Saturday, April 11, 2015

You are Special

I am beginning to think that the Lord "blesses" me with sickness so that I will be still enough to listen to the lesson He has prepared for me. I have been feeling very ill for a couple weeks. I have fought with this illness for years and I recently had been led to someone who helped ease the discomfort and offered wise counsel on how to prevent flare ups. Well of course me being me because I was feeling so much better started to cheat here and there and I'm now paying the price. But this fault of my own set back has given me reason to deeply search my soul and as President Monson counseled at the end of Priesthood session to "Analyze yourself with the Spirit..."

First thing I was reminded was that "yes, I am still a bullheaded child who thinks I know best."  I will be so grateful when I finally learn that "no, I do not always know better than Heavenly Father and quit thinking I do."

The second thought came this morning.  

When I was a little girl I had a beloved cat named Feather.  Oh how I loved her she was such a special kittie.  I believe her time with us was during my primary years.  
My young heart had no doubt that "Nothing was impossible with God," and "if I had the faith of a mustard seed I could remove a mountain, and "Heavenly Father always answered His child's prayer because of His great love for them."

A cruel neighbor poisoned my beloved Feather.  I sat with her day after day reading her scriptures and reassuring her Heavenly Father would heal her.  Daily I prayed the day that He would heal her because I knew He could.  
I was devastated the morning my parents told me that she had died.  
My broken little heart cried out "Why?"  
All I remember for an answer was peace and love filling my heart but the heavens remained silent.

I attended one year of seminary and during that year I personally learned how much my Heavenly Father loved me and that He knew my name.  It was a very sacred and private lesson that burrowed so deeply into my soul that it carried me though my dark days of inactivity.  
I shared that lesson with my future husband who told me that one day he hoped to meet that girl and her very best friend.

In 97 I re-round that relationship with my Father in Heaven and my husband has lived with that girl for 18 years and he is still a bit overwhelmed.  But he has stayed by my side.

In 98 I began a miraculous journey with my poppers. 
A beloved mentor and I started re-teaching my poppers about the gospel to help prepare him and my mother for a future temple trip where we were to be sealed as a family.  

At a recent interview I was asked, "what to date has been your greatest accomplishment..."  My poppers immediately jumped into my mind.  
Just as I was going to open my mouth she continued, "in nursing?"  
I was speechless for a moment because during that time with my poppers I had no idea or clue that one day I would return to school let alone become a nurse.  
But for the record my greatest accomplishment was the year I spent teaching and taking care of my poppers!

My poppers was extremely ill and yet our doctor was stumped.  
He swore my poppers had cancer but each and every test came back inconclusive.  
He would just shake his head and mumble "I know he has cancer."

My part of teaching my family was re-introducing them to the scriptures.
I first read the Book of Mormon and then we studied the teachings of David O McKay.
Oh how I loved that prophet.  
Then my poppers and I started reading Doctrine and Covenants.  

I knew my poppers was very ill and I knew that the Lord had made a promise to him but I was unsure what was going to happen after our temple day.  

I spent many a night pleading with the Lord to heal my poppers at the temple so that I could have him for many years to come. 

Then one night as I was reading ahead in Doctrine and Covenants I came across this passage in section 42:

"44 And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.

45 Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.
46 And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them;

47 And they that die not in me, wo unto them, for their death is bitter.
48 And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed."

Tears flowed from my eyes as verse 48 repeatedly jumped out at me.                                           It was at that moment I knew my poppers was not going to healed in the way I wanted
but he was going to be healed by being called home.

Two months after we returned home my was poppers was called home and his "Death was sweet unto him."  A few weeks upon us returning home our doctor had another test run and this one came back conclusive my poppers body was full of cancer.

I finally learned my answer for that question I had asked as a little girl. 
Ultimately it is in the Lord's hands and it had nothing to do with my lack of or sufficient faith.

Through the course of my life I have faced many crippling challenges (to me) and I have been blessed with inspired teachers who have taught me to trust in the Lord's timing and know that all questions will be answered in His way and on His time table and to file them away until the day comes when I am ready and He is ready to answer and teach me; but until that day I needed to continue to press forward trusting in Him and "line upon line and precept upon precept."                                                                                                                               

I have seen the truthfulness of those inspired teachings as I continue to learn and grow line upon line and precept upon precept.

