Monday, November 23, 2015

Thoughts On Being a Missionary Girlfriend

My time as a missionary girlfriend was short. Thank goodness! Though I was reunited with my missionary after just three months apart, I was fully prepared to be away from him for two and a half years. Had I known we'd be apart for only three months it would have been much easier, but we didn't know that so those three months were just as long and difficult as any missionary girlfriend's first three would be.

Already it all seems like a dream, like Bailey and I were never apart. I'm already quickly forgetting what it was like being one of those missionary girlfriends. Before I forget completely, I'm going to jot down some advice for those girls whose boyfriends will be leaving soon or just left or whatever.

First of all, they're not dead. Yes, your missionary was yanked from your life and that's freaking traumatic if you're used to being with him every second. It's okay to be traumatized, nobody should blame you for that. But it's not healthy to completely shut down and mourn. Don't do that, because he's not dead, and guess what, he will eventually come back.

With that, it is also okay to recognize that it sucks to be apart, and it's okay to say that. A lot of missionary girlfriends on Instagram were all like, "I love being a missionary girlfriend!" And I was like "why". I think maybe because they enjoyed supporting such a great cause, which is really important to keep in mind. Yup, it sucks to be apart, but remember the big picture. Remember that you were not forced into this, but rather you and your missionary chose to be faithful, that you are doing the right thing, and that you will be greatly blessed and all that good stuff.

It doesn't get easier, some days are just harder than others. And over time  you will have fewer hard days! The first two weeks were brutal for me. Every day was sad. After that, I was down to only one extremely sad day per week. And after a while the sad days were few and far between! It becomes manageable. I promise.

My cousin Allie's advice was to take it one day at a time. That was the best advice I could have gotten! Looking at two years is really scary. But thinking, "I can get through today" is not stressful. You have to live one day at a time anyway, so just stress about one day at a time instead of stressing about all of the days every day. You know?

Join the community. It's super ridiculous and many missionary girlfriends are insane and make the most absurd packages that their boyfriends are probably like, "what the heck is this" when they open it and are blasted with confetti.  But honestly, there is comfort in keeping up with people who understand your situation perfectly.  You will hate the girls whose boyfriends are almost home, but you will also find great joy in the engagement and wedding pictures which are soon to follow.

It's fine to struggle, but just remember that these years are not for or about you, they are about doing the Lord's work!  Do your part in supporting your boyfriend, and grow along with him.  Study your scriptures and stay righteous, because when he comes back he will want someone dedicated to the gospel like he is.

So ladies, don't stress!  The Lord has a plan and will watch over you and especially his servant, your boyfriend.  You will survive and will never regret the sacrifice made!  Feel free to come to me with your mourning struggles the first 3 months, but afterward I'm not your girl because 3 months is all I had to experience, haha.  Good luck!

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