This week has been awful, but Wednesday is when it got the worst. I woke up Wednesday morning with bloody diarrhea. This is common in people with Crohn's Disease, but it had never been this bad before. I went to the doctor that day and he told me to cancel my trip to California to see some friends. He also told me to be very careful with what I do because I could be hospitalized at any moment. I told my friends that I could no longer go and there was disappointment all around and that saddened me, but I guess that's what happens.

The week kept getting worse. I found out that I had to be put on some new medications. These new medications are $5,000 per dose. I get them via injection every couple of weeks. The shots are very painful and are very similar to the gamaglobulin or "peanutbutter" shots. I'm not too excited for this, but I guess it is what I have to do. It's all part of my life.

All of these events has caused me to think about trials--their origin and purpose.

In a conversation with a friend, we talked about the different philosophies of the origin of trials. Some people believe that they come directly from God and that He gives us specific trials. Others believe that we are an imperfect world, in an imperfect body and that trials form based on this imperfectness. Then there are others that believe that Satan creates the trials and gives them to us. Finally, there is a mixture of theories. What we came up with is a mixture of the origin of trials. Some trials certain people are given because God knows that they have to experience certain events to help them grow and achieve their potential. This, however, is limited in my belief. I believe that we live in an imperfect world and in an imperfect body. Once we are born, all of that imperfectness is there. Our spirits are perfect, but our bodies and the world we live in aren't. From the influences of these imperfections, most of our trials are created and experienced. I do also believe that Satan does have the ability to tempt us or rather help dull our senses and put us in dangerous situations that can cause a trial to form.

The purpose of trials seems to be an easy topic for most people. They say that trials are there for growth. They are meant to stretch and pull you in ways that you aren't normally stretched and pulled. I agree with this, but I also believe that each trial has a deeper lesson--something that is supposed to be learned in this lifetime. I think that God wants us to learn certain things and he leaves us to our own devices and the world to learn these lessons. He only gives us certain trials when He knows that we will not learn on our own what he intended for us to learn here on earth.

How does this relate to my Crohn's Disease and my trials? I'm not sure yet, but I'm sure that I will eventually find out what I am supposed to learn from this trial.



I have always wanted to be an extraordinary person. Ever since I was little, I would always crave to be the fastest, strongest, smartest, funniest, and whatever else I could be. My little body would always push the limits and achieve many great things. I would climb the biggest tree in the neighborhood, win the school geography bee, practice swimming everyday, and many other things so I could be an extraordinary person.

After growing up and becoming who I am today, I still crave and feel the need to be extraordinary. My childhood was littered with accomplishments and I still want to achieve all of my goals. Adult life, however, is different than childhood. There are more roadblocks. Trials also become harder. Life in general is filled with mundaneness. As I grow older, it becomes harder and harder to achieve my goals.

When I was little, I had the dream of being an Olympic swimmer. I didn't care if I made the podium or not. All that I wanted to be was a swimmer swimming for the USA. This dream was coupled with being a collegiate swimmer. This dream was crushed two years ago when I was cut from the BYU swim team. That was a difficult time for me. That was the first time that I didn't accomplish a goal that I had set for myself. I was crushed and entered a depression that I had never felt before. I had an amazing friend help me through that time, but that amazing friend also help me not achieve another dream from my childhood (I'll talk about this later). My friend pushed me to continue to swim and try out for the team next year. At first, it was really easy to continue my schedule of training and remembering my goals. This, however, didn't last. School, work, friends, and life got in the way. I soon gave up on my goal. I didn't achieve this goal and in a sense I feel like I have lost a part of my extraordinariness.

The thing is that I haven't lost any part of my extraordinariness. I have become extraordinary in a different way. I am now a swim coach and all of my swimmers love me. I was at a meet this past weekend and everybody told me that I did an amazing job at coaching and that they were grateful for me being there. That made me feel really good inside. It helped me feel that I was still extraordinary. That I was an influence on the lives of others to do good.

Another dream that was crushed happened this year. I wanted to serve a mission, but this dream was crushed because of things I had done with the friend mentioned above and partially due to Crohn's Disease. I have been struggling with this for awhile. I feel like I have let down myself and God causing me to lose my extraordinariness. This, however, is not true. I know that God has a different plan for me now and this involves serving a church service mission. I can be an extraordinary person when I do this. Just like how my path changed in swimming. I'll be able to befriend and hopefully influence many people that I am serving.

It seems like my hunt for extraordinariness leads me in my life that keeps living. It leads me to where I am supposed to be and where I am supposed to be extraordinary. I may not be extraordinary in the ways that I want to be, but I am extraordinary in the ways that I am supposed to be.

A Life That Keeps Living


A life that keeps living.

Behind this phrase, there are many hidden ideas and thoughts that run through my mind. They all however, center on Christ. He is the one person that connects the entire universe together--spiritual and temporal.

The first idea that comes from this phrase is eternal life. We all have been given the gift of eternal life because of Christ's sacrifice. Our lives will continue on forever despite what we do in this life. We may be in different kingdoms of glory, but our lives will always continue on. It is amazing to think about this concept. Life does not end after death. It never ends.

Another idea that comes to mind is my life and my search for meaning, purpose, and adventure. I could just sit on the fence and not make a single decision. I could also float on my back and rely on others to guide me through this life. In a sense, I would be living if I did that, but in my reality I wouldn't be living at all. Life isn't meant to be watched. It is meant to be experienced and lived. We must keep making decisions and experiencing life rather than watching it go by, watching others find joy and growth. We need to experience happiness, sadness, joy, pain, melancholy, and every other emotion in order to really live. Christ experienced everything here on earth and He lives to this day. Those who experience life are the ones who keep living.

Right now, I could just give up and stop living life. I have good reasons to. I'm attracted to men. I have Crohn's Disease. I don't have the best relationship with my family. I don't have very many good friendships. I am in extreme pain right now. All of these things could bring me down. However, I don't let them bring me down. I keep living life. I see the range of emotions, experiences, and struggles that I am going through and realize that they are for my betterment. I am actually growing from everything that happens in my life. I could just give up, but I don't. I have the help and love of God and Christ on my side. As long as I have faith in them and do my best, everything will work out how it is supposed to. My life is one that keeps living despite all of its set-backs and problems and it gives me meaning and purpose.

Searching For Meaning


I have started on a new path in my life and it is full of new meanings, adventures, and struggles. This is my search for meaning in a life that keeps living.