Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pioneer Woman: I need her today, and everyday.

For those of you who are in Utah, Happy Pioneer Day today!

For those of you who are not familiar with Utah's Pioneer Day, it is a state holiday celebrated in honor of the Mormon Pioneers who, after much persecution and an arduous trek across the plains with everything they owned in crammed into their handcarts, settled in the Salt Lake Valley in hopes of a new and prosperous life.

Today really is a very inspiring and special day for me because not only were my ancestors brave, stalwart and faithful pioneers in horrific and very difficult times, I am also very touched by this holiday because I, too, see myself as a pioneer woman. A modern-day pioneer woman, that is.

Let me explain.

4 years ago, my therapist {Maurice Harker} taught me a principle that quite literally changed my life. When I felt defeated beyond measure, when I wanted to give up on everything, when I packed my suitcase in my car, strapped my 2 year old in his car seat and literally sobbed thinking "I can't do it There is no way I will survive this.", when I thought I couldn't possibly take another breath, Maurice said:

Become a Pioneer Woman.

Kill your own buffalo!

It was like the heaven's had opened and his words were meant specifically for me.

It made so much sense! Women throughout our history have faced and overcome tremendously hard things from the very beginning of time.

And I was no different.

I could kill my own buffalo if I had to.

My life seemed to have fallen apart.

But it wasn't over. 

knew I had to keep going!

PRESS FORWARD! I thought to myself.

There was no handbook to become a pioneer woman (but I did find this cool book at Antropologie last year-- and how fitting that it's an M for Maurice :), he just keep reminding to tap into my inner self- the strength that lived far beneath my soul-- the strength to face things I never thought I'd have to face-- and dig her out.

Find her.

Polish her.

Use her for good!

I remember being a leader at Girl's Camp in the summer of 2010 and was in the middle of separation. It was the most lonely and destitute time of my life. As all the innocent and beautiful young women were stamping their names on their dog tag, I decided to stamp the words: "Pioneer Woman,  Chin Up" on mine.

No one knew the value or what this meant except one of my best friends and fellow leaders. But I wore my necklace as if it were my oxygen tank. It gave me life. It gave me hope. It was a gentle reminder of the woman I knew I had to become, the woman I had already become in a few short months, and the woman I was yet to be.

I used the term "Pioneer Woman" and the principles taught to me by Maurice for many, many months following my discovery day. Years, actually. It got me through the most unbearable times. Actually, come to think of it *I*, my own pioneer woman, got me through the most unbearable times.

I did it.

I surprised myself and I did it!

And then sometime last year, I woke up and thought that I had graduated from being a pioneer woman. I just felt that I didn't need to be that strong woman anymore.


Because I got my life back, duh!

I got remarried.

I was happy again.

I was provided for.

I was cared for, protected, loved, and honored.

The parts of my life that I had lost had been replaced. I had a man by my side once again.

How foolish I was!

Not in the sense that I wasn't happily remarried again, or that I wasn't being provided for, or that I wasn't being cared for, protected, loved, or honored. I am grateful that all of that is very true, and very real for me.

But I was WRONG in the sense that I almost let something so life changing, so enriching, so beautiful as my Pioneer Woman DIE!

Why on earth would I ever give her up?

Why on earth would I ever brush aside or bury the amazing and powerfully confident and capable woman that lives within me?

I have realized that becoming a pioneer woman isn't specific to one trial or circumstance and it certainly isn't just a "phase". Becoming a pioneer woman, for me, is about rising to the occasion (any occasion) and not only surviving whatever comes my way, but THRIVING.

A pioneer woman wasn't complacent and she didn't let her guard down just because she made it to the valley. Instead, she knew that there was HARD work to do and she worked harder than before. A pioneer woman didn't give up her strength because she felt she no longer needed to be strong. Instead, she stretched herself and became even more capable alongside her support system (a husband, or friends, or community perhaps).  A pioneer woman didn't roll over and hunker in her little cabin, expecting to be taken care of. Instead, she continued to provide for and keep her family as safe and as comfortable as possible.

A pioneer woman continued to work for the rest of her life. Sun up, sun down she worked to be a better person, and as a result, created a better life.

She never EVER gave up!

I believe that once a pioneer woman, always a pioneer woman. 

