I will never cease to stand in awe of the amazing ways of the Lord. He is all-knowing, and that is something I can never deny.
Up until this summer, I have been very blessed with not having to go through the pains that come with losing a member of the immediate family. I have also not had to feel the pains of parents splitting apart. I have also never felt the pains of being so physically ill that there are days of not getting out of bed.
Although, that may sound like a wonderful thing, it also made me very ignorant in knowing how to help others who are in those situations. I have always felt at such a loss of words and a loss of knowing how to help, when trying to help someone going through one of these situations.
This summer, our family has been thrown into every single one of these situations in a very small space of time. At times, it has truly felt unbearable. I have cried more this summer than I have in my entire life up to this point. I have felt the lowest of lows and felt deep, deep sorrow as well as physical weakness and pain. I have felt fear above any fear I have ever felt. A fear for my very life. I have felt deep confusion. I have felt numb. I have felt separated from the lives of others going on around me. I have felt alone. I have felt discouragement. I have felt worry. I have felt helpless. I have felt sick, very very sick.
BUT, I have also been forced to lean on others. I have felt what it feels like when others mourn with you and take a piece of your load and carry it themselves. I have felt what it feels like to physically have no way at all to make a meal, only to have it delivered to the door by a loving friend or ward member. I have felt the comfort of phone calls, texts and blog comments. I have felt prayers sent our way and at times I have been told from the Lord that a specific blessing I received that day was the result of someone praying for us that day. I have felt peace from the Lord. I have felt comfort in my darkest hours. I have seen miracles. I have been blessed.
Our trials are not behind us yet, and we are still feeling the pain and heartache. It is all still very fresh, and a few things are still currently in the process of going on right now. But time has healed us and will continue to. We are stronger than we were yesterday, and tomorrow we will be stronger than today.
As my heart has been healing and Ben and I are learning to try to deal with the situations at hand, we have been placed in situations where we are surrounded by people who are going through similar things. In other words, the Lord is checking to see if we will use these experiences and the knowledge we have gained from them, in the ways he has planned. He wants to see if he has polished us enough to use us to do the very thing we have needed, and to help those in need with the new ways we have learned to help. I sure hope we can do it right. It would really stink to go through all of this for nothing.
I have a cousin whose baby only has 1/2 a heart. He will be born in one month. All they can do is bring him home and love him until he returns to his Father in Heaven. Normally, I would not know what to say, and I would avoid the situation out of feeling totally uncomfortable. I now know, at least somewhat, the pains her heart will go through. Her situation is obviously different than mine and much more severe, but I know, at least a little bit more, the pains of losing a baby, and I know better what she will be feeling. I had no fear at all talking to her and mourning with her. In fact, it felt good and it felt right. My heart was able to connect with hers.
I have another friend whose baby also has a heart problem. She is a friend that carried a huge part of my load when we lost our baby. I now feel more comfortable as far as knowing, at least a little bit, of what she is most likely going through. Again, her situation is different, but she will have similar feelings. If I can't do anything else, at least I can better understand. I do not feel uncomfortable around her, as I normally would. I have a strong desire to help.
I have bumped into a few people whose parents have recently separated. I feel that I now understand a little more what they are going through. I still feel pretty lost with knowing how to help Ben or his mother through this one, but watching what they are going through (as heart wrenching and horrible as it is), helps me know what these other people must be feeling too.
I have also been able to be around people who have been very sick and who are weak. Again, normally, I wouldn't have a clue as to what to do or say. Now, I can totally relate to them. I can even make stupid jokes with them about not having blood, or being really weak. I know there are illness out there that are way more severe than what I have been through, but I do know what it feels like, at least in a small portion. And that is what matters.
The Lord gives us trials and hardship for a reason. I think a big reason is so that we can better understand others who will go through them. The best way he can help us is through others. He needs people who understand the pain to be able to help those who are going through it themselves.
A huge comfort I received through a lot of this was knowing that the Savior felt my pain. He truly understands. Now that I have felt the pain, I can truly understand others going through the same thing. I am so much better equipped to mourn with those who mourn. It is the only way I know how to try to repay and give back all of the wonderful blessing and help I have been given.
Of course, there is so much out there that I cannot relate to, and really hope that I will never have to, but the small amount of knowledge I have gained from our trials this summer, has proven to go a long way. If anything, I just feel more of a push to mourn with those that mourn and to comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I have been touched by people doing that for me, and once you are touched by an angel, the power is too great to keep to yourself. You soul will forever yearn to try to become one yourself.
And for that, I am thankful.