Well, it has taken me quite a long time to write this post. In fact, I wondered if I ever would. For a while I just wanted to ditch this entire blog and disappear into the new life I had ended up in. I was in a confused state wondering who I was, what my purpose was, and if it really was all worth it. One doesn’t exactly go viral for going on a mission… Go on a mission… And then come back early… That’s not supposed to happen. That’s not the fairy tale ending everyone wanted. It’s not the fairy tale ending I wanted. Well,  real life isn’t a fairy tale, and that’s okay.

For those that are not following me on social media, you are probably not aware. However, I have been home from my mission since the end of June. A lot things came with this. Shame, depression, anxiety, hopelessness… These were all knocking at my door.  I remember looking out of the window on the plane leaving Taiwan. I remember a kind of pain I have never experienced in my life. This was a feeling of complete and utter sadness not only for myself, but for the many people in that country I would never be able to meet. All those people I couldn’t talk to. All those people I could have helped… Gone… Opportunity lost.  My family was amazing and gave me a real welcome home at the airport. All of them were there. I even had a sign! I was incredibly grateful for a loving family that supported me no matter what.

The reasons for my being home… I am not going to discuss. I have learned that a lot of things in life should remain private. However, I would like to discuss a small part of my journey in figuring out the meaning of all  of this.

You see, I went through A LOT to get out. And as many of you know, I also experienced a lot of loss after I left. I came back and wondered… Why? Why was I to go out if Heavenly Father knew all along that I would come back? Why would he send all of these wonderful people in my life to help me along the way if it was all in vain? These questions drove me into a deep sadness. To illustrate how I came to a conclusion, I will tell you about the last meeting I had with a member in Taiwan before I left.

It was a crazy hot and humid day in Taiwan (typical). I was on splits with one of the zone leaders. He told me we had a meeting with a member from the ward to do service, and have dinner. I spent the next two hours scraping a kitchen floor… Which made barely any difference hahaha… But hey, that’s okay. My zone leader told me that the member was very frustrated with the ward. We were worried she was going to go inactive. She was a single mother, and had lost a lot of faith. She had experienced a tremendous amount of trials in her life.  The entire time my zone leader tried to make things better with her. However, she continued to seem very angry with our presence.

It was now time for dinner. We enjoyed the meal she prepared for us (well, he enjoyed the meal. I was almost about to die haha). It was now time to share a spiritual message with her. To help her with her faith issues, he began to share something. I wasn’t able to understand much of what was being said, but I could tell that an argument was starting to happen. Eventually, my zone leader stopped in the middle of his sentence and asked, “Do you have anything you can share about trials?” I responded, “Oh boy do I ever.” Haha he couldn’t have asked a better question. I started to tell this amazing sister of my story. I explained to her that I had left everything to come on a mission. I told her that while I was away my sister had passed away. However, I did my best to stay out to be an example for my family no matter how hard it had been on me. I don’t remember much else what I said. I have also never spoken Chinese so well in my life. As I began to speak to her, tears ran down her cheeks. I have never felt the spirit so strong in my entire life.

After we left her house I had a very strong realization. Everything that I had said to her, was exactly what I wanted to tell myself. All of the flaws I never realized about myself… All came to me like a tidal wave. I started to shed tears of gratitude. My heart was full from the experience I had. At this time, I knew I would probably be coming home soon. However, I was so grateful that I had this experience.

You see, I realized something this day. Yes, I realized a lot of important things about myself that I wouldn’t have ever known had I not served a mission. Or at least, not for a very long time. But another very important thing I realized is that our lives aren’t supposed to have just one big climax. That isn’t what life is about. I thought this was going to be the biggest part of my life. The fact is, we are going to have many amazing things. We are meant to keep going no matter what. We are meant to improve no matter what comes our way. And you know what? Sometimes life will smack you right down from what you thought you should be doing. Sometimes you give your all into something… And you just might fail. That’s life though… Life is failing.. and moving.. and failing and moving… But along this process we IMPROVE. That’s what’s important.

My life now is not glamorous by any means. I work over full time, and go to school over full time. My free time is mostly taken up by the gym, or taking myself on a date (yes I do that now haha). But I am happier right now than I have ever been. I have come to terms with who I am. I have come to terms with where I am, and where I need to be. Had I not ever served a mission, I would never know just how amazing life COULD be. I would never know really what I was capable of being.

