Is there an event in your life that altered your life path?
–I can think of three pretty significant events:
- Watching General Conference, a special session of church which is held for our church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or Mormon church)) every 6 months, at a time when I was applying for medical school, and getting the distinct impression that was not the right path. Soon thereafter, I withdrew my application and ended up getting my Master’s degree in Public Health.
- When I had West Nile virus – this came at a time in life where I was not active in my church. I was literally at death’s door, in the neurocritical care unit, in guarded status, and realized that the only thing I wanted, and craved, was to feel like I was ok and right with God. One of the most significant things that kept my spirits up during this experience was kindness, prayers, and visits from faithful members of my church. I had to relearn walking, talking, eating, etc. as I recovered, which gave me a lot of time to think, and I knew I wanted to go back to church. Luckily, my husband joined me, and 4 years later, we were sealed in the Bountiful Temple; to us, this is a very special occasion since we believe it will allow us to be married even after death.
- Having my daughter – I always thought I would be happy to work and raise a child (or children). We have infertility issues, so getting her here was very challenging, and took several years of disappointment, learning about fertility, etc. Eventually we went through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures and were able to get her here! The most surprising thing to me, though, was just how heart-wrenching it was for me to go back to work. It has broken my heart pretty much every morning since. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and that is wonderful, but it has been the case for me. I’ve learned so much from being a mom, from the importance of family, to the depth of love you can have for another person, to understanding God, who I think of as my Heavenly Father, just a bit more. If I had to pick one event that has changed me, that one would be it.
What times in your life truly tested you, and what did you learn about yourself by dealing (or not dealing) with them?
‘And I Did Eat’
When I was asked to write an article about my life I was touched. I then wondered if it was really understood who they had asked and whether they truly knew of the condition of the tapestry of my life and the much needed repair work that had occurred on so many occasions! Realising we are all on different journeys to the same destination and with very different experiences but with the same divine heritage, a prayer was offered up to my Heavenly Father requesting the assistance of The Holy Ghost so that I might be able to write with authenticity the things that my
Father in Heaven would have me share and that these words would reach the people they were intended to lift. I have entitled it ‘And I Did Eat’ because like Eve that’s the choice we all made in the [before life] willingly.
My name is Julia Marie, I loved to introduce myself as this as a child, it made me smile for some reason. My maiden name is Gray and I was born in the United Kingdom. I am a spirited passionate girl who is a wife, mother, grandmother and so much more, still working it all out and trying to see myself with all the lights on as it were. Always wanting to throw myself into the experiences of life with gusto that allow me to flourish and grow on this wonderfully colourful planet. Continue reading