Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grateful ...

Today, I almost didn't go to church. I was dragging my feet in getting ready. I was hoping my son would sleep in really late so I would have an excuse to not go. I was tired, I wasn't in the mood to wrangle a 3 year old during sacrament & I was just wishing I could have a lazy day at home. But, I grudgingly got ready for church, Kason woke up in time to get to church and off we went. Albeit, we were late to Sacrament but, at least we were there.

Once Sunday School started Sister Schofield said we would be talking about how to prepare our homes and families for returning to the Lord. I thought, "I LOVE lessons like this - learning from the Israelites how I can be a better person." It really made me think about what I need to do in my home, or improve in my home so that the Spirit really can reside there. And it made me question how I'm living my life ... Am I really centering my life around Christ? Or could I be doing better? I've been wondering for a little while if I need to find a new circle of friends. I love my friends but, some of them have some qualities that I just don't enjoy being around. I always get uncomfortable when certain topics, they enjoy talking about, come up. I now know what it's like to be the girl in those Young Women stories they always tell ... the little Molly Mormon in an uncomfortable situation. And I'm ashamed to say, that I haven't always reacted the way that I should. And I hate that I've done that ... but after today's lesson ~ I have a new resolve to be the person I know that I really am and not conform to what society wants or what my group of friends want.

As Relief Society sisters started filing in for class, a girl named Jen came and sat next to me. Her husband was just diagnosed with MS in December and they have been having a REALLY rough go with it. His health is declining quickly and she is having to pick up all the slack for their family. As I learned of what she was going through I couldn't help but relate to what she is dealing with. My heart breaks for her and I completely empathize with her life struggles right now. I had been kind of distant from her because I just didn't know what to say. I had so much going on inside my head that I wanted to come out but, I didn't know how to say it. She had been on my mind so much these past few days and every time I drove passed her house I thought, I really need to check on her. And I had yet to do anything about those promptings.

Well, the Relief Society lesson today was on service & our stewardship. I was constantly being reminded of the sweet acts of service that had been done for me over the past few years. And I shared a quote that has become one of my motto's in life: "Those with true love, have windows in their lives, not mirrors." (President Brent L. Top) ... and I love that because as we focus on other outside of our home, everything else falls into place. We have more time for our lives and more time to focus on the important things.

Well, after the lesson I leaned over the Jen and I said, "I'm not just saying this because of the lesson we just had...but, I want to check on you. I have been thinking about you so much this past week and what your going through and it all just sucks. There's no other way to put it. And if you ever EVER need anything ... PLEASE don't hesitate to call me."

She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Thank you." She had this look in her eyes that I remember seeing SO many times in my own reflection. Desperate for help, exhausted from the trials, frustrated with the path. I knew it all too well.

I turned to her and with tears in my eyes told her that I can understand the trials. I can empathize with the trials in her life. I wanted her to know that I was there for her, regardless of when it was. We sat and both cried. As I hugged her she whispered in my ear ... "Thank you so much." And right then, I hoped and prayed that she could feel of my love for her. No daughter of God should EVER have to feel alone and lost during a trial and I, again, hope and pray that she never has those feelings. I wanted her to know that I was there, I understood and I get that it sucks dealing with a grouchy husband and a complete lifestyle change.

As I walked out of church today I felt amazing. I felt as if all life's drama was gone, I felt as if I had no trials, no worries, no struggles. I was incredibly grateful I decided to roll out of bed today. I was reminded that the Lord is watching out for me and sending me subtle hints on how to improve my self and my life. He wants me to succeed, He wants me to be shaped and molded in to a certain person and He is willing to be patient and understanding as I figure that out. I am so grateful for the blessing of promptings and guidance as I live my life. I am SO incredibly grateful that I have been blessed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost to guide me down the straight and narrow and to direct back to that path as I sometimes wander off.

Today, I am especially grateful that I decided to go to Relief Society. That I choose to sit where I did and that Jen decided to sit next to me. I am grateful I got the courage to talk to her and say what had really been on my mind and just let her know that I am there for her. My institute teacher said on multiple occasions: Nothing is ever a coincidence. Everything in life happens for a reason. And I truly believe that. Every aspect of our lives are guided and directed by our Heavenly Father. And I am eternally grateful for that because you know what? I wouldn't want ANYONE else guiding my life. As I turn my life to Him, I will be given the best opportunities for growth, the best chances at learning and the most amazing experiences in life. It's all a matter of choice and if we choose to turn our lives to our Heavenly Father and say to Him, "make me who YOU need me to be." ... we will become incredible people and you will be able to see His hand in your life each day. All you have to do is look for it.