As I have walked the path before me, many moments have redirected me, many have made me question all I know, and some have defined me. The compilation of all these has shaped my life and given character to me.
Tonight was one of those night that I will always remember, cherish and be better for having experienced.
But, to better appreciate how I got to this new founded knowledge, my week must be explained.
Monday evening I felt the desire and need to go to my sister-in-law's sister's viewing. My heart broke for Steph and what she must be facing, with losing her sister. Lisa and Steph were close. In a way, their lives resembled Jodi's and mine. Steph, the younger sister, looking out for and caring for her older sister. Hours of sacrifice, dedication, service, and an outpouring of love for her big sister, evident in the countless hours of help given and love felt between the two.
I imagined me being gone and prayed so many would comfort and take care of my sweet sister. I wanted to show my love and understanding.
Thomas came home, I had slept all day trying to conserve energy and hopefully be able to do what my heart so desired. I walked in the church, went to the relief society room and stood waiting to express my feelings, sympathy and love.
As I hugged my sister-in-law, I felt overwhelming love and true Christlike empathy for her and her suffering. Losing someone on this earth is heartbreaking. We mourn for the void they leave in our lives. We mourn for the moments they will miss out of. We mourn for our hearts that seem they can never be healed.
When in reality, our loved ones are in a much better place, walking with those that have gone before and being embraced in the arms of our Savior. Yes. They will miss us, but their world turns into our Savior's time, and are busily preparing the way for more of our brothers and sisters to return back into our Savior's presence. We love them.
As I embraced Steph, I felt something that changed me. In those brief moments, The Lord allowed me to understand more the role and compassion of the one who is the caregiver. The love that flowed from Steph for her dear sister's life was undescribable in our limited vocabulary.
That night, after only a short time out of the house, something inside me occurred. Whether another blood clot broke loose, a stroke occurred or some other medical event happened, I again felt myself fighting to hold on to life, and continue breathing.
Rough days followed. Struggling to catch enough air to fill my lungs consumed my days and nights. Sleeping was how 90% of my time was spent. The time I was conscious and awake, I spent pleading with my Father in Heaven that somehow, someway, that I would be given the energy, strength, and ability to attend the temple tonight.
I will be honest. Only with sheer faith and determination did I walk out the door tonight. On the way out, both Chad and Hayden commented and voiced concern that I shouldn't be leaving. I so badly wanted to be at the temple, I promised all to my Savior if he would just lift my disability for the night. For one short hour, so I could follow the deep desires of my heart.
In faith, I tried to walk I to the temple. Once inside, I was enveloped in the peace, comfort and love that is only found within the house of our Lord. And although, my disabilities and struggles remained with me, I felt a peace overcome me that assured me that enough strength would be added unto me so that I could remain conscious and keep from seizing.
My dear Father in Heaven answered my prayer. I cannot describe the peace and love that came over me as I realized my Savior was again taking my weaknesses, imperfections, disabilities and struggles on him and he would make up where I fell short.
Miracles occurred. I am forever grateful.
My brother, his sweet wife and precious children were sealed in the House of our Lord, for time and all eternity.
Words cannot describe the feelings and joy that overtook my body. I felt whole.
I will write separately about the sweet experiences therein.
As I sat in the beautiful sealing room, I looked around. I was in a room full of family and friends that I love and adore. An overwhelming peace and reassurance enveloped me. It came quickly, caused my eyes to water and my heart to swell.
Words are so constraining at this time, and do not allow me to express the genuine events that occurred. My dear Savior not only allowed my physical body a reprieve from the pain and weakness and disabling effects of the stroke, but also, in his mercifulness, he allowed my heart to be opened to the love that was in the room. He allowed the joy and peace and serenity and understanding to take hold and expand and increase. He blessed me to the gift of reassurance. The blessing of understanding how those around me, both see me and feel about me. I felt embraced in love and buoyed up on the shoulders of those who love me.
I was again reassured that my Savior knows each of us personally. He knows the deepest needs and desires of our hearts. He truly knows the road I walk. He knows the pain, the heartache and loneliness, he knows the excruciating pain, he knows the effort and struggle it is to breathe, he knows that I give my all and push myself beyond my limits, and he steps in and rescues me when I cannot do what is needed.
My God is a merciful and loving God. He gives and does and blesses me more than I will ever deserve. He gives me more than I need but grants some of the deepest and truest desires of my heart.
And just because my body is weak, and I must suffer the frailties of the flesh, it does not mean that I am not watched out for, cared about or loved.
It is because my Savior does love me so much, that he allows me to grow and learn and progress. He allows the events of this earth life to unfold so that I can learn and grow and progress.
Just as it is necessary for me as a parent to let go and let Hayden experience the world, all of it, so does my Heavenly Father allow me to experience the trials of this world. For it is only thru hard times, that we are able to taste the sweetness of good times and rejoice in the blessings.
I am grateful for a Father in Heaven that loves me enough to allow me to learn to walk, teaches me to get up when I fall down and gently offers encouragement when I think I no longer am equivalent to the task. I am grateful for hard times because they have stretched me and taught me that I can overcome and grow. That deep within, I have divine attributes that will carry me back to the presence of my Father on Heaven and the gentle arms of our Savior.
All of these sweet truths were again testified to me, as my failing body jerked inside. I felt enveloped in peace and love. I was surrounded by unconditional love and those that would sacrifice and do anything for me.
As my sweet husband took my hand, and smiled at me, all the heartache and trials I have endured has been worth it.
My dear husband and I have grown so close. He has loved me and served me and cared for me. He has sacrificed all for me.
I am so blessed. I feel such love encircle me each and every day. I'm surrounded by rise that love me. I am kept safe in the arms of my Savior. I have no idea why The Lord has blessed me so much, but I am so grateful he has.
As I took the first step out of the temple, the sharp pains returned. The agony and exhaustion again overcame my body. Each step felt as if it was going to be my last and pain radiated through my body, my breathing again came labored.
I said a quiet prayer of gratitude. I was given a reprieve. Short. But so needed. Most of all, I was again reminded of how much my Savior does for me. And I am ever so grateful.