Thursday, April 08, 2010

Musings

I had a birthday two days ago. It was a very nice, relaxing day for me. The most unusual experience for that day came at the beginning, and I feel prompted to share it.

Some of you know that I exercise in the morning at Curves. I don't usually go on Tuesdays, but I did this week. There are two women who are part of the Tuesday/Thursday workout group. They are women whom I greatly admire: they radiate their testimonies of Jesus Christ not only in their eyes but in the way they talk, act, and respond to other people. Their love for their families and for the people they serve at church is evident in every word they speak. (I must say here that they are not the only women I know who are this way. Visit with the women in my family, neighborhood, and circle of friends and you will agree. I know some amazing women!)

I was drawn into conversation Tuesday morning with one of the women (the other one wasn't there that day). For some reason, I began telling her of the things I've experienced in my life. These things are not pretty--they are the adversities that President Uchtdorf spoke of. It was rather sobering for me, putting everything out there in a condensed version. She asked me how it is that I kept going. I told her that I didn't have a choice. She reminded me that yes, I did have a choice. I could have chosen to leave, whether physically or spiritually. It's true: I could have chosen that. But it was never an option for me. It still isn't.

Then I told her this (and I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating):

"The mist of darkness that Lehi speaks of is real. It is tangible. But even when I could not feel the Spirit, even when I felt abandoned and alone, I knew Heavenly Father was still there. I knew He still loved me. And I know the only way to get through the mists of darkness is to cling with all my might to my Heavenly Father. There is no way around, under, or over: there is only through, and you can't do it without Him."

We were both in tears. We both felt that truth. It was particularly sweet for me because I needed to feel it. It's been a rough go lately, and sometimes I can't feel the sweet peace that the gospel brings. I needed that feeling on my birthday. Thank you, Father, for the birthday present. It will carry me through for quite some time, I think.

A dear friend of mine was saying the other day how much the phrase "endure to the end" disturbs her. Are we merely passive observers? Do we just roll over and let it all happen to us? The phrase brings to mind such images. I've never cared for it myself, though I've used it often enough. A few weeks ago, a neighbor was speaking in sacrament meeting, sharing some of his missionary experiences. He talked about certain gospel phrases that are better in Spanish. "Enduring" was one of those phrases. He taught us that in Spanish, the phrase is "persevering." I believe he's right: the Spanish is better. Persevering implies active participation in the events around you. I would rather persevere, moving forward continually in spite of the obstacles in front of me.

And that is what I will do. I will keep moving, even though there are times when I want to say, "You want me to do what? Um...really?" Because that is the only viable option for me.

9 comments:

Kalli Ko said...

How did I miss that? HAPPY BIRTHDAY and hooray for tender mercies.

b. said...

My Dear Friend...YES. Thank you for your words.

NiHao said...

Nicely said. The whole business of enduring (persevering) is where I have failed miserably.

Sister Pottymouth said...

Thank you, Kalli.

You're welcome, b.

I disagree, NiHao. You're still here, you're still going. That's what persevering means.

Mrs. Organic said...

Enduring has a ring of victimhood to it, I like perservering much better - thanks for sharing this.

What a lovely experience, just right for a birthday gift.

Carrot Jello said...

It's nice that you have women surrounding you like that. It's hard to find people who you can have that with.
Yesterday I was driving in my car thinking adversity is hard, but it sure brings you closer to Heavenly Father, and the spirit. I mean, if you chose not to pull away during hard times.
There have been times where the only thing I have is prayer and scriptures to cling to. If I was worried, I prayed and read my scriptures. If I was scared, I prayed and read my scriptures. Sometimes praying all day long. If I didn't have trials, I sure wouldn't be doing that.
I haven't always felt like he has wrapped his arms around me, but I have always known that he is there and that if I would trust him, everything will work out how it's supposed to.
I tend to be one to dig in my heels when prompted to do something when I don't think it's the best possible way to do it. "I'm pretty sure that is not the best option..." is one of the things I start saying when given promptings. I need to be better at that.
I love you.
When I read some of the things you've gone through, it reminds me of my sister. I guess that's why I like you so much.
Thanks for this post.

P.S. I've never thought of enduring as passive. Maybe I'm supposed to be analyzing things more. I kind of like not analyzing though, lol. Maybe we should say, "Keep trying to the end."

“Things will work out. Keep trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.” President Gordon B. Hinckley

Gerb said...

Thank you for this post. Really, really - thank you.

Melody said...

Lovely. Thank you. And thank you for persevering. You are creating your life with grace and dignity.

Queen Scarlett said...

Love this post. Persevering. Thank you for your example. Love you.