Monday, March 15, 2010

Converting Myself

Whitney Brown

She is looking through a store window. She sees a small globe of the world sitting in the center of a beautiful display. A bright light is shining perfectly on the globe and it’s spinning on an iron stand. She can tell it’s been worn down and touched many times but somehow it just seemed to add to its beauty. Suddenly the door to the small shop is opened and an attendant motions her to come inside. As she walks into the store she notices a sign above the door that reads “Life.” As she enters the door she is walking up some wooden steps onto a stage in a high school auditorium. It was her high school graduation and a large voice was calling her name. A man stands and beckons for her to walk toward him. She walks toward him slowly, not because she is nervous, but because she is proud. She wanted to be here. Once she reaches the man he looks directly into her eyes. He hands her that big beautiful world she was admiring in the window. It is hers now.
Chelsie stumbles back into reality from a thrilling dream. To Chelsie Brown, the world was suddenly full of opportunity. She had just began college at BYU- Idaho and her excitement was overflowing. She could do anything she wanted to now. Her first semester was everything she had expected. She was out of her parent’s house and ready to be on her own. She didn’t need them now. She could be anything she wanted, with no restrictions. Her world was careless. It wasn’t until the end of the semester that she began to grasp that life wasn’t as easy as she made it out to be.
The earth had unexpectedly jerked on it’s axis and Chelsie was using a whole new viewpoint. Chelsie went to the doctor one morning because she wasn’t feeling well. What seemed like a simple checkup became something more. They had to put her through a complicated surgery and then the doctor diagnosed her with lung cancer.
Her life suddenly paused and she didn’t know what to say or how to feel. She was scared and angry. She couldn’t help but to question God every day, “Why me?” It was hard to grasp the reality of situation. She was so frustrated with her new life of cancer. The world was suddenly new but not in the way she had expected it to be. She was thrown into the wrong playing field and was unfamiliar with the game. Why was this happening now?
She was young and beautiful. Chelsie stood 5’7’’ and had dark brown hair that lay softly near her lower back. She spent hours getting ready for each day. She loved taking pictures of herself and her friends. She knew she was attractive and honestly that was where a lot of her self esteem dwelled. Now here she was, a cancer victim. How would she tell her friends? She knew she would lose most of them because it would be difficult to be the fun, carefree girl they all loved hanging out with.
November 2006, Chelsie lies in the hospital bed, completely exhausted. Her friends, hair, and carefree life were gone now. After becoming accustomed to long lonely nights in the hospital, she realized she couldn’t make it much longer on her own. The large wall she built to protect her emotions had fallen and she was now vulnerable to any type of comfort. She loved when her family came to see her and she didn’t hide it at all. She was transforming completely and all of her family could see it. Her ability to love was strong now. It became her best feature.
Her mother said “After she started treatments she was scared at night. She slept in our bed a lot. Some nights she would just want to be close to me and hold my hand. She wanted me to comfort her. I remember a few nights she just wanted to hold my hand. She wouldn't cry or anything she just wanted to be by me.” Although Chelsie was scared, she would not be conquered so easily.
She knew she was weak now but she wanted to understand more about her trial. She wanted to fight and show everyone she was strong. She would try her best to be optimistic. She would show God that she could handle this trial. She would prove to everyone that she was strong. She would make the best of this.
Each day was miserable to say the least. She could hardly remember what it was like to not be in pain. Her body was clearly getting very weak. Her appearance was the last of her troubles. Chelsie said “I am not too crazy about my looks but I really like who I am on the inside. It’s funny how life is like that sometimes.” Although she lost some physical things that made her once feel beautiful she was very beautiful. Everyone around her saw it now. She was a beautiful person.
She found joy in leaning on her family. She grew to admire each one of them. She called all seven of her siblings at least once a week just to talk. To talk to them about their lives and tell them what was happening at the hospital. As her love grew, so did theirs. Not only did her relationship with her family change but her relationship with God grew as well. She came to know of a great and beautiful plan God had for her. During those hard nights fighting for her life Chelsie talked with God. She suddenly wasn’t angry about the challenges she was facing. She was proud to have such a great responsibility.
“Sometimes, once in a while… I can see a glimpse of what God sees in me and it’s so weird but I feel grateful for the opportunity to have a trial as difficult as this. I wish I could feel like that often. I used to always kind of be bugged by the Alma the younger story. Like when I am acting bad. God doesn’t send down an angel to tell me to be good. But he’s doing that for me. There I was at college being selfish and ungrateful when my life was basically easy, but now I’m being shown a new perspective. God saved Alma’s spiritual life, and He also saved mine too. While all the boys my age are on missions, I’m on a mission too. But instead the person I am converting is myself.”
Chelsie wanted to do something great in her life. She wanted to learn who she was and who she could be. And she did. She was given a chance to learn and grow. An opportunity to gain a new perspective was shown to her.
Now, she walks away from that small shop. She holds onto the small globe in her porcelain hands. It was hers now and as she stared at it she realized a small change. Somehow it was different, just slightly. It was still beautiful and full of opportunity but it had just slightly altered. It was a little more worn then the last time she looked at it. But it still appeared completely perfect to her. She smiled because she knew she had earned it.

I love you Chelsie!


Taneil said...

That is beautiful Whitney! thanks for sharing

Karlena said...

Whitney, I love this entry. Thanks for sharing. We hear good things about you. Glad you are enjoying your life there and now.

Ty and Shay said...

Thanks for sharing this! Loved it! You are amazing!