These days, I don’t inspire too many people anymore like I used to. People are slowly fading out of my life. The world’s interest in my life is slowing down… But I am starting to be able to inspire MYSELF.  Too often we neglect ourselves. We want to be everyone’s savior while we are lost in the darkness.

So, the big question. Will I continue to write? I think I am going to. There is still more to tell. And as my mission president told me before I boarded that plane… “Hippie to Missionary… I don’t think that story is over yet.”

If you want to know what’s going on in my life now, you can follow @jaromrocks on Instagram. Love you. Jesus loves you. Have an amazing day.

Next time I am talking about loving yourself, and why I take myself on dates every week. Stay tuned!

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30 thoughts on “I Came Home

  1. I am so glad to see your post; I have been wondering what was happening with you. I am so glad you have come through that dark place and are again feeling the light. Love to you in your journey, and I am glad you plan to keep posting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You keep your head up, your courage strong, and know that you have so much love and support out in the world!!! We are all doing the best we can. I admire you SO MUCH for all you’ve accomplished. You’re amazing! And you DO INSPIRE ME!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome! Thanks for sharing your goodness! I think it is wonderful that you have found your awesome self. Actually- you are still inspiring people…. me! Keep up the greatness. The world needs YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Please keep sharing your story. I have been following it from the beginning. I don’t actually remember how I saw it the first time but I have found your story to be inspiring. My life has never been easy due to my own poor choices but I have grown so much and in doing so have found great compassion for people who struggle and then come out on top. Good luck to you and know that you are still touching hearts out here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I worked at the MTC while you were there and ran into you– I doubt you remember but I wanted to thank you for sharing. I also came home early from my mission (to Japan), and have definitely felt similar emotions and come to very similar conclusions. Thank you for reminding me and thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am the same as two people who already commented on here… I never comment on a post but feel compelled to today. Also I don’t even remember either where I came across your blog but have followed it from the beginning. I’m not on Instagram so I hope you will continue with this blog. I’m sure you can be a source of strength for many others that find themselves in your same situation. There are so many articles and things out there on the Internet about coming home early so you are not alone in your struggles right now. We’ve had a couple kids come home in my ward and I see the struggles they go through. I just try the best I can to let them know they are still loved just the same! On the opposite end of the spectrum we have a son who has chosen not to serve a mission and people can be just as judgmental (as coming home early) is all I’m going to say on that… I’m reading The Continuous Atonement for Teens by Brad Wilcox (read the one for adults too!) but am finding it very comforting… Anyway, I hope you will continue to share your journey with so many that are still interested and care about you. I’m sorry to read that people are fading out of your life; it’s time like these you truly find out who your friends are. I’m sure you are still surrounded by a multitude of great people who love you unconditionally cling to those people. One foot in front of the other every day, that’s all you can do! Will keep you in our prayers.

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  7. Welcome Home Thank you for your service Each and every day…we all do our best…. Conference was full of such messages I asked my daughter to send you the link to a song dedicated to missionaries who came home early. THANK YOU, God will bless each of us every day…because we ARE doing our best:) Brenda

    Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2015 16:59:04 +0000 To: bluejaybum@hotmail.com

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  8. You are amazing. I don’t mean that in a way that means you have to be perfect or spectacular but in a way that tells you that I think you are human and giving many people hope into their own lives of despair and self judgement. You have had a long hard road and continue to strive and inspire. I am forever touched by your life and your visions and your interpretations. I am not on instagram but am on facebook and I follow what I can. I’m glad you blogged so I could hear this story. Heavenly Father is proud of you and the fact that you realize that gives hope to the many who think that they are not living up to the expectations of life or others. Continue being you. Continue going down the path that you feel fits you best. Be inspired and receive personal revelation. Continue to share the gospel in your way and in your own life by the example you lead for all to see. Thank you so much for your hard journey and for the way you have endured through it well. Keep on keepin’ on! Bless you!

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  9. There are so many missionaries that end up coming home, and for so many reasons. I am certain that the Lord appreciates your gift of service and the length doesn’t really matter. Like the story of the widow’s mite, only He knows the depth of your sacrifice, and if you, yourself, feel that it was not all you could give, never fear! There will be ample opportunities! Haha! Hang in there, and recognize that, for now, “it is enough.” Welcome Home, Elder. And thank you for your example of faith to go forward.

