Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Last week I had a wonderful idea of recounting every Relief Society Lesson for a Sunday post. I thought it would be a great way to remember what I had learned. What I had felt.

Today, I sat with my new calling, in primary.

I am actually thrilled to be in primary. I will miss my Family History calling, and miss Relief Society, but I really love teaching the gospel to little children.

That being said, I really wanted to hear today’s lesson. It was from the talk given by Quentin L. Cook, “Hope ya know, we had a hard time.” So, tonight I spent some time reading the talk. I loved it when he gave it, but reading through it helps me realize the tender message our Heavenly Father wants us to hear.

I am always amazed, when I see what other people go through, at the strength that seems to emulate from within. People really struggle. Have hard times.

Heaven knows that in my little happily-padded world, I have had difficulty, but nothing like what I see others go through.

And sometimes, it just breaks my heart.

I want to make things better for them. Take the sickness away. Take the pain away. Take the heartache away. In this talk, Harold B Lee is quoted as saying,

“Sometimes the things that are best for us and the things that bring eternal rewards seem at the moment to be the most bitter, and the things forbidden are ofttimes the things which seem to be the more desirable”
Sometimes life does seem downright bitter. Hard. And how are we supposed to face it day after day. Over and over? And why when we are trying to do what is right, are things just so, so hard?

I am reminded of the last month of my mom’s life. I know I talk a lot about my mom. But her passing was one of the most significant events in my life… I learned a lot during that time. She was sick. Very sick. She was in the hospital for two weeks. She had no insurance. No Medicaid. No retirement. Nothing. Her social security checks were enough, barely, to buy groceries. And she needed to be in an assisted living facility – which isn’t exactly cheap. Not too many people were willing or able to help us in this situation. I was on the phone for hours a day. Visiting her for hours a day. Waiting for doctors for hours a day. Making serious health care decisions. I was trying to co-ordinate benefits and living arrangements. I would call my out of town siblings and received a lot of advice and verbal support. But there was very little they could do from other states.

My mom was suffering, physically and mentally, and I couldn’t seem to help her. She would call late at night crying. She was in pain. She was scared. And she was still grieving the passing of my dad. It was a very hard, emotional time for our family. For me. I remember feeling like I couldn’t take another step. I couldn’t make another call. Yet, somehow, the Lord carried me. I don’t know how it happened. But it did. I was able to do what needed to be done. Somehow my children were taken care of. My husband was amazing during this time. So supportive. His tender love and helpfulness enabled me to move on to the next day. It sustained me. And when I just couldn’t do one more thing, the Lord sent my neighbor to me to buoy me up. She was by my side during some of the major decisions I had to make.

Through a few miracles, things fell into place. I was able to find a place that could help my mom rehabilitate. Someone who cared more about her than the system. And it truly was a miracle.

But the greater miracle to me, the one that I will never forget, was how the Lord carried me. Oh, it was SO hard. One of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. Probably harder than actually losing my mom. But, He made me able to bear it. He gave me strength.

We are taught in this talk that is no grief, no pain, no sickness so great that the Atonement of Christ and the love of Christ cannot heal. I believe that with all my heart.

Jesus Christ can heal us. He can take away our grief. And while we suffer in the moment, He lends us His strength and comfort. He knows us. He loves us. And knowing that is what helps me get through another day. We ARE safe in HIS loving arms.

So, if you have a few minutes, read this talk… it really is worth it. And for those of you who love this painting... it is one done by Greg Olsen called "Be Not Afriad"


Jill said...

Thank you so much for sharing that talk, and your experiences with it. I've been struggling with bi-polar disorder and I've had more downs than ups lately, and it really lifted my spirits. You're a really good person, Kathy. Thanks.

S'mee said...

This is it.

Love each other. Need each other. Forgive each other. (lather rinse repeat)

Taking advantage of the Atonement means that we must know that it works for everyone. Even us. (Sometimes we forget that it works for us too.) I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for a great post.