Sunday, April 4, 2010
Disclaimer; Many years ago, (I was probably 20ish) a kid I worked with made a comment… "Anj, you dress like a different decade every day." While my clothing style has matured since then, you could still say I'm eclectic. A little of this and a little of that. There is so much beauty in the world I soak in what I like and toss the rest. It turns out (which is no surprise to moi) that my blog seems to be the same. A little of this and a little of that. I've spent a lot of time on creative stuff… mainly because it's easy. I have loads I could share. And it is a big part of me. However there are many parts of me I'd like to share. One is my faith. I don't want to surprise any of my readers that are here for the "crafty stuff." This blog is about all things that make me happy. And my faith is indispensable to my happiness. Thanks!
I recollect sitting on a plane. It was a small plane transporting an even smaller group of people. It seemed rickety and unstable. My nerves were already on end, so this did not help. Our destination was the Toronto Ontario airport. I was scared to death. I was about to begin my 18 month journey as an LDS missionary. I was apprehensive about what life would be like. The idea of knocking on doors both scared the tar out of me and made me want to puke. It seemed 18 months would last an eternity. That I would never actually return home. I recall looking out the window, down at the snowy earth below and jotting some thoughts in my journal. I wrote…"Well- right now I'm looking down on Toronto Canada. Guess I made it…. So right now how do I feel? Nervous, scared, curious, wondering what on earth I'm doing here. Am I really a missionary? I don't know jack. Will I like my trainer? Who is my mission president, what is he like? It really is weird. One moment I'm excited- the next I want to go home… No mountains, flat as can be. I'm going to miss Mount Olympus. It always has marked home….I want to be a good missionary. What a truly grand experience. To grow up- and to serve the Lord as I do it.
DEEP BREATH - CLOSE EYES - MOVE FORWARD."
Seven years later…
We received some painful news. I was 5 months pregnant with our third child. Another daughter. At an ultrasound we discovered this little girl wasn't like our other two. We would only have her for a moment after birth and then we would witness her return to heaven.
My heart broke that day.
In the bible we read a story of Christ and the apostles crossing the Sea of Galilee.
"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Mark 4:37-38
I felt this way. Suddenly surrounded by a great storm. Alone, broken, scared.
I was in a heap, on the floor of my closet. I was crying. Bawling actually. It was the ugly cry… snot and all. I was heaving, pleading, begging and crying out… "I can't do it, I just can't do it. I'm not strong enough." I was afraid. Fear had crowded my soul. Then a hymn played through my mind over and over, soft, sweet, like a lullaby. Finally the tears subsided and peace filled my heart. It was quiet.
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" Mark 4:39-40
Now I could hear what HE was trying to say. It was at this moment things were clear. Completely trusting God. Knowing he loved me. Knowing there was a reason and a plan. Knowing I might not be strong enough but HE is. He would carry me. HE is stronger than the winds, the hail, the storm. Again I said to myself... deep breath - close eyes - move forward.
I left my heart on an alter and stepped back.
This is when everything changed for me. I found happiness, understanding, courage and above all hope. Every kick, every hiccup was special. I remember telling her I'd miss her as I'd stroke my belly. I told her about her sisters, her father, me. I did all I could to bond with her while she slept within me. It was all the time I had. And now instead of resenting it, I was grateful for it. Every moment. This remains the most precious experience I've had in my life. I count myself blessed for it. I knew my little one wouldn't be healed. I knew I wouldn't have her for long in this mortal state, But I know I will hold her again in the heavens. And all because of the death and resurrection of Christ.
I remember another time, again on a plane. This time as I glanced out of the window I saw Mount Olympus. I was home. The 18 months that once felt they would never end flew by. I looked back on my mission with fondness. I gained a perspective of how quickly time goes. How home is always close. Sometimes things that seem like they'll never end are the opportunities we need most in life. Where we learn and grow the most.
I can't help but wonder, that before I came here to earth, I had the same excitement and fear I felt on the plane to Canada many years ago. Did I think it would never end? I now know things end. The storms will pass. Time will march on, and one day I will return home. Perhaps I'll recall those Mountains that marked home for me so many years ago. I'll look back with affection at the experiences life gave me. I'll have my Evie. Her bones no longer bent and small. Her heart and mind whole. Then I again will tell her, tell her of her siblings, her father, of me and most of all the healing power of the Savior.
"It is fitting that during the week from Palm Sunday to Easter morning we turn our thoughts to Jesus Christ, the source of light, life, and love. The multitudes in Jerusalem may have seen Him as a great king who would give them freedom from political oppression. But in reality He gave much more than that. He gave us His gospel, a pearl beyond price, the grand key of knowledge that, once understood and applied, unlocks a life of happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
The gospel is the good news of Christ. It is the revelation that the Son of God came to earth, lived a perfect life, atoned for our sins, and conquered death. It is the path of salvation, the way of hope and joy, and the assurance that God has a plan of redemption and happiness for His children.
The gospel is the way of discipleship. As we walk in that way, we can experience confidence and joy—even during times of peril, sorrow, and uncertainty."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf