I have been going through a hard time lately.
It seems like our little family is being hit with a lot of trials at this time. One right after another. Not the least of these, is some pretty severe pain I am experiencing in my back. I have been struggling for weeks now to be optimistic and strong in light of the things we are going through and the pain I am feeling, but lately I have been feeling particularly weak.
Last night I hit rock bottom. It was midnight, and both girls were WIDE awake. Jane was crying at the top of her lungs; Megan was singing at the top of hers. I was exhausted, in pain, and my bedroom was hot (never a good thing when you are grumpy). Adam’s alarm was set for just after five, since he was due to head out for church around 6:30am. Morning would also come early for me, since I had to get myself and both girls ready alone; normally not such a big task, but given my current constant state of pain, I was NOT looking forward to it.
I found myself getting so angry. The thought, “why have you forsaken me” ran through my head, and I felt incredibly alone. I have been praying for weeks (one month to be exact) that I might have some relief from this back pain, and hadn’t received much. For the first time in my life, I felt like my Heavenly Father didn’t care about me. I told Adam that I wouldn’t be going to church in the morning. I fought every urge to pray, thinking that I had said all I wanted to say over the last month, and I was done asking for help and relief.
The house grew quiet sometime after one in the morning. Megan had finally quieted down and gone to sleep, Jane was out cold in my arms, and Adam had dozed off in attempts to get a few hours of sleep. I was too worked up to fall asleep, but I was slowly calming down. I told myself that of course I would attend church in the morning; I have never just elected to stay home from church when it’s at all possible for me to go, and back pain withstanding, I could still go. And just as I decided that I would attend, the thought came to my mind (with much certainty) that the messages shared in Sacrament meeting would be exactly what I needed to hear.
This morning, I struggled to get the girls ready. Megan was especially ornery (what with staying up past 12 the night before) and at one point she got very upset with me. She broke down into tears and yelled at me, “don’t talk to me anymore!” over and over again. One time she even yelled “PROMISE YOU WON’T TALK TO ME ANYMORE!”
Just as I was about to challenge her, I completely froze. The pain of the way she was treating me hit me full force, and I realized that I had been treating my Father in Heaven likewise. Hadn’t I refused to talk to Him? Made myself so angry that He couldn’t reach me? Even as I gathered a crying Megan into my arms, she continued to tell me to leave her alone. It wasn’t until I refused to let her go and told her that I was sorry that she calmed down. At that moment, I learned firsthand how it felt to be rejected by someone who you loved so fiercely and that you would do anything for; if you could. Megan was upset because I wanted her to eat her breakfast, which is a daunting task for her. I have been upset for weeks because I am also feeling quite daunted by the constant pain I am experiencing. But as her mother, I know Megan needs to eat her breakfast. I know the necessity of a healthy meal and the importance of making sure she is well fed before attending three hours of church. She doesn’t quite understand this. Just as I don’t quite understand why I have to have this pain right now, or why during this time in my life I am experiencing several trials – one right after another. But He understands. And He knows what’s best for me. Certainly, He could take it all away. But perhaps then I would miss out on an important lesson, and I would be sent on my way without a healthy meal.
Enlightened, I made my way to church. I serve as the Primary Secretary in our ward, which means that for the last two hours of church, I am running around taking care of various primary responsibilities or helping the children with various needs. Sacrament meeting (which is the first hour of church) is the only time on Sunday when I feel like I get a chance to fill my “spiritual cup” for the week. I try my hardest to get the most I can out of that meeting. Adam, fully aware of how sitting for long periods of time wreaks havoc on my back, suggested today that I walk around outside of the chapel during sacrament meeting. I hadn’t told him that I had felt impressed last night that the talks today in sacrament would be meant for me, so I told him I would stick it out until Jane needed to go out. For the first time in months, Jane pleasantly sat through the entire hour plus of sacrament meeting.
The speaker’s messages were just for me. The first talked about recognizing blessings is our life, and the second spoke about trials and adversity. More than a few tears crept down my cheek during the meeting today.
And wouldn’t you know it, sitting for the entire meeting didn’t put me in the world of hurt that it normally did. In fact, my back hurt a lot less today then it has on Sundays past.
Sure, life is kinda tough right now, but I know that I am not alone and that my Heavenly Father has not forsaken me. Hey, it’s not like I haven’t been through worse! I really should be enduring these trials better if I think I am ever going to be worthy of my little Jack someday. And I am incredibly blessed. The good in my life FAR outweighs the bad. I needed to be reminded of that.
The second speaker today quoted the hymn “Be Still, My Soul”. I’m going to bring this hymn to mind often this week as I strive to be stronger and more faithful.