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  10. I just read all your posts. I also had to come home from my mission early, because of depression and all that fun stuff that follows. So it was good for me to read what you had to say. I have been home for almost two weeks now, after being in the MTC for 6 weeks. I got called to South Carolina Spanish speaking. I left in August of this year, and had to leave for home the day before I was to fly to the field. It was rough. Putting in all that work, and not being able to go out and help real people. It’s been a struggle for sure. I can relate to a lot of the hopelessness feelings and guilt and depression. I know what it’s like. Maybe not exactly like you, because we are all different, but I can relate a little bit. If you get a chance, maybe read my blog? It explains in a lot greater detail what it was like. Saminsouthcarolina.blogspot.com. Also, if you have any advice for me, I’m all ears. Thank you.

    -Elder Gardner

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  11. If you know of a missionary that needed to return home early for any reason, please send them to Don’t Stop Sargeant She has made a perfect welcome home gift package and created a site to help return missionaries keep going amid the storm of emotions they face.

    Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2015 16:59:04 +0000 To: bluejaybum@hotmail.com

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  12. We have experienced a similar situation in our family. It was heart-wrenching all around, but not the end of the world. Our missionary’s testimony, and our own, remains strong, and we all serve the Lord as best we can. Stay strong! The Gospel is true, and our Savior loves you!

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  13. You. You still inspire. Anyone who does the hard thing for the right reason–cutting hair, leaving, learning, working, admitting, returning, facing it all, and letting the world look in–is an inspiration. I’m 49, mom of a missionary in Peru, mom of two inactive older boys (one who had beautiful long hair until he needed a good job more), lifelong member of the LDS faith in Idaho, land of conservativism and convention…I’m a walking Mormon cliche and you inspire me, Jarom. I don’t do Instagram (seriously, a mom of six doesn’t need to add MORE social media) but I wish you well and look forward someday to knowing you. Hold the hard-won ground and keep moving forward.

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  14. One of my best friends came home ealy too and has been writting a little bit about it on her BLOG. https://thereandbackagaing.wordpress.com/
    She has shared a lot of her thougts about coming home early – better than I could (and all with a Lord of the Rings Twist).

    Stay strong. Live for the future. Move forward. And good luck with the dating.

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  15. Thank you for telling your story. I worry a lot about missionaries who come home early for whatever reason. I worry that they will feel judged, and feel despair. I am so grateful that you have another take on it. Missionary service is expected, but not a requirement for the celestial kingdom. You answered the call to serve! May the Lord’s blessings continue to follow you.

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  16. I believe that’s one of the most courageous things I’ve even read! You do continue to inspire! I just followed you on Instagram I look forward to seeing where you take me on your journey! Welcome Home!! God Bless you!!

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  17. Thank you for sharing your story.   My grandson went to Uganda and Ethiopia on his mission.  He really wanted to go to Africa and even minored in African Studies in college. He was out about 9 months when he came home.  He got really sick in Ethiopia, and he was covered in eczema and nothing helped.  He really loved Ethiopia and wanted to stay but his health was too precarious.  They finally transferred him back to Uganda to be in the same branch as the mission doctor but he just couldn’t get well.  They finally sent him home.  We all greeted him at the airport and it was a shock to see him.  He’s about 6″ 2″ and he only weighed 130 pounds.  He looked awful.  I do know that he got severe depression while he was out because his physical health was bad.  But I’ve not been able to talk to him in private one-on-one.   Now he is back in college and is working, and my son (his father) says he is doing well.  The family has been super supportive and my son said he talked with the stake president who was “awesome”.  I don’t know a lot of details but I do know I am very proud of him and that I love him very much.  Like you, I wondered why he went out if this was going to be the outcome. I had the feeling he needed to come home. I am at peace now and know things are as they should be.  I am now aware that it’s quite common for missionaries to come home early, and that I respect all who have gone, regardless of how long they were out.    I do believe that this is all part of the plan and that his story and your story are just beginning.  I really appreciated your wonderful testimony.  And I can tell how strong you are now.  You will do wonderful things yet in this life.   Good luck and keep up your blog. Kathy Napier

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  18. I have read your blog, you are an inspiration. Please don’t stop writing, you still have much to share. I applaud you for your courage to share what you have and you are right some things deserve to be your own and private. Congratulations on your mission!

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  19. Dear Jarom, I have followed you from the beginning! Your story struck a chord in my heart. I have been so impressed by the way you have managed to stay standing through all of your trials. Your faith and consistent positive attitude, has blown me away! I have admiration for your ability to admit you are flawed, but keep continuing to carry on regardless. Your story still inspires me! I look forward to following you and seeing what you get up to. Personally my life is not easy, and I struggle with many things, but the strength I get from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, keeps me upright and keeps me sane. I have so many blessings and am incredibly grateful for them. You inspire me still and remind me of why I am still here and to keep on keeping on! Enjoy your life and studies etc! Feel no shame! You are an amazing person.

