Monday, January 3, 2011

"Come what may, and love it."

It's a new year and I have much to be thankful for. 2010 was an extremely difficult year for our family. We have endured many trials. Some more difficult than others and at times some seemed more than I could bear. I spent a lot of time on my knees pleading with Heavenly Father about the struggles my family was faced with. It just seemed like it was one thing after another piled right on top of each other. Some that really weighed heavy on my heart. There was a lot of "why" and "how come." Amidst the adversity were great blessings. I have come to know my Heavenly Father personally. I've gone to Him with great sorrow, turned it over to Him, and had the pain instantly taken away. I've had answers to prayer that I can't deny. Of all of these the greatest blessing is the constant reminder of His love for me and His reassurance that I am not alone. I have been surrounded by so many ward members and friends that have freely given of their love and support. There is a blog I read from time to time and there was a wonderful story I read awhile ago that has been in my thoughts lately and really applies to my life.

"You know I have a household of sick kids (well only 2 left now)...but when I went to bed at after 11 PM, I was really tired. As I was falling asleep, a bright-bright light kept shining in my window. It kept disappearing before I could focus on what it was. It was so very bright when it did shine, then it was really really dark again. I forced my eyes to stay open and watch to see if I could see it again. I did and still couldn't figure out what it was, so I got out of bed.

I walked to the window and do you know what I saw? Fireflies. A whole bunch of them outside of my window.

I stayed quiet, in the dark , trying to figure out what was going on. Outside the window a couple of fireflies were making a circle pattern around my window. It continued for a while, I was amazed that they could make such a good circle-about the size of a dinner plate. I wondered why though. Usually you don't spot fireflies so high up (they prefer the ground). As my eyes adjusted to their brightness (and they were blinking in unison on top of it all)...

...I noticed that there was one constant light on the bottom of my window. Upon closer investigation, I realized the little guy was trapped between the inside portion of our glass and screen. His light was left was dim, but very on. I slid the window up and talked to him (her?) gently. I told him I had seen his friends rescue signal and was here to bring him *OUT.* He hid in a corner for a while, but I persuaded him to climb in my hands. I stood there in amazement, as now his light was of a soft greenish glow and was growing ever brighter.

I carried him downstairs and let him out the front door. Thanking him for the light show and blessing his little lightening bug life. I told him he had really nice friends.

When I got back into bed his friends had left, only darkness and sleep were calling me. But the Lord really spoke to me in this little mini-drama.

Alone sometimes our lights are dim, during trials or hardship, but if we have that Light within us, it shines out and God sends help ;-) And even when we don't know it our light is shining among men, who hopefully are awake enough to see and take notice of the Holy Spirit that resides within us as Believers.
It is so good to have friends, it is good to have friends who willingly shine into our dark places-even when there seems to be no hope. How thankful I am that we don't walk this road alone, but that we are surrounded by our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Hope this ministers to you as much as it is still ministering to me.
Shine on my friends, shine on!"
How this story touches me. It has been at times of trial and stress that He has sent His servants to lighten my load and lift my spirit. I was reminded of this again today as I checked my mail. I had been avoiding the mail box for weeks. It had been filling up with medical bills and avoidance sometimes is easier than facing reality right? Well it was back to school for the kids and once again time to live in the real world where we have responsibilities and bills we have to pay. Among all the grocery ads, bills, and junk mail was a green envelope. I thought it was a Christmas card from a friend but I opened it up and it was something else. Inside was a card and a sweet note. Also included was a large monetary gift. My eyes instantly filled with tears. I was and still am so overcome with emotion. This is another amazing reminder that my Heavenly Father loves me. That He hears me and surrounds me with people who care for me and my family. Aside from the fact that this gift will cover most of Connor's prescriptions this month, the simple words, "I've been thinking of you" is what has truly touch my heart. That this sweet friend would take the time out of their hectic life to think of me, to remind me once again how much I am loved is a blessing beyond measure.

In the January issue of the Ensign there is an article by Elder Paul V. Johnson titled "Make yours a great life."
In it he states; "Yes, we live in challenging times, but so did Mary, Moroni, and Joseph Smith. We don't have to be carried along in the current of times....Your future is not determined by the conditions around you. It is determined by your faith, your choices, and your efforts." He also quotes Elder Joseph B Wirthlin's last conference address titled "Come what may, and love it." Elder Wirthlin says, "If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness." I know this to be true. During all of these trials I have received more blessings than I can name and have gained such a testimony that I will be forever grateful for.

So for my resolutions this year? have a thankful heart love too much look for the Light of God in others and be a help to them as others have been to me make mine a great life
....and come what may, I will love it all.