And that is why today, I hold very close to my heart the example of my ancestors bravery and persistence, I honor the valiant and courageous modern-day pioneers that surround me who are facing all sorts of different things, and I have a very deep love for the pioneer woman, the one whom I almost let slip away because I didn't think I needed her anymore, that lives deep within me.

I need her today, and you know what? I need her everyday because you never know what's next.  

Remembrance, gratitude and so much grace today.

Happy Pioneer Day.


Original Pioneer Woman post can be found here.

Image Credit: Covered Wagon Women: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849 (Covered Wagon Women, #1) Kenneth L. Holmes

Friday, July 18, 2014

Q&A: How Do You Meet So Many Amazing People?

*I am so far behind on responding to emails and answering questions that come in. I am swamped! But I am working on it :) I'm going to try and get caught up, so you may see some of these Q&A posts in the weeks to come. If you have emailed me, I am trying to get to each and every one of you this week and next. Thank you so much for your patience and love.

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page (in regards to a "My Name Is" post) I was asked this question:

How do you meet so many amazing people, Jacy?

This is a question I have been asked a lot, actually, and I've been thinking about the answer.

Are you ready for it?

I am surrounded by amazing people. 


But here's the thing….

It's not something I always acknowledged. I mean, I knew there were super strong people going through hard things around me (friends, family, neighbors, etc.), but I honestly just didn't give it too much thought. 

"They are strong… cool… now, let me get back to whatever I'm doing that is so much more important than recognizing or empathizing."

And that's what I did. I went back to all things me. Maybe it was immaturity, or lack of experience…

Then my world changed completely.

I was the very person I had given very little thought to. The person who was up against something she never could have imagined she would have to face, or be able to find the courage needed to survive.

That'll rock you to the core, I tell you what!

That'll change the way you see yourself and the way you see others.

That'll change your approach.

That'll change you.

So, in 2010, in the very beginning parts of my new and very hard journey, I slowly but surely, as quietly as a mouse, started opening up about the hard stuff. About the raw parts. About the parts that are so far from ideal that it's SCARY to talk about. About the parts that are sometimes embarrassing to admit, or painful to dig into, or too difficult to even put into words.

But it didn't take too long for something miraculous to happen. Suddenly, the most amazing and strong people began trickling into my life. Some I had known my entire existence and they were there for me in my darkest of times, others I met in counseling, some stumbled upon my blog because they're in similar situations, some are part of The Togetherness Project, many I met through a friend of a friend, or at Little Dude's swim lessons, or at a clothing store. No matter how we connected, whether we relate completely or not, one by one, my life has been immensely blessed by beautiful, real, imperfect, hurting, happy, healing, thriving people.

And I am finally seeing those people; really really recognizing them for who they are…. supportive, loving, strong, brave…… amazing in their own way!

So, while it may seem like I know a lot of amazing people, with amazingly triumphant stories (which I do :), the truth is 


Because amazing people are EVERYWHERE! 

They are all around us! 

I know I've posted this a few times already…. but my friend Aimee said it very best:

"When you drop the guard that you have up to protect yourself and the image you are trying to project to others, the kinds of people that are drawn to you are beautiful, open, often aching people…. but that's where the most intimate and fulfilling friendships develop."

*This* is how I have met and know so many amazing people. When I drop the guard, those around me feel that maybe, just maybe, they can open up and share the real parts that exist within their hearts. And vice versa. And when that happens, already BEAUTIFUL people with unbelievable stories and unyielding STRENGTH begin to emerge.

It's amazing! Even in our differences, it is so amazing!

I have a story for you…

When I emailed an old friend of mine, Jaimie, about writing for the "My Name Is" series, I asked her to talk about her decision to enlist in the Army. I knew nothing of why she did it, I  just knew it took a lot of courage to do so and I wanted to highlight that courage.

Little did I know the incredible words that would compose her story.

As I sat and read her piece, I bawled my eyes out. I called Seth in and read it aloud to him for a second go around. Each and every "My Name Is" piece is beautiful and brave, but what made this piece stand out is that I had no clue my friend enlisted in the Army because her life had taken a drastic turn. I had no idea her family was on the verge of collapse at the very SAME TIME MINE WAS.  And here I thought in the summer of 2010 that my life, only mine, was the one that was hard and challenging and flipped upside down.

