Rise Rise Rise

Rise Rise Rise

Tonight, I am doing something different. I am writing a poem, instead of my current status on my path. I have thought a lot about the journey I am going on, and how much adversity that exists in this world along with all of the adversity that I have  already experienced. People going against people that are just trying to do a little good in the world. It got me feeling a little down. I was overwhelmed.  Although God may not be what everyone believes in, everyone has felt what God IS. That… Is love.  A really wise person once said… “All you need is love.” So, I wrote this poem titled: RISE RISE RISE.

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Tell me, what is this world. I open my eyes and hypocricy floods in.  Families disbanded, homes eroded, futures falling upon the pavement where we all stand. As we stare at our fleeting histories in our own hands.

Tell me, what is this world? What is this world where I can’t go to my neighbor of a different belief. A home guarded with gates, and behind them only evil speaks. As I fear my end draws near I scream and I claw at my door. But no soul can hear.  So I speak to the heavens and say, “Father, Father, draw nearer unto me. Tell me, that I too, still can believe.  I’m weaker than I’ve ever been, more tired than I’ve ever been, more afraid than I’ve ever been, more hopeless than I’ve ever been.”

“RISE RISE RISE”

These were the words he spoke.

“To my child of peace, rise once again. Fight the good fight. You may not always see me, but I am always with thee.  Now, go to your brothers! Go to your sisters! Stand once again, and know darkness is ahead, but the ending is light. So go, go, go into the night. And tell them of my message, to RISE RISE RISE.”

To the atheist non-believer. Take my hand and walk by my side.  Though we have different beliefs we can still coincide. Misinterpreted lies in the media, and detestable low-life keyboard warriors tell us we can’t harmonize in a society with such animosity. That we could never walk side by side ever again. For I believe in one, and you believe in none.  But I will hold you tight, and tell them that they are wrong.  I will stand by you until the shadows flee, and the world can once again breathe. I will hold you tight and say, RISE RISE RISE.

To my fellow worshiper. Looking down on the mistakes of others. I tell you no more. Remember the love you felt when you first believed. A love that enveloped you in a comfort you had never before conceived. The flaws we find in another, will never heal a soul and make it all better. Smile to the  fallen. Smile to risen. Make it again known, the gifts you have been given. I tell you…. RISE RISE RISE.

To the Muslim, the Christian, the Buddhist, the politician, the deceiver, the gift-giver, the hopeless, the lost, the reacher. I tell you all.  Separated by belief. Separated by skin. Separated by continent. I will hold you. I will stand with you on the mountain top as we scream, WE STILL BELIEVE. We believe in hope. We believe in a dream. We believe in such a silly thing that we seemed to have all forgotten. We believe in love. For what is the first thing we ever knew? What was the first feeling which we consumed? It was love. Love is what we know, and we will sing of its glory tune.

Whether it comes from a God, or warm loving hug. Love is what we know, and it’s love that will bring us together.  Now as we stand hand in hand, I’ll say once again. Come with me from the darkness and RISE RISE RISE.

 

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Love Will Prevail

Love Will Prevail

It would seem the world has lost hope in love and kindness. We get discouraged, and wonder where the love went. If there is only one thing I know to be true, it’s that love will always exist. Love will always prevail.

Last night I had an opportunity to be on stage, and perform with a lot of my musical heroes. I couldn’t believe I was on stage with these INCREDIBLE artists. We all gathered together for a sold out show at The Stereo Room in Orem Utah for an artist in need. Come to find out, that person was me. All of the money raised that night…. Was for me.

When I was on stage with the owner announcing that the night was for me, I was hit with the spirit more strongly than I have in my entire life. In a single moment, my body was filled with an immense love. The purest form of love my mind could recollect.  Everyone was staring at me. Everyone stood and clapped for me. For me? I couldn’t believe it. When I was handed the microphone, I had no idea what to say. This kind of thing hasn’t ever happened to me. As I stood on stage having nothing to say, my mom finally said, “Thank you.” It’s a good thing too, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to figure out how to start! Really, the only thing I could say is thank you.

Being a very independent person, I have had to really adjust to all of the love I have been given. So many people tell me how inspiring I am. So many people have reached out to help in any way they can. At first I didn’t want help. However,  I have learned that when someone offers you help, you should take it graciously. They will receive blessings for doing good things. It takes a lot of humility to accept such gracious help, but it is important that we do so.

After the night was over, I went to my room and fell to my knees just sobbing. That night I fell asleep kneeling on the side of my bed. I have never prayed that hard in my entire life asking The Lord to bless other people. I couldn’t even count how many times I asked to bless the people who were so loving to me that evening. They deserve it, each and every one of them.

