It turned out to be the most wonderful. No pain no gain has come to mean a lot more to me lately. When someone lets you carry them, an amazing thing happens. You learn that the person you thought you loved over all others can be loved even more. You learn that the person that occupies the greatest part of your heart becomes seemingly inseparable from your own. Not only has my love for Bradley grown because of the pain and growth he's going through, but my love for Christ and the Atonement have also grown.
Two weeks ago I found myself wondering whether or not to continue my relationship with Brad. If you know anything about me, you know that's a pretty weighty thing for me to ponder. About 6 hours a day are dedicated to me locking myself up in my room and talking to him on Skype. Not only did I feel so angry and betrayed by him, but I also wondered if everything I knew about him was still valid. Was the person I knew the best really that person?
I realized that it came down to two choices: either his problems were too much for me to support or I believed that the Atonement worked for people other than myself, no matter how dark their problem, and that he was willing to access its gifts.
I always believed in the Atonement and I had faith that it could work in my life, but I also knew what I was doing to work towards healing. My faith in the Atonement working in others has grown so much in this short amount of time as I see it work in Brad.
It's hard to put so much trust in another human being but, as vulnerable as we both are, it is worth it. It seems that now our struggles have grown as this experience has brought an unexpected and exponential growth in our intimacy that we don't know what to do with. Like Bishop Hiatt said about dating before a mission, "be careful, you might fall in love."
Yesterday Brad said "I don't know why I feel like I'm preparing for a mission and marriage at the same time, but I feel ready for both." He keeps suggesting that we talk to a couple that we love who went through a similar experience. I open the floor for suggestions.