This was a dear friend of mine (we had lost contact probably because we were both going through so much) and my heart broke because at the time, I was too blind by my own woes that I had lost track of her. I had know idea how amazing she really was. I had no idea how much she was hurting, either.

Her story touched me and reminded me that every single person you know (or meet) is fighting a battle. Don't forget this! Some battles may be small, others more significant, but nevertheless, they are battles and as well all know, battles are hard, tiring, exhausting, painful and they require a certain kind of strength. Strength that, as I learned the hard way with my friend Jaimie, will go unnoticed if we're blind by our own problems, and/or sweep things under the rug, unwilling to recognize and validate reality.

Life has hard parts, and that is true for everyone.

The people who act like they've got it all together, don'tNo one has it all together.

When we peel back the layers we think are there for protection, ordinary people become EXTRAORDINARY! We begin to realize that many of these people around us have always been strong and "amazing", we've just never seen clearly enough to appreciate it. When this happens, we also begin to see ourselves in a new a very extraordinary light, too. 

I truly believe that we create amazing. 

We just have to reset our focus and appreciate that life isn't perfect. We have to open our hearts to new and different perspectives and outcomes. And when the time is right (in the appropriate setting for us personally), we have to spark that amazingness by sharing parts our own stories, our disappointments, our fears, our growths and our successes. Hopefully then, the opportunity will come where we can listen and be in that space with other people as they emerge.

And that, my friends, is my secret to meeting so many amazing people. They've always been near me, I'm just finally reveling their greatnessAnd now I'm on a mission to share with all the world (ahem, or rather, the small population who read this blog :) how amazingly extraordinary ordinary people are!

I also hope to share that good things can come from incredibly hard things; a truth I thank God for everyday. He has brought me all of you… and whether our stories or similar or not makes ZERO difference to me… that's not what makes it so amazing… the amazing part is the love and connection and support that I have felt from so many of you in the last few years. As well as the love that has bloomed in my heart for all of you. Honestly, I cannot imagine my life any other way.

It was all worth it. 

The amazingness makes every last bit of it worth it.


Have a most charming and wonderful weekend everyone!

p.s. these are pictures from the last few years of my life :) Some are of family, some are of old friends, some are of new friends, some are of people I've meet through the blog. This is just a small glimpse of the amazing people in my life. I wish I could post ALL of you who are amazing to me… but you know who you are whether you are picture or not :) 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


You guys!!!!!!!!!


After hours and hours of legal work, legal bills, more paperwork than you can imagine, and 9 MONTHS of waiting, it is OFFICIAL! The Togetherness Project is now a licensed 501{c}{3} Public Charity!


We just received the letter from the IRS and we are SO excited! I was shaking as I read the acceptance letter and I think I jumped up and down for a bit :)

This opens so many doors for us!

Just wanted to share the good news…. I am beyond thrilled! I cannot believe what has transpired in a little over a years time.

Good things.

Good things.

Much love to you all today.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Q&A: I've Thought About the Breast Augmentation Thing

I recently received this question from a dear friend of mine:

"I've been wanting to get your thoughts on breast augmentations. I'm such a natural girl, I don't even wear make-up at all anymore except for lipstick. I don't dye my hair so I have gray hairs coming in all over. I gave birth to all my kids naturally, and once I got talked into getting an IUD and my body flat out rejected it! I could go on and on! But I have to admit, I've thought about the breast augmentation thing. I've lost so much weight, I don't have much there anymore and I'm really self conscious about them. What are you thoughts?"

Plastic surgery.


To be 100% truthful here, I have a love/hate relationship with it.

On the one hand….. I love it because it made it relatively easy to change the parts of me that I didn't like so much.

On the other hand…. I hate it because, well, it changed me.

I changed me!

I wrote a post on the subject (you can read it, here) a few years ago and I still stand by what I wrote there. But I would like to add a few little bits of thought for you, dear reader. Take them or leave them, this is just my opinion.

The thing I have learned is that with any plastic surgery, just like our bodies aren't perfect, plastic surgery isn't either. If you have imperfections on your breasts that you don't like now, they will most likely be magnified once they're bigger. I went under the knife assuming I'd wake up with the look and feel that had been shoved down my throat through media my whole life. Perfectly symmetrical, perfectly full, perfectly soft, perfectly perfect breasts. 3 years since getting a breast augmentation, I can tell you that the imperfections now drive me equally as crazy as they did before, if not more!

