Sunday, March 20, 2011

Passing the Sacrament

Bryan turned 12 in January and was so excited to become a Deacon. He was excited to be able to do baptisms for the dead, but passing the sacrament was a scary thing. He struggled for months being unsure of himself, afraid to stand in front of so many people. Brent even offered to pass the sacrament with him but he still didn't want to do it.

"How do I know where to go? How do I know what to do?"

A few weeks ago one of Bryan's leaders approached me at church. "I noticed Bryan hasn't passed the sacrament yet." I explained to this leader how Bryan was unsure of how to do it and was nervous being in front of so many people. He then offered to come pick Bryan up before church and have the other Deacons show Bryan how it's done. What a great idea this was. I couldn't wait to tell Bryan.

When we got home from church I told Bryan about what his leader and I had discussed. I thought Bryan would be so happy he would finally be able to pass the sacrament. However, all I got was, "Why did you go talk to him? I will do it when I'm ready." That was so not the response I thought I was going to get.

We then had a long discussion and had come to the agreement that he would go early and let the others show him the process and then he would decide whether to pass the sacrament then or to wait until the following week.

Well today was that day. I got Bryan up to get ready for church. "It's after 7:00, you need to hurry. Your leader will be here in 45 minutes." There was lots of grumbling from under the blanket. I wonder if he thought I would go away if I couldn't see him? Then there came the, "I don't feel good." and the, "I'm too tired." Being the mean mom I am I told him too bad you are going to church. As I walked down the hallway to get my other two children out of bed I heard, "FINE" and his not so little feet stomping to the bathroom.

7:50 came and off Bryan went.

When the rest of us had gotten to church and took our seats Bryan was already sitting with the other Deacons waiting to pass the sacrament. I think my heart skipped a beat. After we sang and the prayer was said I watched as my young son stood with the rest of the young men. He seemed so grown up standing there. He started passing the bread row by row. Watching him from the side I could see the corner of his mouth turn upward into a smile. Then came the water, again I watched him as he went row by row. I could still see that hint of a smile on his face. As he got to the end and went to stand in line with the other young men he turned to me and smiled.

I was so proud of him. I was so proud that he was honoring his Priesthood and blessing others by passing the sacrament. And most of all I was proud that he had decided to do it for himself.

As Bryan walked back to sit with our family he had this ear to ear grin on his face. Once he got closer I could hear him say, (along with the three rows in front of us) "Yes, I did it!" He sat next to me and I put my arm around him. He proceeded to tell me how "awesome" that was and that next week we need to sit in his area so that he can pass the sacrament to us. In that moment, I don't know why but, I was reminded of a book title I had once come across. "Even the Prophet started out as a Deacon." I couldn't help but wonder at what the Lord has planned for my son. Will he be a future Bishop or Stake President? Will he serve as an Apostle, or be in the Quorum of the Twelve? Will he one day serve along side the Prophet? Will he be a great Young Men's leader and help others to fulfill their divine rolls? 

As we got in the car after church Bryan announces, "I'm going on a mission!"

It was a great day to have been the mean mom.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

5 Months Ago Today.....

Five months ago today I woke up like every other day. I got my children ready for school, made lunches, checked homework, found a missing shoe. It was just like every other day except I had this fear in my heart. A fear that only a mother can know. A fear that there is something wrong with my child. Five months ago today Connor was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Last month we held a fundraiser for Connor, to be able to get him the insulin pump that he so longs for. I started out with this huge fear. I didn't want it to look as though we were just asking for money. I didn't want to bother people with our troubles. I just felt this desperate need to help my child. As we started organizing things for our garage sale weekend people started making donations, ordering bake sale items, then I found a new fear. What if people don't donate items for us to sell? You can't have a garage sale if there isn't anything to sell. The donations of items started flooding in. We had more then I ever thought we would. Then I feared that no one would come. What happens if no one shows up and we are left with all of this stuff? Then we found out it was supposed to rain. We pressed forward with faith that everything would work out. As we put everything out on Friday morning people slowly started to arrive. The sun was shinning. It was a beautiful day. Then all of a sudden we were flooded with people. Everywhere I turned there were people. It never stopped. As my heart filled with emotion I looked and saw my friends. People from our ward who had come to support our family. They never stopped coming. By the end of the day we had raised over $1500.

As Brent and I sat in the temple Friday night there was this feeling of overwhelming love. It was so strong you could almost touch it. We both sat there in silence pondering the events of the day. I looked at Brent as he held my hand. "There is no way we did this on our own. Heavenly Father had a hand in it all." We left that night with a renewed sense of strength, and peace in our hearts.

Saturday morning as we were setting up for the day the clouds were dark and heavy in the sky. My heart sank. "Please Heavenly Father don't let it rain. Not today." We started off a little slower than we had the day before but once again the people came. Once again there were my friends, all there to support our family. Once again everyone proved more generous than I could have ever imagined. At one point the clouds broke right over our house. I could feel the warmth of the sun's rays on my face and felt as though I was being embraced by the love of a merciful Heavenly Father. He had opened the windows of Heaven and was pouring out a blessing that there wasn't room enough to receive it.

At the end of the day we counted everything up. It was just over $1600 bringing our two day total to over $3100. Who does that? Who makes that kind of money at a garage sale?  Everything we were blessed with has only been possible by the grace of God. It is so humbling to have been witness to this miracle He made happen on behalf of our little family.

That night as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to take me I couldn't get the image of the sun shining through the clouds out of my head.

This process of learning to live a new life has lead me down many paths. I am no longer that same person that woke up on October 15th.  Yes, I still am me. I still get my children ready for school. I still have to locate that often missing shoe. But, there is something that has changed within me. These past five months I have gone through a range of emotions from deep despair, to everlasting gratitude. I have found a strength that I haven't know before. I have gone from believing in, to knowing the love my Savior has for me. My family has been brought closer together. I cherish that they are mine forever. I find great comfort in that sealing power. I've learned the power of prayer and have gained an unshakable faith. The fear and doubt that once took residence in my every thought has been replaced by an assurance that Heavenly Father is watching over us. He knows of my struggles. He knows of my burdens. He knows the intent of my heart. And that is why, as I ponder that image of the sun breaking through the clouds, I am reminded that we must walk through the storm and it's trials to be able to fully appreciate the Son and the peace He brings. That is something that I will treasure always.