Your Once Upon a Time is Now

Barbie’s, bedtime stories, and baby dolls were the three essential elements of my childhood. Life was only a fairy tale; I always imagined one day I would find my Prince Charming and just continue living my daydream.

The day my grandma was diagnosed with stage four brain, bone, and lung cancer is when I was first introduced to the crude reality of this world.

My grandma, who was my best friend and biggest cheerleader was given six weeks to live. I began to realize that my perfect world was far from perfect, but I would soon learn it was all part of a plan far greater than mine.


My Grandma Theresa and me

Doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy, and lots of chaos filled my life for the next year and a half. At eleven years old it is hard to comprehend “why bad things happen to good people”, but through this experience, I have learned that no matter what situation individuals are placed in we have the ability to seek that glimmer of light even when put in the darkest of rooms.


By changing my perspective chemotherapy, was no longer characterized as visits to the doctors, but became time for my grandma and me to share stories, and hold hands.  I learned to be a giver and that love was not all about living behind a white picket fence or having everything go perfectly, instead more about sacrificing, compromising, and serving.

When my grandma’s soul met her maker after her long battle I had an unwavering faith that she was where she was supposed to be and I would one day see her again.

As children of God we were sent down here knowing our life was not going to consist purely of rainbows and butterflies, but sorrow and sadness were also a part of the equation. In difficult moments it is hard to see the beauty of this life or even God’s purpose for us. However, in these painful times, our God is refining us into the human beings he wishes for us to become.

This never ending roller coaster of life is humbling and allows us to learn of our divine nature and provides us an opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in His never ending love.


Although, I still wish my grandma could be there at my wedding to watch me walk down the aisle. I know that there is a plan and it is greater than all.

Although all our stories, circumstances, and trials are different, we are all loved by the Savior. In all times, in all things and in all places, remember you are very much loved and that you have a purpose.

In actuality life is still like playing Barbie’s and telling stories, however now we are the Barbie maneuvering our way through life, and writing our own fairy tale, the greatest tale of all, being our own life, so make sure it is inspiring.


Carlie Ann


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