"Every life has peaks and shadows
and times when it seems that
the birds don't sing
and bells don't ring.
Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity,
those who are happiest seem to have a way of
learning from difficult times, becoming
stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."
Joseph B. Wirthlin
My last month or two has been one of the most emotionally trying times I can remember. My siblings (i.e. my best friends) have been one by one moving away from me. My strength and stamina have been weak. I have ignored friends and phone calls. I have battled sadness, doubts and fear. Obviously I abandoned blogging for a while. I have had no energy for things I usually love to do and only the bare minimun was getting done in my home. The smallest bumps in the road have sent me into helplessness.
I had no logical reason for all the darkenss I have been feeling (I know I have a million blessings), but it was nevertheless real and ominous. I decided to be proactive and made a conscious effort to increase my scripture study and deepen my prayers and go the extra mile in my calling at church. I knew I would be blessed for trying to be faithful so I tried harder and harder. It was taking longer than I hoped for something to pull me out of my misery. I was left feeling confused.
I was pleading with my Heavenly Father for a break in the clouds. This last week He began to send me tender mercies just when I thought I couldn't bear any more.
*He sent me a tiny bit extra in my grocery budget to pick up a few needs we had
*He sent me a beautiful daughter that sees my tears and asks, "you okay mommy"?
*He sent me a speaking assignment in church that will allow me to talk on my biggest blessing ever, my marriage
*He sent my children teachers who care about them, and who have eased some of my worries
*He sent me the chance to teach a visiting teaching message with the reminder of how to qualify for the spirit in my life
*He sent me a Bishop who issued a Book of Mormon challenge to read it cover to cover before Christmas
*He sent my son hope and a more positive attitude during this difficult football season
*He sent Strider help with getting a car problem taken care of that thankfully appears to be a part under warranty
*He sent me a night of inspired messages and gentle reproof: General RS Meeting
He sent me several other things that are too small to list here, but are answers to my dilemma.
I don't know why I was given these trials at this time. Does the Lord know the path more clearly than I? For sure. All I can do is trust that He will be there to lean on as I stretch and grow and try to become the person He would have me be. To become happy and at peace.
I don't share these thoughts for sympathy. I'm merely writing of my path to finding more joy in my life. But the birds ARE beginning to quietly chirp again. I can hear them if I am listening carefully for them.
I want to leave you with the words to a song.
Tender Mercies of the Lord
by Janice Kapp Perry
1. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come in quiet ways,
Not by mere coincidence,
But by heaven’s grace.
As we choose to follow Him
With full heart and soul,
We become His chosen ones
And tender mercies flow.
2. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come in times of need.
Gifts of faith and confidence
Fill us as we plead.
Words of guidance, hope, and peace
Help us feel God’s love.
By our faith, His mercies come
Like manna from above.
3. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come as we repent.
Sweet forgiveness, peace of mind
Help us to discern.
Blessings sweet and personal
For which our spirits yearn.
4. Tender mercies of the Lord
Comfort us and guide.
In His time and in His way,
We receive His light.
As we yield our will to His,
Blessings freely flow.
We partake of love divine
Thru mercies He bestows.