For years, I have struggled with night time. Not the end of the work day type of night time rather, the right before bed time kind of night time. I call it the 'think time' of night time. Over the years, it is during that time when my sadness or fears captured my mind and robbed me of sleep. It was at night time that I discovered the lump in my breast. The night is etched in my mind.
When I found the lump and could no longer convince myself that it was something other than it was, I cried. I thought of all the battles I had been waging in my life. For years, every road had seemingly led me to dead ends and detours. In spite of my efforts to remain faithful, to serve others, and to do my part, the desires of my heart had yet to be realized. My family and I had been knocking on heaven's door for so long that we had all begun to wonder if they would ever be opened. We were confused, disillusioned and at times, doubting. My first thought when I acknowledged the lump was "wow, so this is how it is all going to end." In my heart, I believed I heard the locks being turned on heavens doors. Something inside of me gave up at that very moment. So, for the next two months, I allowed the dreams and aspirations for myself to slip away and I kept my secret. I'm not sure what moved me to finally tell someone about the lump but something bigger than me pushed me out of hiding. Whatever it was (is), I know that it was divine-born of a divine love for me.
Sometimes, I look back on some of the difficult 'night times' when sleep eluded me and tears have been my only companion. It was always after my children were asleep that I would allow myself to give into the sadness that had nipped at my heels throughout the day. Usually, it was way into the night and most often, while I poured my heart out to my Father in Heaven. Those were lonely times that in the moment, I wondered if I could endure. There was no one in my life that I felt could really understand the depth of the sadness I was experiencing so, it became my secret. On many a night, I sought comfort in the howling of the wind as it drowned out the sound of my sobs as I fought to understand what was happening either to myself or to a child.
I felt alone until I remembered that I was not the only one who had wept and prayed while others slept. One particular night, I was reminded of the Savior and that night He spent in Gethsemane, taking upon His shoulders the sins, sorrows, and infirmities of the world. He too, had wept for the choices of others while those around Him slept and did so with a willing heart. He too, asked for the sadness, pain, and disappointment to be removed from Him as the weight became unbearable. He too, wept alone, un-noticed by those He had served and loved. I realized that I was one of those people. More than even that, I knew that I was not alone and that my tears were not going un-noticed. Tonight, I feel grateful to know that. Not just for the 'night times' that feel overwhelming but for the fact that His sacrifice was for all of us. At some time in our lives, we will all suffer...either for ourselves or for those we love. Sometimes it will be for both. And we may feel that we do it alone-that no earthly being could possibly understand our heartache. It is at those times that we may weep while others sleep. During my 'night times,' I am grateful for the knowledge I have that disputes that aloneness and reminds me that always, always, there is One who not only understands my every thought and feeling, but has experienced it on my behalf. When everything inside me screams "WHY ME" I am grateful for the reminder that unlike me, He chose to suffer so that truly, the arms of His compassion could comfort and reassure me. Without that knowledge, I could not walk this path that has so much uncertainty and unpredictable twists and turns.
Discovering the lump in my breast was the first in a string of miracles and tender mercies in my life. I hope to share those along the way. Heaven doors are swinging open in very private ways. Without a doubt, I know that discovering that lump will ultimately become the greatest evidence I have yet to experience of my Savior's love for me. We all need to be reminded that we are not alone as we travel the rocky travain of life. To coin the title of one of my favorite books by Elder Holland, 'no matter how long and hard the way', we never walk alone. We may cry while others sleep but we never do so without the watchful, loving eye of the Savior upon us. For that, I am grateful.
Gratitude and love always...Cyndi
A very special thank-you to those who are passionately and enthusiastically working on the fund-raiser event. Be sure and check out the progress on the website anythingforafriend.com