Now, a lot of you think I am a wonderful person who is  doing a good thing. However, I want to  tell you about the heroes in my life. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

<h2>Spencer and Valerie (My brother and sister-in-law)</h2>

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These two have been incredibly inspiring. After just getting married, they got news that my sister’s children were being taken away. They immediately offered to provide my nephews with a loving home. Who does that? After just getting married? It’s not the fantasy newly-wed story that most everyone hopes for, but it’s their story. I have never seen such a positive change in my nephews’ lives. They are literally changing their lives forever. I couldn’t imagine taking on the burden that they have.

One day my brother found out I was going through a difficult time with mission prep, and he immediately called to offer words of peace. That completely turned my day around. Valerie has assisted me with countless difficulties. Haha bless her soul… Heaven knows I have a lot. No, they can’t afford to do all of the cool things they wanted to do anymore with this new change. However, They have made a HUGE difference in the lives of many. Not just my two precious nephews, but everyone who is witnessing what they are doing. They will be rewarded immensely on high for their sacrifice.

<h2>My Mother</h2>

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Before my mother was sent to  earth, one thing is for darn sure. God definitely told her that her life would not be anywhere close to easy.

Now, it’s super cliche to say that your  mom is your hero. Well, when you witness what I witnessed in my life, you would have the same opinion.  You see, one day my mother came into my room and told me that my father had left. He left… Took all of the money we had… And our house. My mom immediately went to find work. A mother who had been a stay-at-home mom for most of her life, and had to  deal with an abusive husband. I have witnessed this woman fail more than I have seen anyone one else in my life. But I also have never seen someone get back up more in my life, and keep trying. I have never seen someone stay so positive in the midst of such turmoil. I imagine it must be really hard when you have to move your family into government subsidized housing and say, “Wow, this is a really great place!” I saw my  mom go back to school in hopes to give her family a better future. I watched my mom graduate college. She hasn’t reaped any benefits from it yet, but she hasn’t stopped trying.

Now, it may be clear to you where I get my drive. I witnessed countless examples of complete strength and faith. She never lost her faith. She was always a good example to me. Plus, she never stopped loving me when I didn’t want to go on a mission. She supported my decisions with love. She always did.

<h2>Jordan Munns</h2>

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This is my friend Jordan. He is an incredibly kind, and hard-working person. I have enjoyed many inspiring conversations with him. He has always done all he can to help me in my new journey. He is constantly inspiring everyone around him. He wakes up in the wee hours of the morning and comes home late at night. He literally works 14-16 hours a day.  His life is incredibly difficult  right now. But the thing is… he still inspires people. He is a personal trainer, and I have never seen a personal trainer quite like him before. His clients absolutely love him. And he doesn’t leave that inspiration at work. He takes it with  him everywhere he goes.

Thank you Jordan for all the kindness and love you  have shown me.  Thank you so much for constantly being there  for me  every step of the  way.

<h2>Amber Lynn</h2>

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Amber.  First, she has always been a huge musical inspiration for  me. To this day, I still don’t think she has realized how talented she  is. She is also a very delicate person. So many times I have seen her get down on herself. I have always  struggled to understand why.  But then again I do.  She allows herself  to be vulnerable, which is a very special gift. She feels a lot  of sadness, and she feels a lot of happiness very strongly. This helps her to connect so well with people. She literally just goes  around blessing everyone’s lives all day. This is someone who would never do anything bad to another person. She is always in the front lines introducing herself to  others… I couldn’t do that. I get scared.  One thing that has inspired me, is that she does what she loves… Because she loves it.  She doesn’t sing, or go to work as a social worker everyday because of selfish reasons. It really is purely because she wants  to make others happy.  Now, next time she  ever gets down on herself, I want her to  remember  that. Because of her, the world is a better place. And that is a huge reason why we were sent to this earth. What a great gift.

In this life we can be a lot  of  things. I think we should all try to be more like Amber. What an amazing blessing she is  for this world. Thank you for  being vulnerable. Thank you for  blessing this earth.

 

<h2>Joseph Moore and Reed Davis</h2>

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These guys  found me, and completely changed my life forever. They are also one  of the  biggest reasons why I am going on a mission. I know that God put me in their path for a reason.  They are also the reason I was able to meet Jordan, and  Amber.

I still don’t think Joseph is real. He is unlike anyone you will ever meet. I really don’t think he has ever done anything bad in his life.  There is not a single person on this earth that doesn’t like him. It would be  impossible. Every moment I wake up and say, “Alright,  just try to be a little more  like Joseph today.” Haha but really they have always been there for me ever since they meet me. They offered their couch to me during some very dark times to me. I couldn’t even explain how much comfort those times brought me.  Reed always kept me focused on what’s important, and always  asked if there was anything he could do for me. He helped me develop the ability to show  people the real me, and become vulnerable in order to reach people in a deeper way.

