Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pure Love

I'm no exemplary mother or wife. I don't come out of trials of faith beaming. I'm pretty much the key example of what not to do when hard times come. Case in point...

I'm still reeling over my husband's illnesses that occurred about 3 years ago. Not only did he have cancer but he had necrotizing fasciitis that killed him, once. I am so traumatized by all of that, that I have episodes that have happened recently where I'll be sitting on the sofa watching a show with my husband and totally not realize I'm at home. For me, I'm at the hospital sitting in a cold chair in a cold room trying to convince myself that watching TV for four hours is beneficial to my husband who's lying there finally sleeping because he can't rest all day until I come to visit. Most of my husband's 3 month stay in the hospital was like that. I would drop my newborn off at a different person's house each day for 5 or 6 hours. Drive like a madwoman to the hospital to sit there with a near comatose man who was slipping away, and watch television. He was so bad off that I made him make 24-hour pacts with me to fight to stay alive...because he didn't want to. And who could blame him, really? He was going through extreme amounts of pain most people could not survive. His illness was one that only 10% of people who are diagnosed with necro fasc have and less than 1% survive. And for good reason. It eats through people from the inside out. You aren't supposed to live through that!

I contemplated suicide EVERY SINGLE DAY. I thought, "Why should I go on when he doesn't want to? How am I going to live if he doesn't?" We had only been married 4 years. We had gone through 3 miscarriages together and finally had our miracle baby. Life was looking up...until. The only reason for my living? I want to tell you it was because I knew that despite all my pain, all our troubles, I knew my Father in Heaven loved and cared for me and that it was all going to work out in my favor. But I can't. The one and only reason I am still alive is because of...

him. With post-partum depression baring down on me on top of situational depression, I was marked for death. If I didn't have my little son to come home to I would have died.

After my husband came home from the hospital, I left my faith. I was so angry so hurt by God. How could I bow my head and pray to the one who made this all happen. It has taken me nearly the entire three years to finally realize I did have Him with me. I know just a bit more of the love Heavenly Father and His Son have for me personally every single day because of my son. I love my son like nobody's business! I mean how could you not with a face like that?! :) I love my son with such an undying love that I even surprise myself with the extent of it all. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have a similar love for me, but I know they love me more than I know or could ever comprehend. How do I know? Because that's exactly how I feel about my son.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband with a passion I never knew I could for anyone that I would live with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I couldn't love my cat that way, how could I for a person?! My husband is an amazing man, and amazing husband, and an amazing and wonderful father. But people can, have, and do "fall out of love" with spouses but I don't think I know of one person who has been able to truly un-love their own child. You can be angry or hurt or disappointed my your kids, but you will always love them in that special and sacred way. This is how I know I am loved. This is how I know we all are loved.

I've just discovered a little bit more about the Pure Love of Christ and wanted to share with you what I now know. Because with all the anger and hurt and disappoint in the world, isn't nice that you are loved no matter what? I think so.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Be Still My Soul

I think the sound of the ocean is that of the Earth breathing, and those drawn to it are immediately called to answer its plea:

be still.

When I find myself at the water's edge it is difficult to leave. The wind, the air, the calm all keeping my feet right where they are and my mind centered on a universal sound. I realize not everyone feels the same way I do about ocean (or any large body of water) as I do. I know people that could care less about their proximity to the water, but it sounds so unreal! How could you live without being near the water?! How do you not hear and feel serenity and peace standing there? How is it you do not stand in reverent awe when, from the beach, you spot a pod of whales or dolphins?

I'm not going to give you a Save the Whales speech or go into my beliefs on global warming. My thoughts are more focused on the Savior today and His message: be still. I hear this when my tempest is raging or even if my blood pressure is rising. It is a constant stream of thought throughout my hectic day. This is how I know He hears me and knows me.

 I can go to the temple and feel a sort of loud peace, if you can imagine it. When I'm at the temple I feel I have so much work to do and so much to receive that I am bombarded with messages and promptings, but at the ocean I feel and hear just one message, one prompting: be still. Don't get me wrong! The temple is a wonderful and beautiful place filled with peace and joy and love, it's just that for me it's filled with work (I'm kind of a lazy person) and to-do lists. I go to the temple with a purpose and task. I go to the ocean just to be.

I'm sure you hear something, sometime. I know there's a place you go to feel peace and to be still. Go there, if you can, even if it's only in your mind for now. There's a message waiting for you there: be still.