G’day to all you beautiful ladies & gents
My name is Lydia Nomeneta Soe, 21 years young, born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. I recently made my move to Sydney to start fresh. I work at a real estate and am currently deferred from my studies in Bachelor of Accounting. I am an only child but have step siblings on both my mother and fathers side. My mother is Eliepa Nomeneta and my father Nolini Tuugavao Soe. Parents got divorced when I was at the age of 3 so I was brought up in the gospel with just me and mum. I am an ordinary child, maybe just a tad spoilt being the only child.
Solo Parent – She always made sure I attended church every Sunday
My mother being a solo parent, we had our ups and downs with finance and she would have to work all the time just for us to pull through. She always made sure I attended church every Sunday; whether she drops me off before work or made sure she arranged family or friends to pick me up and to drop me off. I loved primary and the youth program and had many friends who shared the same standards as me. I was lucky to have attended high school with most of my youth, knowing at that time a lot of temptation would hit young teens and its hard for us to stay focus. Knowing that I have been brought up in the gospel is a great thing but being surrounded by those who share the same standards was a bonus. Not saying that I was a perfect student, I had my fare share of being suspended and getting into a lot of fights at school, copping detentions left right and centre. On top of this, having to cope with mum and her special blessings (wink wink) every time I got into trouble at school. I always had a strong desire to serve the Lord ever since I knew what it meant. Especially in youth, we had so many of our YSA at the time return with honour. They would share their experiences, tell us how much it has blessed their lives and would encourage us and inspire us to serve our missions when it’s the right time. I learnt a lot in my youth days and being in Young Womens taught me so much about the gospel and about myself. I will always cherish my youth days, it’s one of the many things I love about this gospel.
I am a person who doesn’t like sharing life stories
I was asked to share my story by a beautiful sister of mine and I gladly accepted to do so. I am a person who doesn’t like sharing feelings or life stories, and if I do, it’s only to people I trust, so it is rare for me to share such things. In saying this though, I do not intend to share my story to gain/want any sort of sympathy or to be an attention seeker. I am simply sharing my story to allow those who may or may not be going through the same situation as me, to remind you that you are not alone and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. So in saying that my story goes something like this. P.S it’s an essay.
I still remember that day as if it was just yesterday
I grew up without knowing who my father was. The only things I knew about him would be the stories that my family would share, that he was a great loving family man who had a passion for music. Due to personal reasons and the past between my mother and father, I wasn’t allowed to see him until I hit legal age. I was only a toddler when he left so I only had a few photos of him. I had always wanted to meet him and I finally did. I was 18 years old. I still remember that day as if it was just yesterday. It was at a family wedding up in Brisbane where he lived, I was sitting with family when he came and tapped me on my shoulder, I looked up and knew straight away that, that was him, we hugged tight and cried for aaaages, he then took me and introduced me to his part of the family. We spent the weekend including my mum, step siblings and step mother too. That alone was the bestest feeling ever. 1. Meeting my dad and my siblings for the first time and 2. Having my mum, dad and step mother get along and they were able to leave the past where it belonged. It was like a dream come true.
I cried out loud just like anyone else would
6 months went by and my cousin came over home to share the news that my father suddenly passed away in the Islands. I cried out loud just like anyone else would. I was devastated and angry. I had just met him and now he’s gone. I questioned the Lord, Why would He do that? When I looked forward to seeing him more, to spend quality time with him, but it didn’t work out that way. I never thought the next time I would see him would be in a casket.
Lydia with her loving-musical Father
My mother was my strength during this time. Though I was having a hard time grieving, she still pushed me with my education. I had just started uni studies and she continued to encourage me to serve my mission. My whole life it was just always me and her. She was my motivation for everything in life. She was my best friend and my first ever teacher. I couldn’t imagine life without her. But sadly this day came too! It was only a 3 month gap between the death of both my parents. My mother had gotten very sick one night and being a stubborn person, she didn’t want to go to the hospital and just asked for a priesthood blessing. Eventually she was admitted to the hospital. Just as we thought she was ready to come home, I got a phone call early morning to rush to the hospital because her heart had stopped beating. As we got there, running to her room, we were stopped by nurses and staff. At that exact moment, I knew what news was about to come. She was announced dead at exactly 2:40 am.
I questioned him so many times
My whole world came crashing down, it literally did. I was angry with the Lord. I questioned him so many times, WHY ME WHAT COULD I HAVE POSSIBLY DONE THAT WAS SO BAD FOR YOU TO TAKE THEM AWAY FROM ME? THERE’S SO MANY MURDERERS, RAPISTS AND TERRORISTS OUT THERE YOU COULD HAVE PUNISHED BUT YOU CHOSE ME? I never got an answer so I stopped going to church, I no longer had a desire to serve a mission, I stopped my studies, I stopped praying, I pretty much stopped doing everything. I was lost. I definitely lost my faith. I didn’t know what I wanted in life no more. I shifted between 3 homes because I didn’t feel like it was MY home. I eventually forced myself to go back to church to see if it was just a phase but that still didn’t work out for me. I didn’t feel no spirit at all. I tried so many times to keep my mums promises, education and mission were the 2 main ones, but it just seemed like the more I tried, the harder it got, so I quit trying.
She never failed to be the best mother for me
I’m 21 years old now and my parents passed away when I was 18-19 years old. It has taken me 2 long draining years for me to realize that I had to get a grip and start doing what I was destined to do. Now that I have made the move here to Sydney, everything that was a blur to me is now slowly becoming clear. I came to realize that I was just being stubborn and too negative in life and I needed to start fresh with an open mind. I look back to where life was when my mum was alive, how she was, having to raise us kids on her own, struggling with finance and struggling to find time to spend with her kids. She never once stopped working her butt off for us kids. She never once complained to the Lord because of her struggles. SHE NEVER FAILED to be the best mother for me. She was happy living life then and I’ve always said that I hope and wish to be like her, to follow her footstep, to be independent and strong like she was. That’s exactly what I’m doing now. I’m being independent. This was my first hurdle, which I’m doing great so far. I’ve found a job and I am picking up my uni studies very soon. My second and current hurdle is working to gain my faith back. I have been challenged to pray daily by family members and to do my daily scripture reading. So far that is also going great. I have attended church and loving it heaps. I am slowly getting my life back into order, the way it had always planned to be, and now I can officially say that I am standing on my own two feet.
Lydia with her beautiful hardworking mother
Never blame the Lord for anything
My advice to those who may be going through something similar to me is to take little steps at a time, you don’t always have to deal with everything at the same time. Always have an open mind and find your happiness before dealing with anything. Never blame the Lord for anything. I know I did and I regret it because everything that happens is His plan, everything we have is His, we are forever in debt to Him, my parents were with Him before they were with me. I was blessed to have a strong mother who taught me the most important things in life, to remain faithful and strong, and to be independent. I was blessed to have met my earthly father before he was called back, I was blessed to even spend time with him. Always look at the blessings you have first. I now know that our Heavenly Father knows what He’s doing. He knows our weaknesses and knows how it can become our strengths. He would never give us trials that we can not face.