It was a little bit of a let down when I realized that breast implants did not solve my problems, nor did they take away all of my self esteem woes. They did not change my love life. They did not change the way my (at the time) boyfriend (now husband) thought of me or saw me. And they most definitely did NOT change other people.

They were just balls of saline.

That's it.

Plain and simple.

Which is totally odd because for 27 years of my life, I literally thought that once I had bigger breasts, my complexes would vanish. In reality, I feel about the same. I'm just the same ole me.

A few weeks ago, during my yearly check up at the gynecologist, my doctor was routinely examining my breasts and asked,

"How are the implants? Anything abnormal that you feel?"

After answering the serious question, I found myself complaining to him that I didn't like this, and that I didn't like that about them.

"Many women tell me that", he said with an almost shoulda known better look on his face.

And then I started feeling sheepish because I started to realize the great lengths I have gone to change me, the money I have spent to change me, the foreign objects I purposely shoved into my body, all because I wanted SO desperately to look/feel more womanly, sexier, confident, whatever it was I was missing (fill in the blank), etc.

And how here I was… after ALL of this... still complaining and not satisfied with the way I look.

Why, why, WHY, am I so worried about not being perfect?

Why, why, WHY, have I felt the need to change me?

If I'm truthful with myself, I think it's a mixture between how I've felt about myself nearly my entire life, the beauty ideals (lies) I buy into on a daily basis, and the atomic blow to my self esteem 4 years ago.

Nonetheless, it is what it is and I have implants now.

Do I regret them?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

There are perks to having a fuller bust that I cannot deny. But there are also serious pluses to being smaller chested (and NATURAL!) that I honestly miss.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is this:

The grass is not greener on the other side.

If you're happy with you NOW, you'll find things to love about your fuller chest. And, even if you're happy with you NOW, you'll find things annoying about them, too.

I know it's nothing earth shattering, but I'm going to reiterate the same advice that my surgeon gave to me before I committed to the surgery:

"Breast implants will not solve your psychological, marital, sexual, social and/or financial issues."

So…. with that in mind… really ponder what's the true reason behind wanting the enhancement?

If you're looking to change you, and you think that this is the golden ticket that will ultimately make you happier, I would suggest holding off before rushing into anything. Bigger breasts are not the one hit wonder.  In fact, I kind of think of it like when I returned to the dating scene as a single mom.  My therapist kept telling me "Jacy, you want to be at a place in your life when the right kind of man comes along, he'll be a healthy addition to your already stable, happy, confident life. He won't take over, he won't change you, he'll just slide right in and be a healthy addition."

I think the same goes for implants, as weird as it sounds. "Before doing anything drastic, you want to be at a place in your life when implants will be a healthy addition to your already stable, happy, confident life. They won't take over, they won't change you, they'll just slide right in and be a healthy addition."

Breast implants aren't bad. They're not embarrassing. You're not superficial, or a wannabe or fake for wanting (or getting) them either. I cannot tell you if you should go through with it or not. Only you know that… only you know what is right for you.

Just promise me that if you do decide to go for it, you'll make sure you're not going under with the goal and idea that bigger breasts will solve all of your problems.

They won't.

They can't.

They're not supposed to.

Like I said before, in the end, for me, all they are are balls of saline.

That's it.

I'm not sure if this was helpful at all, or if I added to the indecisiveness… but please, pretty please know this one last and very important piece of the puzzle:

You are beautiful as you are.  

Big breasts, little breasts… in the end, does it really make a difference? You are beautiful. And your beauty is a reflection of the brave and amazing woman, mother and friend you are. Nothing more is needed to define and/or portray that.

But if anyone gets it, I do. And I support you whatever you decide.



Oh, and one more thing. If you decide this is something you do infact want to undergo (which is okay), do NOT let the doctor, your husband, your friend, whoever talk you into going bigger. Humongous is not cool! Bigger is not better. Keep it real, keep it natural looking, keep it within reason depending on your body type. Trust me on this one. My doctor told me I would be disappointed with my small(er) size and was shocked when I confirmed the size. I purposefully took my momma with me to keep me on track and not get talked into something at the last minute. She did and I'm SO grateful I stayed within reason :)

**I'd love to know your thoughts on this because I KNOW YOU HAVE THEM! What do you think about breast implants? Have you thought about it? Would you ever go that route? What's holding you back? Have you done it? Do you regret it? Do you love it? (You won't hurt my feelings… it's okay to disagree :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My name is Kylie and I am a mommy of a diabetic baby

We had just found out we were expecting what presumed to be a healthy baby boy. 18 weeks and right on schedule. 