One of my greatest challenges was the inability to carry our babies.  I began to question my faith and Heavenly Father.  I also began to feel second and lower in placement in the grand scheme of things but I continued to trust in what I knew and and what I had been taught.   So I continued to press forward.

I have heard and witnessed the stories of those who face infertility and "through their faith and heart felt pleadings" have their prayers answered and they receive that miracle baby. For some reason at a certain place in my life that really bothered me and I found myself pleading with Heavenly Father, "why not me? Is not my faith and pleadings sufficient?"  Again silence.  
Being the prideful child I am I responded, "FINE! Don't answer!" and proceeded to crawl into bed.  

Then the Spirit came and taught me such a powerful lesson that I shan't forget because in the middle of that lesson I found myself crawling out of bed and again hitting my knees and my tears and pleading were for forgiveness. 

Weeks later at 3:00 am the Spirit whispered that there was a Devotional on Byu that I needed to hear.  I recently had a Branch sister share with me that when the her the Spirit wakes her at 3:00 am she is told to go back to sleep "because we are not finished."  I told her my buddy needed to take lessons from hers:)

I stumbled out of bed and found the channel.  Sister Beck then Relief Society General President was speaking.  As she was finishing her comments she spoke about a friend of hers who was on her death bed and how Sister Beck was relating to her friend what a blessed life she must have have had.  Sister Beck then started getting emotional and then related her friend response, "I have had blessed life all but for the 14 dark years I was childless."       Tears were streaming down my face as I realized  that for the first time here was a woman who truly understood my pain.  I sat there with tears pouring down my face for I'm not sure how long and I knew that I was okay and it was okay for me to have my yearly meltdowns and then a healing started taking place.

I dropped Sister Beck a thank you note letting her now what had transpired for me during her talk.  I was shocked that a few days later I received a hand written note from her.             Tears again flowed as I read her kind words and then a compliment that she had given me.  My first thought was, "no way could that compliment refer to me."                                       Then the Spirit started showing me all the second witnesses in my life that confirmed that her compliment was for me and was true.                                                                                     

Even now I think, "There is no way that is me."

After that great teaching moment I came to realize that the challenges I continue to face have nothing to do with my lack of or sufficient faith.  I am following the course that my Heavenly Father has charted for me and I am trusting in His plan for me.                             Just because my prayers are not answered in the way I feel is best does not make me a second or third rate citizen in the Lord's kingdom.  Heavenly Father has His reasons for my "unanswered prayers." and when He is ready He will let me know.  
For now He continues to fill my soul with peace and love

He has an individualized plan for each and everyone of His children custom made for them.  Another profound lesson I learned when my mother at the age of 90 or 91 received her patriarchal blessing.  WOW!!  The great counsel became very real for me and gave me a whole new insight.  Double WOW!!!

I am so grateful for the line upon line and precept upon precept teaching moments that continue to give me the faith to keep pressing forward and trusting in The Lord.

I have friends who have wrapped their arms around me and say, "I feel so sorry for you." Puzzled I ask them why and they reply, "Because you will never know the joy that comes with motherhood in this life."  
I just smile and them wrap my arm around them and reply, "Well I feel sorry for you."  
Then they give me the puzzled look and I continue, because your are right 
I will never understand the joy of traditional motherhood but you will never understand
the joy that comes with un-traditional motherhood but can't we still be friends?"  

I am so grateful for the blessings that I have received from "The Joy of Being Untraditional!"

My poppers always told me I was "special" my husband is always telling me, "yea, your a mental sort of way:)" wink wink and my Heavenly Father ever since I can remember has made me feel so loved and special.  He is truly my best friend.

I know each of us face struggles and we each handle them differently but the one thing I hope that we all feel and know is that We are Divine Daughters Of God and 


His love for each of us is so individualized. He truly knows our names and He knows better than anyone our heartaches and how to comfort and heal our wounded hearts.

In closing I would like to share a tidbit I learned from this session of General Conference, "No we can't do it alone but with the Lord's help we can because this is His great work."

How blessed we are to be a instrument in His great work.  

We all have something extraordinary to bring to His great table
because we are all so very Special:)

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