Friday, March 28, 2014

Vol. 2 No. 10 - I Stand All Amazed...

I Stand All Amazed...

Greetings Everyone,

I hope you all are seeing the signs of Spring as we are in Utah.  The weather has been absolutely wonderful here, even through the rain and mountain snow.  I know we will most likely see some more "winter" snow, but for now I will relish in our beautiful weather!!  I promise it is coming your way!!

I also wanted to give you an update on Lexi.  You may remember I reported on her last week.  She is the young girl who was long boarding and was hit by a car.  The doctor's gave her a 5% chance of surviving, but what do doctors know when the power of prayer and miracles come into play.  Lexi has come out of her coma and improving.  She was able to sign she wanted water, remembered her siblings names and other major improvements.  They only found out the weekend (over a week later) she had a broken leg.  She has been taken out of ICU but was put back in due to the leg.  She sounds like she is doing great considering what she has gone through.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  I know her friends and family have appreciated them.

On to this week's life lesson.  This morning I was brought to tears over a small incident at church.  A few weeks ago we were supposed to have a Missionary Homecoming for my friend's son.  Due to bizarre weather in Tokyo, Japan he got in three days later than expected and his homecoming was postponed until today.  But today was also going to be a Missionary Farewell.  That is where a missionary gives their talk before entering the Missionary Training Center (MTC) and they are officially set apart as a missionary and begin their missions.  So today we had both a Farewell AND a Homecoming!  Throw in the mixture it was Daylight Savings Time where we lost an hour and I had no idea what to expect.  But what I experienced was not what I expected.

I knew for the most part the chapel would be full. The chapel was more than full, it was packed and overflowing.  The two missionaries that were honored today have large families who love and support them.  That was obvious.  What most people will not understand unless they experience it is truly the value of a family.  At one point of the service, I watched one of the young men take a little boy out.  I am assuming it was his nephew and they were going to the little boy's room.  You could see the love between the two by the simple holding of hands as he guided him out.  They came back and a few minutes later, and then he was walking out with a little girl. I am assuming a niece this time and still having to go to the little boy's room? This young man was the brother to the sister missionary who will be entering the MTC this week.  This is not an unusual task for this family, as an older sister Brittanie served her mission in the San Antonio Texas Mission.  I was in Texas when she first came to Texas and was assigned in my ward.  There is just something about this family.  They have their trials, but first and foremost they are a family, who support and love one another.  That was very obvious Sunday.

I also saw old friends that came for the families and missionaries. It's always good to see old friends. Our opening hymn was "I Stand All Amazed". It is one of my favorite hymns, here is the first verse:

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

As we were singing this I thought of my own journey to come back to church and tried to hold  back tears. How did I ever get so lucky and blessed to find the peace and joy of life I have? I am so grateful for my journey, it's been rough and rocky, but I know I have my feet planted firmly. I know who I am and where I am going.  It still gets rough at times, but I KNOW! Then I happened to glance left and broke down and cried.  Standing in the doorway was a friend with her grandson and his young family.  This young man in his younger years was close friends with the missionary that just returned home from his mission. He was there to support him. Their lives took different paths.  One came from a strong family and the other did not.  Can you guess which one is which?  My friend's grandson went on to be raised by "a family" (an aunt and uncle) but the family values still were not there compared to his friend.  I know not all families are alike, but when you see a family that has something special you want a part of it. Not everyone is lucky enough to get that in life. 

Back to my friend's grandson, I know the challenges it takes to take that first step and go back to church.  The thoughts that run through your mind of not being good enough to go after so long.  Often times we think it's too late.  What will others think?  Do I even belong in church? Some may even go to different churches looking for their fit.  In the Mormon culture we call it "ward shopping."  Not all wards (congregations) are the same. Where you live is the ward you are assigned to.  Now some people may have issues with that, but I have learned you make of it what you can.  I got lucky.  I was amazed the first time I walked into the ward I am currently in, I knew this is where I was supposed to be. It just felt right.

I think part of the reason I am here is because I have seen strong families in this ward.  I have seen their goodness and kindness.  I have seen them truly love one another and been there when they needed help.  I remember one young girl who spoke as a graduating high school senior.  I did not know her, and only knew who her father was.  As she told her story I was touched.  Life had not been easy, she talked how early morning seminary had not been for her.  But somehow she managed to hang in there and was off to college.  Now she is serving a mission on the East Coast in Baltimore.  I have said this before, everyone has a story.  I will add this, and a journey!

What takes one from these paths and then miraculously somehow brings us back?  I have been there and I don't think I really know the answer.  I do know that yesterday as we sang "I Stand All Amazed" I choked up.  I am truly amazed at life sometimes.  It is all so different for each one of us.  I think back to my Mom's words when she asked me one day, "Why would anyone even care about you?"  Sometimes it still makes me angry and cry, but then I have to remember now I know the love I have for others, sometimes it is someone I don't even know.  I just know they need help, and if I can help in a small way I do.  I can't put into words the love I have for some, sometimes I think I try to do it with actions. 

I think back to my six months with no job and no income.  Somehow I made it.  There is no logical answer for it other than I was being watched over and angels of all different kinds were sent my way.  Sometimes it confuses me when people do things for me because I am not their family, I am just a friend, or a customer or a neighbor.  But I am realizing maybe we don't have to really know the person to have this great love for them.  It is something given to us in our heart IF we are willing to accept it and use it as it was intended.  I am sure the young man and his family who came yesterday will never know the impact they had on me.  They reminded me I truly am a Child of God, and there is room for all of us in his arms, if only WE ACCEPT HIM.  He already has accepted us. It was a reminder of why I am here, the sacrifices that have been made for me and that I will fall. I just need to gather my strength to get back up and try again.  I will be confused at the love so many offer me where my family couldn't.  And one day I have faith I will understand. 

Thank you to all those who have been there for me.  You humble me in many ways as I think of your kindness and love. 
Hugs Laura

No comments:

Post a Comment