This pregnancy was no different than my previous two. I gained 45 pounds, measured correctly the entire time, and had no other reasons for multiple ultrasounds. (If I had known then what I know now, I would have requested for monthly ultrasounds.) 

I talked my doctor into taking the baby two weeks early. My husband would have six days off and I needed the extra help with two other kids at home. He decided it would be okay because I had no complications and my other boys were 8 pound babies. 


My Peyton James was born Feb 7th, 2014 via C-Section. The whole operating room was shocked and confused as to why he was only 3 lbs 15 oz. His umbilical cord was the size of the straw. I had been eating double time and he was barely getting any nutrition from me. That was one of the most heartbreaking things I learned that day. 


We survived the night, but he spent a lot of it under the warmer. He couldn't keep his temperature up and his blood sugar was a roller coaster. My doctor was in contact with a few others and they came to the conclusion we needed to be taken to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT.  At 8 am we were told a different NICU team was coming to transport Peyton. My husband was able to ride with him. I have never left any of my babies before 5 months old. I had to let my 1 day old baby go. My doctor was kind enough to discharge me with promises that I would take care of myself after the C-Section. My in-laws drove me to a Salt Lake City and my parents kept my other two boys. 

Primary Children's would be Peyton's home for the next 73 days. We met with endocrinologists, nephrologists, and geneticists most of our first week. They unofficially diagnosed my baby with Neonatal Diabetes. His blood work was being sent to a lab in the United Kingdom that specializes in Neonatal Diabetes. 

Peyton had no energy to finish his bottles so an NG tube was placed, every time they would try to do an insulin injection it would just ooze out. He had no body fat and had lost the typical weight a newborn loses. He was only 3 lbs 9 oz. A PICC line was placed next and he had constant low doses of insulin going in. 

From day one it was a roller coaster. His sugars could be found everywhere from 40 to 400. I have never been around a diabetic. I had no idea what to do with this or what to expect.

My worst experience of the whole thing was February 25, 2014. This was the night my baby spiked to over 600 and we had no idea what was going on. His PICC line tubes were not kinked and the X-Ray showed it was still correctly placed. We had to do a blood culture, urine culture and a spinal tap. He had stopped breathing twice thus resulted in giving him oxygen.


It turns out that a nurse didn't prime the insulin tubing which caused him to not get the correct dosage of insulin. 

It was the worst night of my life. 

I could have lost my baby. 

We got his results back from the UK and it was confirmed that he was diagnosed with 6q24 Transient Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus. The diabetes will go away between 3-6 months and come back at puberty to be permanent. His endocrinologist describes it as his pancreas will be healthy when he is and sick when he is. 

Days finally started getting more positive from there. Peyton was gaining weight and we were learning how to check with his glucometer, as well as how and where to do insulin injections. 

I'm so happy to say that on April 22, 2014 Peyton was discharged from the hospital! 

Our little boy is 1 of 22 with his condition. 

Peyton is now 2 months off insulin and is doing so good! 

If you would have asked me five years ago what I though my life would be like, it wouldn't be this. I am extremely grateful for this trial, I am a stronger person and parent because of it. Peyton started out as a survivor and will always be a fighter. Family is everything and without our parents' help and our wonderful community, we would not have been able to drive back and forth to see Peyton. 

I have a completely different outlook on life now

God could have taken Peyton as his angel, but instead He gave us one of the most special babies and granted us the blessing of being his parents. 


**Remember the purpose of the "My Name is" Series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow. Kylie reached out to me, hoping to not only share her story, but with the hope of finding other mom's who are dealing with, or have dealt with, a diabetic baby. And if you'd like to learn more, you can follow Peyton and his condition on her blog Kylie will be reading the comments here and I know she appreciates your love and support! 

Kylie, thank you for reaching out and for sharing Peyton's story with me and everyone else here. There is nothing more amazing than sharing our trials and triumphs, as well as finding other's who can relate. I hope this will help you find support… and in the meantime, your positive attitude and courage has helped me :) Lots of love to you, my new friend!

Read other stories of inspiring women in the "My Name is" series by clicking HERE.

