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Hi I'm Tess

I'm a mom of disabled kids. I'm an abuse survivor. I'm a graduate student, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm from Sin City but have never wanted to gamble or party. I have disabled kids but I wouldn't change them. I have survived every form of abuse but I can easily say that I am stronger and more compassionate and insightful now than I would have been without the bad stuff. Abuse is gross and some days I'd rather forget it, but I'm also able to talk about it and be an advocate for others. Christ has hammered our my paradoxes! I am a young mother with three little boys; they are sweet and loveable and very bright and they are all on the Autism Spectrum. When they started getting diagnosed, I wondered what in the world God was thinking. I mean, hadn't I survived enough in my childhood? Why can't my kids attach to me typically? How am I going to afford helping all of them? Where am I going to find my peace if I have so much life stuff to deal with? Well, it's been three years or so since then and I know what God was thinking because He told me. I found an inexpensive therapy that I love and is a great fit for them. I have learned that I can get my emotional needs met by Christ in ways that I never learned as a child going through stuff. I love God! I know He has a plan for me. I know I'll see Him again because He's been preparing me for it my whole life. As a stay-at-home mom I've found lots of outlets for my passions for learning and creating - I teach a few flute lessons, I decorate cakes, I learn about my ancestors, and I am about to finish my online graduate program.

Why I am a Mormon

One thing I love about the structure of the Mormon church is the comfort I've found in making covenants or promises with God. I think I could have achieved the mindfulness and gratitude for my tough life experiences through any religion teaching about the same loving God that I have come to know. But Mormons give me a way to cement that tie to Him in the same way that Moses and Aaron did in Exodus - by making promises with God in His Holy Temple. I had always felt that the Mormon church was good and helpful and I loved how helpful the Book of Mormon was in building my relationship with Christ, but when I got to enter God's Temple for the first time when I was around 21, I KNEW that what I was feeling and experiencing was from God directly. My heart told me that if it was as real as it felt, then the person who made it available to me (Joseph Smith, the 14-year-old uneducated white kid from New York) really must have been a Prophet! Before going to the Mormon Temple, I had believed in prophets and ordinances like in the Bible logically (I mean, if they were around on the earth during Bible times, then why not now, right?), but when I went for myself to do those ordinances, I KNEW that sending Prophets to Earth today was a way God shows his love for his children. And I wouldn't trade that knowledge for anything.

How I live my faith

How do I live my faith? I exercise it! When I feel myself start to fill with anxiety about the past or fear of the future, I take a deep breath and remember that God is in control. The Universe is perfect, and therefore by trickle down or extension, I can accept that the hard stuff I have gone through is ultimately for my good. I ask God to take unpleasant emotions from me, and have found that he is more than willing to help me! This bolsters my faith and keeps me mindfully in the present instead of dwelling on regrets from the past or worries for the future. I also teach a women's class at church and stay integrated in my community by visiting women in my neighborhood who want a pick-me-up once in a while as much as I do. I also learn about my ancestors' lives to tie myself back into family I've felt separated from due to abuse. Providentially, I can help those ancestors to have the same blessings of Temple Ordinances that I've found for myself so it all comes full - circle. Jesus is my Lord and my Savior and my faith in him and the clarity I have gotten into my own faith through the LDS Ordinances of Baptism and Temple ordinances are what has given me my true rebirth from the shattered abuse victim to the thriving mother, advocate, and future professional that I am today.