shifting gears

May 22, 2012

I am a bubbley, outgoing (kind of in-your-space), fun, loving, loud person. I have lots of energy and I love to share it. I love to bring people together and have a great time. I love to connect with people. As long as I have been aware of myself this is how I have been.

But things have shifted. I can’t imagine that it is a permanent shift, but it feels permanent right now. It feels like my life has been so dramatically altered that I almost don’t even know that other person who is the life of the party.

I have shifted into something somber. Not depressed, not angry, but carrying a load of seriousness that has never been inside me before.

This all started back in March when Jessica and Kat took me on the save-Tracy-and-have-a-load-of-fun trip. I received a Priesthood blessing that poured down into my soul and gave me an entirely new perspective on my life. After that blessing, I knew I needed to do the genealogy work for my father’s ancestors. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life and although I knew the Spirit of God had spoken to me and given me a direct command, I was still reticent. It took me another two and a half weeks to work up my courage to actually start. Each day that passed I felt the weight settling in on me…the responsibility and the privilege of knowing God was asking ME to do something specific was a bit overwhelming. See, I know He asks each of us to walk in His path, love our neighbors, pray for our enemies, forgive, love, and give our heart to Him and I strive to implement those practices in my daily life, but I am like most Christians in that those things are an ongoing task…an ongoing becoming…that feels critical, but not exactly imperative to happen right.this.minute. It also felt quite different from other specific actions He has directed me to do. For example, when I was pregnant with Blythe we were given a clear prompting that we were to homeschool her. Although we didn’t understand why and it felt like an enormous undertaking, it also felt like a grand adventure that would take place over eons of time, certainly not something that I needed to have happen right.this.minute. Many times I have been prompted to go say hello to someone or to take someone something or give someone money or something like that. Those things too, have felt important, essential even, but they didn’t feel like this. They didn’t feel like my whole soul was consumed. They didn’t feel like my whole world depended on obedience. They didn’t feel so much.

But this does. It feels all-consuming, like every phone call, every conversation, every other task is pulling me from where my soul has gone. I feel like I am living in one place and my body is inhabiting another and I don’t know how to bring it all back together again. I can’t sleep – I stay up all night doing genealogy or thinking about genealogy. I have been working on this for about four weeks (really only three since I couldn’t do anything while I was gone for 10 days) and I have hundreds of names put into my family tree.

My heart is full of love for these people that I am coming to know through the dates and places of their lives and I find it hard to have enough of me to give to the people around me in the here and now. I am careful to focus on my children and to read with them and snuggle and listen, but everything else kind of feels superfluous right now and I don’t know how to fix that. I want to give my whole soul to everyone I meet…I always have…but right now, I can’t. Right now, most of my soul’s energy is taken up with this mission to find my ancestors.

So if you see me or talk to me and I am not my normal self, please know I am okay, I have just shifted gears. I think I will be back…sometime.

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  1. Anne

    Well, this is such an important time of your life. I am thrilled for all the people you are blessing by being willing to put your life on hold and doing this absolutely vital work for them! I know all your friends and all your projects and all your business and all your organizing of groups will suffer a little teensy bit but you have to admit, God has enlarged you and made more time for everything. It seems like you are still keeping up with a lot of other things, too. . . . Maybe not reading 2-3 books a week, but other stuff. I’m so proud of you. So DANG PROUD OF YOU!! I always wonder why my life has been so blessed to have had you. You really are amazing. And I’m so, so happy that my own feelings about that side of your family has completely changed, too. I hope you will let me do some of their work. LOVE you!

    • tracy

      Thanks mama…I am so grateful for your support and encouragement.

  2. jessica

    You wrote this out so well, Tracy. I know you’ve been mulling it over and it was worth the wait.

    I think this is a very natural way to feel given the amazing experiences you’ve had and the work you are doing. I imagine most of us who love and know you will understand and happily give you over to those of your family members who have been waiting for your attention. I’m sure the feelings of urgency will eventually lift, as we start getting the work done for these people.

    I’m so honored to have played a small part in this journey for you, and ever so grateful I get to witness the changes that have taken place.


    • tracy

      Ahhhh, thanks Jess. I have so many feelings about this whole thing and I am hoping I captured enough of them that when my children grow up and read this post they will understand the sacredness of this time.

      Thank you for being there for me through the whole thing.

  3. Anne

    Jessica . . . guess what my lesson is on this coming Sunday? Yup! [Shhh, Tracy doesn’t know . . .]

  4. I am so proud of you for doing what God has asked you to. We have many seasons in our lives and some of them are very different from others. It’s like lots of other things in nature a tadpole for instance looks completely different from an adult frog though they have the same soul.