Follow My Name is Jacy on FACEBOOK to stay up to date with new features and other posts :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Healing

As I type, I'm not really sure where this post is headed. I'm just wingin' it today.

Journaling, I suppose.

I'm in God's country. The beautiful hills of Wyoming take up a very special place in my heart. There's just something about the earth here… it's so rich and magnificent that it quite literally re-grounds me.

I've spent much time with my Little Dude and my family this week but I'll blog about that later.

I've also spent much time silently and very diligently working on me, too. It has been really interesting to pull away from the news, or blogs, or Facebook, and everything else I'm so caught up in and work on some inner healing. I'm digging deep and I'm figuring out how to heal from the things that are hurting me, the things that are consuming me, the things that are difficult for me, the things that are sad to me, the things that aren't ideal for me, the things I regret, the things I wish I would've handled differently, the things that could be better in my life, the things that infuriate me, the things that blindsided me, the things that I let run rampant in my mind.

When I really stop and think about it, I have so much improvement to do. In every aspect of my life, there is room for improvement.

And so, for the last month or so I've been taking it one day at a time and I've been really focusing on striving to be a better version of me. Notice I say the word striving instead of being because let's be honest… it's a non-stop ride! You never get off the "striving to be a better person" train. It's ongoing. Never-ending. We always have to try. And even when we think we're there, we can always try harder.

I've come to the brutal realization that I can't go back in time. I can't change what has happened. I can't undo what has been done. I can't change certain parts of my life that are unimaginably hard. And I think hold a lot of bitterness. And, no, I'm not just talking about one specific thing here or one situation. I'm talking about the very-little-to-very-big things in my life that still consume me. That still haunt me. I thought I had moved on… but in those moments, when it hurts in places I forgot it could hurt, or when my heart feels like it could literally blow out of my chest, or when I find myself acting in ways that really just *aren't the real me*, I realize that I haven't let go. I haven't moved on.

I'm not as healed as I thought I was.

I have MORE work to do.

And so begins another day of digging in deep, trying to heal the parts that hurt, and striving to be a better person.

But I've found this amazing truth. One we all know. But one that is forgotten often:

What I do have control over, what I CAN change, is what I do from this day forward. I can take little steps that will bring me peace. I can heal all things within me. But I have to go in knowing that it'll take a WHOLE LIFE of trying. A whole life of screwing up, trying, screwing up again, trying again, forgiving again, healing again, trying again, screwing up again, forgiving again, healing again, trying again, etc. I know it'll get old sometimes… and be really hard at times… and be annoying as hell sometimes… and there will be times that I'll want to give up and give in and just walk the heck away.

But that would be foolish. Because that is the ONE thing I can work on, the ONE thing I can control. MY healing. Day in and day out I can work on me. In every aspect of my life.

I'm not sure if this post even made sense… and you know… who cares if it does? Because to me, it is clear as day and I feel so much love and peace and HOPE for my future right now. It's almost hard to describe without sounding so ridiculously cheesy… but my future feels bright!

I'm seeing things in a way that I've never seen things before.

It's a beautiful sight.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My Name is Meg and I am a Fierce Mama Dragon

My Name is Meg and I am a fierce Mama Dragon.

March 15, 2013, my 13 year old son came out to me as gay. 

Here are the events of those first few moments:

It was a Friday night and I was cleaning the carpets.  The machine I had rented was so loud, but he asked if we could play a game of ‘hang man’ on the iPad.  I had to sign the letters to him because we could not hear each other.  It was fun!  I realized that it was not one big word, but a phrase he was spelling.  He spelled “I am like Andy”.  I asked, “From The Office?”  (one of our favorite shows). He just shook his head and over the top of our hang man game wrote, GAY in all caps.  We have a dear friend named Andy who is gay.  I shut off the carpet cleaner we had rented for the night and asked, “Jon, are telling me that you are gay?”  He just shook his head yes.  It is a little foggy what happened in the next few minutes.  All I can remember is that I went to him and hugged him fiercely.  We then sat down on my bed to talk.  I was sobbing.  I couldn't help myself.  I was shocked and scared and I did not know what this all meant.  Through my sobs and his, I told him how much I loved him.  How this changes nothing.  I was so proud of him for being brave and open and sharing this with me.  He told me a week after he found out.  I think it surprised him as well, but he felt ok with it.  It is natural to him and he did not feel shame or guilt.  He just learned something new about himself, confirmed it with our dear friend, Andy, and then told his mother.

