Oct 9, 2014

A swirling ball of emotions and experiences have filled my past many weeks. Moments of joy, celebrations of birthdays, exquisite beauty, peaceful solitude, and quiet moments of pondering have all been present along with gut-wrenching pain, soul-searing heartache, fear, grief, and misery and then to top it all off, a bout of pneumonia that sapped nearly all my strength.

It has been a bit surreal – as if I am living in several different realities all at the same time – and I haven’t known how to best navigate these waters.

Some things have helped. Morning scripture study and prayer with our family has added grounding to my day. Evening read-aloud time and family prayer has been the whip cream to top off our days with moments of unity before bed. Snuggling with my little ones has helped me remember who I am and what I am all about: family. Last week’s priesthood blessings were filled with words of truth and hope for everyone and definitely a balm of healing for me. Attending General Conference this weekend gave me the same sort of strength my mountains give me – fortitude to persevere from deep within the earth. All of it has helped. All of it has helped me feel God’s love.

Last week sometime Jessica sent me some lovely thoughts from Dickens that helped me sort out my conflicting feelings of deep gratitude for the life I have now and the deep, deep pain I feel from being molested, my father leaving us and physically abandoning me, and my mother being raped and subsequently being emotionally unavailable while she healed from her own pain. Part of me has felt like if I were really grateful, I wouldn’t have the pain. But this quote by Dickens helped me understand it is okay to be in both places at once.

“The deep remembrance of the sense I had of being utterly neglected and hopeless, of the shame I felt in my position; of the misery it was to my young heart … cannot be written. My whole nature was so penetrated with grief and humiliation of such considerations, that even now, famous and caressed and happy, I often forgot in my dreams that I have a dear wife and children; even that I am a man; and wander desolately back to that time in my life.”

Just because my heart is hurting does not mean I am not grateful. It simply means I am hurting.

At some point in all of this blackness, I read the words to a favorite song from back in my teenage years. It got me through many a dark night then and I thought it might get me through some of these dark nights now.

Hold On, The Light Will Come
by Michael McClean

The message of this moment is so clear

And as certain as the rising of the sun
When your world is filled with darkness, doubt or fear
Just hold on, hold on
The light will come

Everyone who’s ever tried and failed

Stands much taller when the victory’s won
And those who’ve been in darkness for awhile
Kneel much longer when
The light has come

It’s a message everyone of us must learn

That the answers never come without a fight
And when it seems you’ve struggled far too long
Just hold on, hold on
There will be light

Hold on, hold on, the light will come

Hold on, hold on, the light will come

If you feel trapped inside a never ending night

If you’ve forgotten how it feels to feel the light
If you’re half crazy thinking you’re the only one
Who’s afraid the light will never really come
Just hold on, hold on the light will come

The message of this moment is so clear

And as certain as the rising of the sun
When your world is filled with darkness, doubt or fear
Just hold on, hold on the light will come

After weeks of heartache and pain, I decided I needed to talk to my Stake President. I love this man and I sensed his wise, Christ-centered counsel was exactly what I needed. He is being released in a few weeks and I wanted to receive a priesthood blessing along with his wisdom and love. We met on Tuesday for several hours and God poured out light and truth and clarity. Those few hours will be one of the treasures of my life.

President Poston helped me understand that this pain is okay – feeling it does not mean I am lacking faith, it just comes. He told me there will be periods of time in my life when the pain from my childhood will flare up. It just will. How I respond to the pain is what is important. He counseled me to let it come and keep trusting God. He said we don’t trust the outcome, we trust the Giver – know He is with me, even in the pain. Don’t trust Him only when he takes the pain away, trust him in the pain, trust him always.

Such beautiful, beautiful thoughts.

He shared D&C 100:15:

Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to those that walk uprightly.

He told me that I do walk uprightly and to take this scripture at face value – that ALL things shall work together for my good. Well, I can argue till I am blue in the face that I don’t walk uprightly. I lose my patience, I am critical, I am quick to anger. Most of all, I am full of prideful independence that I will solve my problems and then go to God. But this dear man testified as a servant of God, holder of priesthood keys, and a judge in Israel, that I do walk uprightly and all things shall work together for my good.

He counseled me to go to bed with faith in Christ and heart full of hope for a good night’s rest. If the bad dreams come, plead for light. Look heavenward and plead for relief and trust it to come. He asked me to start the day in prayer asking for light and heaven’s help to surround me, then get to the business of the day. Then end the day in prayer talking to Father about my day and asking for light and rest to be with me through the night. He promised me the light will come.

And then he gave Richard a beautiful, sacred, profound blessing that filled him with peace and hope and assurance that Father is very aware of him.

And then they both laid their hands on my head and the light of God poured into my soul.

The words are far too sacred to share here on the interwebs, but oh my, they are powerful and beautiful and full of healing. This I know: God knows me, loves me, is with me. I have a great work to do in this life and the circumstances of my life are not an accident, they are a gift that enables me to do the work God has called me to do.

I feel lighter than I have in many weeks. Thank you Father. Thank you Jesus.

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1 Comment

  1. Beautiful. I’ve been putting your name on the prayer roll at the temple. I’m so happy to hear this post. Love you lots!