Our testimonies fortify us and strengthen us as we face challenges in our daily lives. Some people struggle with difficult health problems; some experience financial problems; others have challenges in their marriage or with their children; some suffer from loneliness or unfulfilled hopes and dreams. It is our testimony, combined with our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our knowledge of the plan of salvation, which helps to get us through these times of trial and hardship. - Barbara Thompson, Personal Revelation and Testimony, General Conference, Oct 2011
I can check all of these items off, at one point or another. Illness, cyclical depression, marital troubles, financial chaos, rebellious children, broken hearts, broken dreams. And yet, life continues to be worth living, because of my faith in Christ and His continuing demonstrations of faith and trust in me. (Oh d@mn. I'm sniveling in Starbucks.)
I got to meet Sr. Thompson in the spring of 2009. She was the keynote speaker at a regional singles conference, and she also met separately, beforehand, with a horde of local Relief Society presidents. I was a newly called but yet to be sustained RS president. It was so much fun, and so needful, to attend that early meeting and see many of my friends there. And to see "well, of *course* you would be here" on their faces before the flurry of hugs.
This, in marked contrast to the "poor dear Sr. Ravelled, however does she stand it?" expressions I was used to. Sometimes we are called because we have an aptitude for the calling. Sometimes we get a calling to shake things up a little. And sometimes we get a calling so Heaven can say, "This. This is how much We trust you. This is who you are worthy to stand among. No matter what anyone else thinks. Ours are the only opinions which matter."
But I digress. I had an insight while sluicing off in the shower this morning. Whether the respiratory yuck has been contagious or allergic, I think it is at least partially psychogenic. I was reviewing other instances of similar disruption: the first serious asthma attack on my 16th birthday, in part because of my sister's cat but more because my best friend was so beloved by my family, and I was jealous. The bronchitis related to my near date experience, when I was so frustrated at not being able to get a word in edgewise that I could not breathe for a week. The illness last year related to communication issues with the twins.
So what triggered or contributed to this? I think it not coincidental that I began to sneeze on Tuesday afternoon, now that Knit Night meets on Mondays (better for the majority, but not for me). Compounded by the news on the previous Saturday that Middlest's name change is final, and it's time for me to keep a promise that when my child went to the time, trouble, and expense involved, I would begin using the preferred name.
I read that post while Fourthborn was visiting, and Fourthborn is totally supportive of all the changes that Middlest is making. So I couldn't follow my instinct, which was to cover my face and howl. By the time I got back from taking Fourthborn home, I was too weary to cry.
It feels as if my sweet baby girl has died. Not in that horrible, vindictive "you are dead to me" way. The goodness, decency, and personal integrity are still there under the shell which still startles me a little, even after five years of metamorphosis. So it is still very easy to love my middle child. And it is *not my child's fault* that I am sick.
Feelings are not good or bad. They just *are*. And I have worked hard to recognize and own mine with increasing promptness, and to express or wrangle them appropriately. I just got hit out of nowhere with a double whammy and insufficient time and space to process both. The Adversary is good at that.
So the trick seems to be, to find a way to honor my feelings, without letting them bully others, or me. Sounds like a job for the Holy Spirit and the priesthood of God.
I get by, with a little help from my Friends. Gonna try, with a little help from my Friends. Gonna fly, with a little help from my Friends.
To my kids: keep following your dreams. I'll support you when I can. And even when I think you're misled, nothing, *nothing* you can do will ever break my love for you.
Somebody hand me another box of Puffs.