    Your sincerely Leah Taylor 💜😀

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  20. Dear Jarom,
    I don’t know how I learned about you but I’ve been following you since your very first post and I don’t follow any blogs. As a bishop, I can tell you that you’ve just experienced one of the most devistating life events known to our culture for a young man and you are indeed an inspiration in your resolve and desire to move forward with your life. I have more to tell you – please send me an email so I might share in private? Thank you for your authenticity and your courage!

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  21. Thanks for finally posting! I was wondering what had happened to you, why no more posts. I dont follow you on social media. I may start. Your post came at a good time tho, after my family was able to attend conference live sessions, (Priesthood & Sunday morning sessions), which was a first for our family, I have been thinking, even more than usual, of my two sons, one served a full 2 year mission, one served for two months, came home on medical release, doesnt look like he will return to the mission field. And thats ok because maybe there is a reason why he came home. I keep praying it wont be some under lying medical reason, that he will be ok and we will figure out his medical issues and they wont be bad. He is doing well, working, dating and enjoying his time with family and friends,. His testimony is still strong. I appreciate you putting your feelings out there and sharing your story and experiences. It helped me by reading your words because I know my sons felt the same way. When he came home it was just his dad & I at the airport, he asked not to make a big deal, he was feeling sick with bad migraines and didnt want people there. We didnt know at that time when or if he would return to his mission. I now feel bad he didnt get a big welcome home like his brother did. But very glad he is home and I am able to see him and be around him and go to the doctor appointments with him. After word got out that my son had returned early from his mission, he experienced alot of murmuring and rumors from family and friends which hurt him. It just made things worse for him and his condition. Being judged negatively is never fun and hearing negative comments is also hurtful. It hurt me too. The mama bear in me came out and I just want to protect my cub, even though he is an adult. I cant help it. I was very offended by those who I felt should have supported him more and been more sensitive of what he was going through and feeling. I felt the weight of all his emotions, mine too and still do.I am glad our small family is all back together, both sons home, spending time together. We appreciate it so much. We have always been so close and do everything together. It was killing my husband and I to have both or all of our kids gone at the same time. Our two sons wouldnt have seen each other for over 3 years. I know many families are in the same situation. It is hard. Maybe our son came home due to the heartache my husband and I were going through? I didnt feel as comfortable about our younger son going. With our older son I had such a strong confirmation he would be fine, do well and be taken care of and watched over. I didnt feel that way with our youngest son.And it seemed like everything went wrong. He didnt get his US passport, not his visa-his US passort! And he was born in the US?? Denied 4 times! I have to take that as another thing God had His hand in. I do feel strongly that there was a reason he was denied, got migraines , all the uneasy feelings I had. Praying we dont find anything bad wrong medically (still doing tests).Thanks again for having the strength to write your words and let us read them. I’m sure it was hard to do. I hope you continue because it helped me and I needed it, I’m sure there are many more who need to hear it too.

    Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2015 16:59:06 +0000 To: saltydogz@live.com

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  22. Thanks for sharing your growing pains. It is a lovely post and I am glad you got a chance to shine your light on your mission. The length of the mission is not important, bringing your spirit to that sister and probably many others is. Glad you are safe and sound! Best wishes and I will see you on Instagram! btw, why did you change media type?

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  23. Thanks for your courage in writing this. The church focuses on 1 type of mission but ther are so many. My son returned early and we all mourned the “mission he should have had.”. He DID have the mission he should have had…gods ways aren’t ours. Faith trials get harder as we get older but they bring us closer to god if we let them. God bless.

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  24. I happened to see your page I don’t know how! But I followed you on Instagram first, then I saw you had a blog. I had started one too and was checking out other people’s blogs, yours seemed so real to me and felt so inspired . I am also LDS in two weeks it will be my 2nd year as a member of the church. I feel that I was guided to the church and got baptized at 21. It has not been an easy road and I feel it gets harder every year. I wanted to find someone in the church that seemed real you know. So many times dealing with depression I would go to church and just think to myself this cannot be real all these people cannot be this happy and perfect to a certain extend. Anyway I ran into your blog and was like omg! There’s a normal person lol. Thanks for sharing it really touches people everywhere!

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