Today is cycle two for chemo!! So far so good so I thought I would jot down some things that I have been thinking about (while feeling ok - fingers crossed!). Why I am strong and why I am not afraid. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Christian. And I know that my Saviour and Heavenly Father know me personally.
Twice a year our Church holds a conference that is broadcast worldwide to 14 million members. During this time we are instructed, loved, taught, and our faith bank is filled to overflow. We learn how to become better people, mother's and father's, husbands and wives, son's and daughter's, neighbors, friends, and follower's of Christ. We are taught principles of being prepared financially and having our homes in order. We are blessed to hear from our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, his Counsellor's, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and of the Seventy and many other men and women who are leaders in our Church; everything from Primary, Young Men's and Young Women's, to Priesthood and Relief Society meeting's, Sunday School for young adults and old adults (LOL I am in the old adults, the young is for teenage teenagers.). We are guided and lead by experiences that they have had in their lives and callings (none of which are paid - it is all done with great love and service) and revelation given to our Prophet directly from our Father in Heaven.
I know a lot of you wonder why I am "so strong". For one, I know it is from all your prayers on our behalf. Secondly I know I am not alone on this journey. This trial in my life is custom cut to my needs and what I can handle. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for my life, upon the cross. He knows the pains that I feel, the desperation, the sadness, anxieties. He knows it all and I take comfort in knowing that he knows EXACTLY how I feel.
So, for the explanation above of who and why we do conference is because after the conference is over, the Ensign (church magazine) prints out all of the wonderful talks and we are able to read them over again. One talk in particular that I have come across so far is called "The Atonement Covers All Pain" by Elder Kent F. Richards (of the Seventy). He has said so many things perfectly about my trial so I wanted to share them with you. They might help you one day if you are suffering or afflicted.
Elder Kent Richards is a surgeon and has spent most of his life inflicting pain on his patients and then trying to control and or alleviate it. So often he was left pondering the purpose of pain. "None of us are immune from experiencing pain. I have seen people cope with it very differently. Some turn away from God in anger, and others allow their suffering to bring them closer to God." I like to think that I am becoming closer to God through this trial.
Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote: "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility.... It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire." We learn from our trials and eventually we are able to be strong for someone else who is suffering the same sort of trial. We are able to bless the lives of others by enduring through our own suffering. And I am so thankful for the people who have been so kind to us to talk and help and understand and I look forward to the day when I can do the same.
Quoting again Elder Richard's: "Much of our suffering is not necessarily our fault. Unexpected events, contradiction or disappointing circumstances, interrupting illness and even death surround us and penetrate our mortal experience. Additionally, we may suffer afflictions because of the actions of others. Opposition is part of Heavenly Father's plan of happiness. We all encounter enough to bring us to an awareness of our Father's love and of our need for the Savior's help.
The Savior is not a silent observer. He Himself knows personally and infinitely the pain we face.
"He suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children." 2 Nephi 9:21.
"Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
"Perhaps His most significant work is in the ongoing labor with each of us individually to life, to bless, to strengthen, to sustain, to guide and forgive us."
Alma prophesied that "he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and... he will take upon him the pains and the sickness of his people...
"That His bowels may be filled with mercy... that He may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to his infirmities." Alma 7:11-12 See, He knows me. He knows what I need and He is here for me.
Elder Henery B. Eyring taught: "It will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior's promised relief to heal and help us... And faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience." He wanted to go through everything as we are and truly know what we are experiencing. I believe in this way he can understand us perfectly. I am thankful for Him and his sacrifice and obedience to our Heavenly Father.
Elder Dallin H. Oakes taught: "Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a 'healing' cures our illness or lifts our burdens placed upon us." All souls can be healed by His power. All pain can be soothed. In Him, we can "find rest unto our Souls." (Matthew 11:29) Our mortal circumstances may not immediately change, but our pain, worry, suffering and fear can be swallowed up in His peace and healing balm."
To all of us the Savior said: "Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
"Fear not, little children, for you are mine..."
"Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd." (Doctrine and Covenants 50:40-41, 44.)
Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become "a saint through the atonement of Christ." (Mosiah 3:19) The pain you and I experience may be where this process is most measured. In extremity, we can become as children in our hearts, humble ourselves, and "pray and work and wait" patiently for the healing of our bodies and our souls. As Job after being refined through our trials, we "shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)
This is my testimony of trials that we encounter and face in our lives. I am thankful for all that the Savior has done for us. I know He is there for us in every way. I know like I said above that He knows us and knows our needs. I know he loves me. And if we turn to Him in our times of trial our hearts will be full of peace, our minds will be calmed and our spirit's will thrive. I am thankful for trials and what they can teach us and what we can learn. I am thankful to be loved and helped through this time in my life; a time that could potentially be dark, but seems so full of light. I say these things in the humble name of Jesus Christ, Amen.