Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Breaking Points and Beyond

by Julie Coulter Bellon

When I was a teenager, I got it into my head that when someone asked me to marry them, I would go skydiving and if I survived, my answer would be yes, and if I died, well, it would be no. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I'm afraid of heights, so when someone did ask me to marry them, I just said yes. I also thought surfing looked really fun, but since I lived in a landlocked area, there weren't a lot of opportunities. I did learn, however, what a point break was. (Remember Keanu Reeves? He's a fellow Canadian who starred in a movie of the same name). Anyway, a point break is where a wave breaks as it hits a point of land jutting out from the coastline. Apparently, these waves are very challenging, but are the most rewarding to ride. To do it well a surfer needs to be determined, focused, and prepared to take calculated risks. I'm obviously not a surfer, riding the point breaks, but I liked the description of what it took to ride that particular wave. Mostly because in trying to live my life I feel like I have to be focused, determined, and prepared to take calculated risks since life is challenging, yet usually rewarding at the same time.

So even though I haven't gone skydiving or surfing, I still consider myself daring and willing to take risks. (Why else would I have six children?) As a child I took every dare I was given, once eating a rose, thorns and all, just because a boy triple dog dared me to—and that was before anyone had even heard of Fear Factor. But I did one daring thing in high school (if you don't count that senior dance prank) that I've always been grateful I had the courage to do. There was this girl who was very confident in herself and didn't really care what other people thought of her, which is atypical in high school. She dressed the way she wanted, she hung out with the people she liked, and that was just her. A large group of girls didn't like her and cautioned me against becoming friends with her, but I did it anyway. And because of that daring, I earned myself an eternal friend in the process. She's now an actress, and since I'm an author, we've had a lot of the same experiences. (Okay, so she's met and worked with famous people, but I blog with Kerry and Jeff, does that count?)

Anyway, earlier in the week I talked to her on the phone and poured out my life stresses to her. This week alone I was trying to deal with some health issues and several unexpected problems while sending one son off to Scout camp for the first time, another son heading off to Especially for Youth at BYU and I am currently preparing my daughter for a Pioneer Trek. Not to mention that I've co-chaired a three day family reunion for 160 people, attended another reunion, had a son get baptized (which means I did a talk and a musical number), as well as running kids to swimming lessons and piano lessons in addition to all my regular duties as someone who runs a household for eight people and writes. (I did make my deadline and finish my fourth book, though, which still amazes me.) I'm tired just saying it. You can see how focused I had to be, determined to get my to-do list done, and willing to take a calculated risk that I would get it all done without ending up in a tiny rubber room with a new white jacket. I was riding the point break waves of my life, but unfortunately, I was also physically and emotionally drained. My daring self just wanted to curl up in bed with some chocolate and the DVD remote and never leave.

Well, as this week continued on it didn't get any better. Yet, one by one all of my closest friends contacted me in person, by phone and by e-mail. It's amazing really, because that doesn't usually happen. They all just seemed to instinctively know I needed them. They commiserated with me and offered their love and support, each lifting me in the way that only they can. That's when I knew.

It really came to me after my prayers, when I was lying in bed, thinking about the events of the week. It was so clear to me that Heavenly Father was sending me His peace and love in the form of friends. In riding the point break I had found my breaking point, and He knew I needed my close knit little group of friends to keep my head above water. They are my shelter from the storm. These people all know my tender heart, know all my idiosyncracies, and they love me anyway. I am so grateful for this small circle of friends. Not only that, I began to feel more balanced and peaceful, the Spirit settling over me and testifying that the one constant friend that I always can count on, no matter what mess I get myself into, is my Savior. I think He sends us earthly friends who can mirror his unconditional love and acceptance, but He is the ultimate friend to fill our hearts with peace, love, understanding and patience. He balances out this crazy world we live in, and He's only a prayer away.

So if you have best friends who love you like the Savior loves you, who know what a special person you are, call, e-mail or get in touch with them and thank them today. I triple dog dare you. That kind of friendship is rare—a priceless treasure. So, to all my friends, (you know who you are) thank you.


At 7/13/2006 11:16 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Julie, you are one amazing woman! I am in awe of how much you accomplish.

At 7/13/2006 1:37 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Stephanie, the truth is, I wouldn't be able to do anything without the love and support of my husband. We're a good team in that he's always willing to pick up any slack and support me in anything I'm doing, just as I would do for him. He's my best friend and confidante and even after eighteen years of marriage he still has the ability to turn the grey skies of a bad day to brilliant blue just by taking me in his arms and whispering that he loves me.

By the way, I'm amazed at your sailing story. That would scare me to death. I think I'd name the boat Ursula's Revenge or something. Sea Weasel sort of sounds mean and well, weasel-ly to me.

At 7/13/2006 1:44 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

I can't believe you ate a rose. LOL

Julie, I triple dog dare you to come out to Ohio and clean my entire house. Did that work? Will you be here soon? :)

At 7/13/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Sariah, you make me laugh! You know I would come out to Ohio in a heartbeat. Not only because you dared me, but it's much more fun to clean other people's houses!

At 7/13/2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Sariah, you make me laugh! You know I would come out to Ohio in a heartbeat. Not only because you dared me, but it's much more fun to clean other people's houses!

At 7/13/2006 2:59 PM, Blogger G.Ellen said...

Oh Julie...what a life, huh? It was inspiring to hear how you were able to percieve the blessings you were being given. I hope the rest of the summer goes better!


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