Now, let me tell you something about myself:

I have always been a Mother Bear.  Once I found out about Jon, that didn't seem a fierce enough title.  There is a whole new level of protection that has come over me.  I now call myself a Mama Dragon.  I could literally breathe fire if someone hurt my son.  Dragons have talons, scales, claws, fangs and they can fly.  I will use all of these resources if someone were to hurt Jon.  So, we are circling our wagons around him, but I know we can't protect him from everything.  And as a Mama Dragon, that is the hardest part of this.  I don't know what the future holds.  I just know that there will be love.

As a Mormon, I did not know how to handle this.  I was devastated.  I saw the future I thought would happen slip away.  I saw his mission, temple marriage, and children (my grandchildren) slip away as if I never had a hold on it anyway.  I had no resources or experiences to draw from.  I only knew that this was not acceptable in my faith.  I also knew that he did not choose this.  I knew in my core that he came to me this way.  The first few days I thought I didn't know how to parent a gay kid.  Then it hit me.  You were parenting a gay kid 3 days ago and he is still that same perfect boy you have loved since the moment you found out you were pregnant. 

So, this is when I went to my Heavenly Father.  I spent many hours in my closet, crying, so that no one would hear me.  I wanted Jon to feel safe and trust me that I would love him without conditions and that I would protect him, whatever the cost.  But, I was struggling to find answers to this new reality.  So, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, I asked my Father in Heaven, "Who could deny such a soul as this?"  I had an audible answer, "Not I."  I am not sure if words will be enough to describe what happened next, but I saw a plan and a purpose for our LGBT brothers and sisters.  I saw that God was aware of them, loved them just the way they are, and did not want them to be alone.  Basically, I saw that we (my religion) did not have the complete answers to this particular issue.  This rattled me to the core.  I had always had a testimony of the gospel, but now I was questioning my church. 

My son is the kindest, smartest, most thoughtful kid I know.  I take no credit.  He came to me this way.  I wanted him to keep this pure heart.  I wanted him to know he was whole and perfect, just as he was. 

He shared with me that he knew he was whole by taking this to his Heavenly Father before taking this to me.  He asked in prayer if he was okay the way he was.  He not only got a strong confirmation that he was loved and whole by his Father in Heaven, he was told he is to be a beacon of hope and light to other teens who may be suffering all alone in the closet.  So, the night he came out to me, he shared this with me and asked that I help facilitate a coming out.  This terrified me, but as a Mama Dragon, I would do anything for my child and I trusted his heart and spirit.

I must interject here that he also has a Dragon Dad.  My husband and I were only able to have one child and we are very close as a family.  We decided before he was born that we would love our child through whatever.  Come what may. 

So, we decided to start a blog. This went viral and got the attention of one of the 12 Apostles of our church. We were now strong advocates for teen suicide and homelessness (please visit our blog for details http://theabhaus.blogspot.comand we were thrilled to meet with him.  We felt he had all the power to stop this awful practice of kicking your kids out because they identify as LGBT.  It was a nice meeting and he was very kind to us.  He told us to please keep doing what we are doing.

So, as I live and breathe, I will fight for our LGBT children.  Jon has fulfilled his call to be a beacon of hope and then some.  Lives are saved every day because of his bravery.  I could not be more proud of the young man that he is.  I feel like this last year has been the greatest blessing of my life thus far.  I have learned the true and pure love of Christ.  I would not change one hair on my son's head.  I am privileged and humbled to raise this incredible kid. 

My name is Meg and my Mama Dragon's heart soars!

**Remember the purpose of the "My Name is" Series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow. Meg will be reading your comments and I know that she welcomes your love, words of encouragement and support. If you have nothing kind to say please refrain from commenting, as it defeats the whole purpose of this series. (Comments will be moderated and deleted if necessary.)

Meg, I am so in love with your story of love. It is so evident just how much LOVE resides within your home, within your heart and for your family.  I am honored to know you and I am blown away by your bravery.  Jon is one lucky kid… as are you to be his Mama Dragon. Thank you for sharing this pivotal part of your life with us, it's so so so beautiful.

Read other stories of inspiring women in the "My Name is" series by clicking HERE.

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