Sunday, October 7, 2012
I love hearing the Prophets and Apostles speak. I love reading the scriptures, reviewing over and over again the sacred words that bring me peace; but I especially appreciate the peace and understanding that fill my heart and soul when I hear the Prophet and Apostles speak. This has been especially true the last few weeks.
Last Saturday was especially hard. I don't know that any one thing happened to make it hard, but a cloud of silly little things just kept getting bigger and bigger...until it rained on my parade and made me cry. I had carefully planned bunches of things to do, but at every turn was confronted with some inability to complete the task, reminding me that I had been left alone, and I would think, "If Robert were here, he would've done this," or "Robert would've been able to fix this."
My large collection of Nativity sets required larger storage space in my new home than was available. I purchased a large shed and ordered the installation for Saturday morning, thinking I could move the boxes piled in the garage into the new shed by the afternoon and be able to park the car in my garage by the evening (that's a big deal!). In my mind, I pictured a beautiful building that would fit within a certain space in the side yard and would hold all of the storage boxes filled with nativity sets. But the shed installers called mid-morning saying they would be late. They finally arrived in the late afternoon, finishing their work moments before I was to have left for a meeting. They asked me to look at the shed before I signed off on the installation. I walked outside and the picture in my mind shattered with the reality of what I had asked for- a long, squat building (HOA compliant!) that took more of the side yard space than I realized and didn't even look as lovely as I had hoped. Can you say eyesore? (to be fair, it IS beautiful and had even been painted, it just wasn't lovely when compared with the rest of the beautifully landscaped yard). I immediately resented that I was having to deal with any of this...and thought if Robert was here, none of it would have happened!
As I returned to the house, I recognized the stage of grief for what it was, gathered my courage and pasted my smile on as I prepared to attend the broadcast of the General Relief Society meeting. I was excited to meet new Relief Society sisters and greet old friends, and I looked forward to hearing the speakers. I tried to forget the new reality residing in my back yard. I rejoiced in seeing my wonderful and beautiful Sisters in Christ. We gathered to listen to the Relief Society leaders and an apostle of the Lord. My smile was still glued in place. I was safe. Or so I thought.
The meeting began, the Spirit filled the room, and began to overflow my heart, filling my eyes with tears. Every single speaker spoke of someone who had lost a loved one in death and the comfort of Christ's Atonement. At first, my frustration was stuck. I knew this truth, I knew it well! But I found myself almost wanting to remain stuck in my frustration and resisted the peace that was trying to swim upstream through my tears. I found i could barely sing the intermediate hymn. During the hymn, my thoughts wandered back to an experience during the rehearsal for Savior of the World, when the actors found themselves overwhelmed with the emotion of their testimony, and as directors we would remind them to feel the emotion but to harness it as they spoke. I sang with emotion and felt my testimony stream down my cheeks. "Oh, it is wonderful! That He should care for me enough to die for me! Oh it is wonderful! Wonderful to me!" I stopped trying to dry my tears with tissues and let them flow down my cheeks freely. I was reminded then that the Sacrifice so lovingly and agonizingly made in the Garden of Gethsemane was made especially for me...my pain and sorrow had already been suffered. I could remain upset and frustrated, or I could allow the Sacrifice to fill the empty spaces and renew my soul. And that is what I wanted... I wanted to feel joy when recalling the sacred memories of my life on earth with Robert. I knew I would be reminded daily of Robert's love and care for me, and I wanted to honor that. I no longer wanted to be upset that he was gone, because I knew and had known for years that all of this was part of the Lord's plan in our lives. And because of that understanding, I knew I would receive all the assistance I needed if I would ask in prayer.
After the singing, Elder Henry B. Eyring spoke of exactly that... his words reminded me that I had been watched over and comforted by many, many people. In the final days that Robert was here, a miniature army materialized, doing things we needed and asked for as well as many things we did not know we needed. Robert liked to say that his 'half-full cup overflowed with blessings', and that truly had happened to us! We endured the trials because of the great unmatched love of our Savior, manifested as love and service given by those around us. My testimony of the Lord's love for me personally was renewed as I thought of those many kindnesses. And, of course, the tears flowed again! So much so that my new friend, Peggy, whispered to me that she knew hearing these speakers was difficult. I responded that it was difficult but good. It is wonderful! I am amazed at the way the Lord works in my life. I am loved by many people, including my sweet husband, but most importantly, I am loved by my Heavenly Father. And it is wonderful!
"I think of His hands, pierced and bleeding to pay the debt.
Such mercy, such love and devotion, can I forget?
No, no! I will praise and adore at the mercy seat until at the glorified throne I kneel at His feet.
Oh, it is wonderful, that He should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful! Wonderful to me!"
My heart is healed, and while I will continue to miss my husband daily, even hourly, I know that I will be joyfully reunited with him again. I have all that I need. I am truly blessed. And with that peace, I desire to spend my time sharing the Love of God with all those around me. I know in Whom I trust. He will lead me along as I do.
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