I came across a quote today that really just spoke so loudly to me. It is: “We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It’s our faith that He experienced everything – absolutely everything. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means He knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer – how it was for her, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. On a profound level, He understands about the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He understands about rape, infertility and abortion. He understands your mother-pain when your five year old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth grader, and when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Downs Syndrome. He knows your mother rage when someone gives your thirteen year old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen year old. He know the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He’s been there. He’s been lower than all that. He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save His people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.” (Chieko Okazaki, Lighten Up, 1993). It is so forward, but so beautiful. I think that this really has rang true in the past couple of weeks. I have had the opportunity to share with the people that I come in contact with why I am leaving everything I know to serve a mission. The first question that they always ask is “Are you scared?”. In all honesty I am not fearful at all and after reading that quote it was able to put into words what I could not. I have no fears because whatever is going to be thrown my way, I will have a constant companion that has felt deeper and darker depths than I could ever imagine. I am so thrilled for this opportunity to serve with the Savior’s name on my tag. The picture that I selected to go along with this post is one of my favorites. There are some powerful paintings that go along with the Atonement, but I have found this painting to be even more powerful for myself because this is what happened after the Atonement; meaning, that no matter what I go through, no matter how hurt I am, or how dark it may seem, one day I will be able to return with my Savior. I love this gospel dearly and know so firmly of it’s truthfulness.