I am so grateful for these two people. I couldn’t imagine what my life would have been like  without them. I am  just  so glad I randomly ended  up at their house one day for music.

 

<h2>Krista and David</h2>

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Last but  not least… These two. These are the two who changed  my life last night. They are SO loving.  I can’t even count  how  many times I have prayed for these two in the past 24 hours.  I am so grateful that they gave me the chance to sing with some  of my heroes… And I am so grateful that they put on this evening for me.  I can’t even imagine how successful they will be. Their intentions  are in the right place, and they are so good at what they do.

I think many times we go about our lives, and  don’t really pay attention to anyone else.  That isn’t the case for  them. They truly care about other  people. I wish I could truly explain how grateful I am for them. They have changed my life. I remember the first time I met them, and was so confused at how kind they were.  I want them to know that one day when I have kids, I will be telling them stories of the two most generous people I have ever met. I will be telling them about how much of an impact they had in my life, and then translated into all the people I was able to help in Taiwan. I will tell them tales of the people who showed me such a pure  form of  love. Another  random thought… I was so amazed about how loving David talked about his wife when she wasn’t around. These two  are angels. There is  a special place in heaven for  these two.  Thank you for all that you have done, from the bottom of my heart.

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And Then Darkness Fell

And Then Darkness Fell

I fell to my knees as I said my prayer aloud. Suddenly I was frightened beyond anything I have previously experienced. A certain darkness consumed me. No words could come from my mouth, and I could not move. The only movement were the tears falling from my eyes. Darkness…. I felt darkness.

I think it’s generally accepted in our society to put our best foot forward in life. To show the more glamorous part of our lives. I mean, let’s be honest, who wants to go around posting everything negative in life on social media? I suppose there are a select  few who choose to live in such a way. The greater majority would much rather be praised for our new job promotion, recent engagement, or even a mission call. It makes us feel good. However, life isn’t like that all the time, is it?

I have never been in the frame of mind to say, “wow, I really hate life.” No, it’s just not in my personality.  However, there are times in my life where I think the conditions aren’t very favorable to my expected levels of comfort.  More recently, this has been the case. I do try my best to stay happy, but all I want to do is hide from the world.

You see, not to mention the financial atrocities I must remedy before I leave for Taiwan, I am still without a job to satisfy those. It’s kind of difficult to find a job that wants to hire you for a couple of months. You could say the ending of my last job was at the worst possible time. However, if I’m being honest with myself, I really haven’t been trying to the best of my abilities to find new employment. You see, I have fallen to a certain degree of depression. I find myself curling up and watching Netflix all day. I have really gotten down on myself, and it has hindered my abilities to keep moving the direction I need to go.  All I seem to do is think of everything that is going  wrong, but I don’t do anything about it.

Other things that aren’t going well? I sleep in an unfinished basement that is absolutely freezing. However, I am truly blessed that I don’t have to pay rent for it.  Other money issues keep popping up all over the place. I have never been tempted this much in my entire life, that’s for darn sure. My friend jokingly said, “When you decide to go on a mission, women will come out of the woodwork.” He wasn’t kidding. Excuse me? Where were all of you when I wasn’t going on a mission? I have faced every single temptation I am weakest to during this process.  There is a lot that has gone wrong, and I am really down about it. You would think the path to being a missionary would be a happy yellow brick road lined with daisy’s and gumdrops. Quite the opposite, really…. But that’s fine.

You may be wondering what I meant at the beginning of this post. It was an experience I had Christmas night after I arrived home from my family. I read my scriptures that night happier than ever, and then knelt down to pray. I won’t go into great detail with what happened, but I will say that I have never felt such a dark presence in my life. I have never been more terrified. This got me thinking…. I should REJOICE that everything is going wrong. I should REJOICE that this dark presence came to me. I should REJOICE that I have been tempted now more than in my entire life.  Why? Because this is just proof that I am doing what I am supposed to. The devil would not be trying so hard to get in my way if I wasn’t doing what is right.  I have never doubted myself more in my life, but I have also not believed in myself more in my life. I have absolutely no idea how things are going to work out, but I have a freakin’ ton of faith. Like, for real. I have quite a reckless amount of  faith.  All I have to do now is get off my lazy butt and push forward. I know I will end up on my mission, I just don’t know how I’ll get there. I don’t know how everything will work out, but it will. Let’s be honest, I have the best person to have on your side. As long as I am doing my part, The Lord will do his.

I have good friends that believe in me, and have been a great support.  I have had great support even from non-member friends. Here’s some of my weird friends.

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I would like to end with a quote from  my favorite conference talk of all time called, “The Hope of God’s Light” by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

“The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come.

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