Writing My Life

Now and Then

Leave a comment

When Life Turns on a Dime

Last Sunday started like the Sunday before that and the Sunday before that. G.E. and I slept in. Upon waking, I wrapped up in my favorite robe and he dressed in his comfy sweats, or “daytime jammies” as I call them. Next I stirred around in the kitchen while he sat at the bar and poured over the Sunday paper, and then the phone rang.

Before picking up the receiver, I predicted that a member of our church congregation was on the other end in search of a Sunday School or Primary substitute. I was wrong. Before picking up the receiver, all was right with the morning. That’s when life turned on a dime.

Within a few minutes we learned that a loved member of G.E.’s extended family had received a life-threatening medical diagnosis and was scheduled for surgery within hours. We quickly cleaned up and headed to the hospital where we greeted many family members who had gathered together in love and support. The well-wishers filled the room and spilled into the hallway. Smiles and laughter intermingled with tears and hugs. It was a warm sight and an even warmer feeling.

Everyone stayed in the waiting room while our loved one was in surgery, and so we were there to hear the surgeon report the results. They were pretty much what he predicted they would be. Silence descended and quiet tears, followed by hugs and more hugs.

And now the trials of faith. Prayers will ask Heavenly Father for a miracle, for our family member to beat the odds, for “the cup to be lifted”. We know those things could happen. But we also know the miracles could take other forms as in added grace. Our Father in Heaven did not intervene in Gethsemane, but He sent an angel to comfort the Savior, and so we’ll look for the attendance of angels and increased love flowing from family and friends in heaven and on earth to buoy up that dear family.

As for the extended family, I am very grateful that G.E.’s siblings have met for dinner several times a year for nearly a decade to strengthen ties. We’ve held yearly reunions to include children and grandchildren for the past 3 years. Those traditions made it natural and comfortable to rally together during this time of need. We are not strangers to one another. When life turns on a dime as it did this weekend, that is a wonderful comfort.

1 Comment

… a Sunday-go-2-meetin’ entry posted on a Tuesday …

I’ve been thinking about prayer. A lot. I am a great believer in prayer even though many are not answered in a timely manner nor are they answered as I often hope they will be. Why? Because of that “thy will be done” clause associated with heaven-bound requests.

Some might ask why pray at all if we know that the Lord will bestow upon us mere mortals only that which He wills? I suppose that is where faithful living enters the scene. We have hope in His holy promise that if we knock, He will answer in a manner that is best for us. Sometimes we don’t always know what that is, but He does.

I have experienced too many instances where I learned the Lord does know what He’s doing; where the resulting outcome really was the best one. In such circumstances, I am SO grateful that what I thought was a prayer was actually wishful thinking, and that Heavenly Father did NOT grant my wish but answered a prayer instead.

One day I had a talk with someone close to me who was discouraged. He posed the question that went something like this: “How do we know that things wouldn’t have turned out the same whether we prayed or not?” He had been going through a stretch of stress that had not been eased by answered prayer. I believe he was thinking, “Why bother? Nothing is happening.”

That’s when I remembered a “saying” about Pray Until Something Happens (PUSH – as in “push” the point? “Push” forward or ahead while waiting for the answer? I’m not sure about the significance of the acronym, but it is memorable.) I don’t think the advice means to stop praying all together once the “something” happens, but refers to praying about a particular problem, situation, condition, etc. until something happens to remedy or change THAT problem, situation,  or condition.

This mantra also correlates with the scriptural admonition to “pray unceasingly” because there is ALWAYS something and someone to pray for. And that brings me to my AH-HAH moment. As I pondered my loved one’s frustrations with slow-to-be-answered prayers, I knew in my heart that prayers would be answered and soon – whether or not he was praying unceasingly. Why did I feel that impression? Because G.E. and I WERE praying unceasingly in his behalf, and we had been for weeks, months, years!

That’s when I realized that while we may “think” the “right” solution comes about even when we don’t pray, we may be forgetting all those prayers that others offer for us. And if you really think about it, an inestimable number of prayers are offered up for families, friends, leaders, victims, and even enemies. If someone is ALWAYS praying for someone else, prayers WILL be answered – in the Lord’s time and the Lord’s way, but I know this, too, He does listen to the prayers of the faithful and perhaps He more quickly extends His help OR His comfort because of such pleadings. I like to think so.


Leave a comment

… uphill battle for Christianity …

As I have loved you, Love one another,

This new commandment: Love one another.

By this shall men know Ye are my disciples,

If ye have love One to another.

(Hymns, 1985, no. 308.)

This won’t be a long post and I will add to it, I’m sure, but today as I listened to an audio book – Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardytwo thoughts came to mind:

  • I can’t remember all  the sexual references when I read this as a high school senior!
  • I didn’t realize Hardy viewed Christianity as something archaic, provincial, smothering, etc.

That thought led me to think of the struggle to spread the Savior’s message of charity, forgiveness, and redemption. And many of the problems have been initiated by Christians themselves. Some examples:

  • Unrighteous behaviors of kings, popes, and Christian folk in general. And when I say UNrighteous, I mean more than horrendous – torturing, burning, warring, and killing in the name of the Lord. I do NOT get that.
  • Horrific actions of horrific hypocrites: while we are ALL hypocrites to some degree, I cringe and I cry when I read about well-respected church-goers who hold high positions in their congregations and testify of the Lord on Sunday and abuse their spouses and children on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • EXTREME views of sects that attack the beliefs of other denominations – burning the Koran, protesting funerals of fallen soldiers, teaching congregations false information about other churches.
  • And on the other side, the mocking and belittling of those who try to live righteously that rises from many (not all) atheists, agnostics, intellectuals, entertainers, authors, artists, etc.
  • Secularism that is replacing faith, hope, and charity with skepticism, greed, and unbelief.

It’s a wonder that there are people of faith left. Seriously. But with so much against those who want to be true disciples of Christ, there is much support as well: A loving Heavenly Father, a benevolent Savior, the Holy Ghost. And They love us ALL. And ALL means ALL!