, for me not being able to even SEE myself in a wedding dress - something girls dream of since they are little - was a real wake up call!! It was then I realized I needed to change my way of thinking and envision me - as a bride, wife, and mother.
At about that time, a good friend started challenging me to "get outside of the box." Her ward was working on many things that would help them grow and change for the better. I accepted the challenge. Basically, I started doing things that scared me spit-less...blind dates/set ups, going to grad school, living by myself in my own place - there are too many to name them all here.
I also had to start putting myself in an image of marriage. Before when girlfriends would ask me about what I wanted when I did get married (dress, colors, ring etc.), I had no idea. I had put off the decisions of what it would all look like when that day came, because I just couldn't see it. I didn't understand that it was a mental block that kept me from doing so. I had to force myself to think about what I would want in a dress, a ring, colors at my wedding, where I would have my wedding and wedding reception. It actually was hard at first, but the more I applied myself to the task, the more came open to me on what I wanted. The point was not to plan it out so that 2.7 years later it would go as I had drawn out, but to "see it" all in my mind's eye and let my brain and heart accept the concept that yes, I could get married! It could happen, because I can see it!
It's an image I've had to work hard to keep in my head. I know for so many it's so easy to do, but I think fear and lack of faith - in my myself and God - really held me back for a lot of years. I'm just grateful that I at least see now what was blocking my path. Because once you see it, you can start conquering it!
And trust me, when that day arrives, I'm going to look gorgeous in my ivory, sparkly, buttons down the back, sweetheart neck wedding dress!