I thought I was finishing a long marathon. Coming up for air after 6 very sick months felt a little like crossing the finish line and crashing on the sidelines to rest. Imagine my surprise to find a brand new race, longer and steeper than any I've ever faced awaiting me when I looked up. My Ladybug has a new diagnosis that has rocked all our worlds. Her healing requires the FULL time attention of one parent, preferably her mother. The amazing new world we have entered is so strange, so alien to our knowledge, yet we were unmistakeably led here by the grace of God. We have hope for the first time in 5 years, yet we are weighed by the enormity of the task that lies in front of us, particularly me. It is completely overwhelming, new, and uncharted, not to mention drains every ounce of energy I posses.
If that were not enough, my sweetie revealed heart trouble last night. He is scheduled for admittance to the hospital early tomorrow morning for tests... He tried to keep it from me, he worries about my stress level already, but we are a team, a couple, and good, bad, or stressful, we do all things together.
Last night I spooned my husband until I heard his rhythmic breathing and the new small snore that has been our new bed companion this last year. I wandered the halls with a lump in my throat, too dazed to even conceive of the burdens I now carried. I surfed the internet and looked up angioplasty, post procedure diets, life style changes, and anything else I could find that might be of help to my little family. I wrote my mother an incoherent letter hoping that someone somewhere would hear the pleadings of my heart. In silence I pled, "Father, can you see me down here? Have you made some sort of mistake piling all this on at once? Were you mistaking me for someone else?" But mainly, I simply questioned my own strength.
Never one to let people sit uncomfortable, I started conversation with Megan, then in a while her mother Emily. She told me of a new book that would be coming out in August about happy days and joyful thoughts. "I'll be needing that." I joked. She looked sharply at me. "Why? What is happening?" Well that was an awfully personal question from someone I didn't know.... I hadn't even told my close friends or family. Surprised, I choked out a short choppy answer of Bug's new diagnosis and journey. "We've been walking that road." She answered matter-of-factly. She went on to tell me of a niece diagnosed a year prior, and a sister who had been walking the the road of constant companion and therapist that I am currently walking. She told of the amazing progress. She assured me we had the best therapist the state had to offer and told me much else. I quickly changed the topic. After much more stimulating conversation, I joked that it had been so great I could go home now. "No." she said. "When I arrived I realized my talk was not on what they had asked. I now know it is for you."
I sat on the front row with her daughters... darling and sweet beyond belief and listened. As word by word came from her mouth, I heard the voice of God, of my loving Father in Heaven, who heard my very personal plea last night and knowing before I did that I would cry out, he had his answer lovingly prepared. There midst 450 women, he found me.
He reminded me of the long journeys many of his servants have made in the past. He spoke of Jared who dared to ask for a land choice above all other lands... and got what he asked for. Joshua who told the people to sanctify themselves for tomorrow God would be in their midst and work wonders. He told me through his word in Joshua that we would deliver me without fail. He reminded me that Joshua upon seeing the unassailable obstacles in the wilderness said, "Give me this mountain!" and that "when he had compassed it long enough, the released him and allowed him to move on northward. I know that the "Lord knoweth that I am in the wilderness and has been with me the entire time." I was reminded that the miracle on all these scriptural journeys didn't happen at their destination, but somewhere along that heart wrenching journey. Somewhere in the step by step journey over the wilderness, the women with Nephi, gained strength, like unto the men and became Christ's.
These and many other things did he say to me this evening through Emily.
I returned home to my daughter waiting for me to put her to bed. She had questions. When I told her there would be no T.V. or computers for a year for any of us, she sobbed with a broken heart. I was strengthened enough to bear fervent testimony of Heavenly Fathers love for her, of his immense grace in giving us this chance to heal her heart and mind and help her find happiness. "We can do hard things." I told her. "We can and with his help, we will." We took turns praying for her peace and comfort. She asked for help as she faced the challenge of the coming year. It was a priceless experience with my daughter, and yet another huge turning point in a long line of turning points that has led us here.
As Joshua and the people crossed over the river Jordan over dry land, he had each of the priests pick up a stone, that they might remember the hand of the Lord in their lives. I write these things that I may remember, step by step, day by day... he is bringing us to a choice land. He not only sees us, he is with me. I know for tonight, I have heard his voice.