(This post is heavy on religion/faith)
There’s a Michael Mclean song that I sometimes listen to over and over called “Gentle.”
Like a gentle wind can blow the clouds from the sky,
Like a gentle touch can ease the pain of goodbye,
Like a gentle smile embraces empty souls in lonely places,
We should be more gentle with ourselves.
Like the friend who gently builds us up when we’re down,
Like a gentle kiss can turn our world all around,
We’ve been hurt by others often,
We’ve forgiven and forgotten,
We should be more gentle with ourselves.
Life can be hard but
we need not be so hard
If we will see
Like the Shepherd leads his flock with gentle commands.
With his gentle voice that only hearts understand.
One thing we can know for certain, He has borne the awful burdens
so we can be more gentle with ourselves.
One thing that I know for certain:
He will bear my every burden,
So I can be gentle with myself.
Sometimes I do everything I can to rest up so that I can make it somewhere (like today, to church) and I still end up not feeling well enough. I caught myself running through all the things I could have done or could have missed so that I could have made it, and I couldn’t come up with anything. It was a desperate grasp, yet again, to want to believe that I can control life more than I can. But not only can’t I control everything, Heavenly Father and my Savior are there for me. Even if life keeps throwing me curve balls (the small and the not so small) it doesn’t mean they don’t care.
One of my closest friends had a birthday party last night. It was a bonfire up in the canyon and the wind had been blowing hard all day and still hadn’t let up. The pollen count was high and the air was dry and I knew it might cause problems with my allergies, so I didn’t go. I had things to keep me busy (laundry, cleaning, phone calls, Netflix) but of course I was also disappointed. But even missing out on things doesn’t mean you’ll get a ticket to the next thing you don’t want to miss. And I am wishing that I had gone, knowing that in hindsight I’d end up missing church anyway.
The First Presidency Message on lds.org helped me out today, though not what some might think was in the most encouraging of ways (but it was). This is President Eyring speaking of when his father was dying of cancer:
When the pain became intense, we found him in the morning on his knees by the bed. He had been too weak to get back into bed. He told us he had been praying to ask his Heavenly Father why he had to suffer so much when he had always tried to be good. He said a kindly answer came: “God needs brave sons.”
And so he soldiered on to the end, trusting that God loved him, listened to him, and would lift him up. He was blessed to have known early and to never forget that a loving God is as close as a prayer.
I remember well several friends telling me frequently about 8 years ago that I was “stronger than I realized.” And the things I’ve been through since have helped to teach me that they were right, and to understand what they meant. I don’t think that I have to go through these things because I’m being punished. I know that from past experience that eventually the downs in life turn around into the ups in life. It’s been a hard lesson to learn that I will eventually learn from the pain and I become a better person because of it. And there are others who could say this much more eloquently than I could, or with worse experiences. I’ve been through much worse than just missing out on things: it’s the missing out on things over and over again over years that gets to me. I don’t remember where it was recently that I heard this (but I really wish I did remember) that it’s possible that no one else other than the Savior will ever truly understand what our trials are like for us as individuals.
Anyway, I get to go to a fireside tonight. Perhaps the upswing will begin there. My nightmares last night weren’t at their worse. I can be grateful for that. And I can be grateful for a lot more: got to talk with my daughter on the phone last night. I got to pet my roommate’s dog this afternoon (she’s not here much….the roommate, and the dog…roommate is very busy.) Likely this will be one of my boring-est entries. I can deal with that.