Never ignore a person who loves you, cares for you, and misses you. Because one day you might wake up from your sleep and realize that you lost the moon while counting the stars.~Unknown

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Storms of life...

This has been a long, hard week but today, I feel like I am finally starting to resurface. Having the shots on a daily basis has kept me aching, tired, emotional and overwhelmed with the whole process. Today was my first day without a shot and already, I feel all my 'good stuff' resurfacing. It only reaffirms my belief in the simple concept of holding on. That takes work; this process of holding on. It is a mental and emotional battle against the discouraging, hopeless thoughts and feelings that the adversary reminds us of. Truly, it is about remembering what we have known during brighter times. And being patient with ourselves as we do so.

I am reminded of a talk given by Elder Holland that I was privileged to hear during one such dark time. During this particular talk, he took a different approach than usual and personalized it to every person in the congregation. He shared tender thoughts and musings he had had the night before as he thought of those who would be in attendance. He spoke of the heartaches we individually experience as we travel our journey throughout life. His voice was tender as he spoke of mothers longing for their arms to reach their wayward children, spouses aching for their partners who has passed away, and the cries for young lives lost too early. He spoke of the quiet burdens we must carry alone which create a sense of loneliness and despair..even among the presence of loved ones. The scenarios were likened to being cast about on raging waters as waves crash into the vessel that is carrying us through the storm. Oh, the fear and trepidation that sets upon us as we wonder if we will survive the storm! Elder Holland posed a very viable, powerful question that has stayed with me over the months. He likened the boat in which we are traveling as the gospel of Jesus Christ. For me, that is the same as 'remembering'. It is the love and hope of the Savior's love that will ultimately not only guide us through the storm but sustain us through the those dark hours when the waves are crashing. So the question asked was this: "Why, when the storm is raging around us and we are in peril of drowning in the darkness of the sea, would we leave the safety of the boat that is our only and last hope of surviving?" Death is certain if we jump ship...we become consumed in the ravaging waters that respect no person. Despite the darkness surrounding us, there is hope and light to be found in the safety of the arms of One who has promised to never leave us alone in our storms. I believe that because I have experienced it. So, though I am guilty of giving into the tears of discouragement or despair, it is always just temporary because somehow, I have always remained inside the boat. I have stood out the edge with my life jacket on, one foot outside the egdge but always, something stronger than me has kept me from jumping out into the darkness, As a result, I have an unpenetrable hope that reminds me that every storm passes and that all a loving Father in Heaven asks of me is that I stay in the boat. There are no right or wrong way..some are quite unpleasant and sometimes, I have surfaced with a mouthful of water choking me but nonetheless, the security of the boat is found surrounding me on all sides when the storm subsides.

It is the arms of love and service, both past and present, that have fortified and strengthened my ability to withstand the waves crashing around me. We do not weather storms alone, even if we are sailing solo. Within us we carry the strength and courage of those who have loved and sustained us throughout our lives. All the simple acts of kindness that have passed through us serve as the arms holding us back when everything inside of us wants to jump. At some timer or another, we all want to own feet have been unsteady this week as disparaging thoughts have bullied me when I was physically weakened. Truly, it is the evidence of our Savior's love as extended to us from the goodness of others that hold us safe. Some storms are easier to face than others. Some we can predict while others blindside us leaving us unprepared and frightened. Irrespective, it is through our love and service towards and from others that determines how we are able to weather them. I am grateful for those who have strengthened me to the point that my feet never actually touch the waters that rage around me.

Thursday, I went through the drive through window at Mrs. Cavanaughs to pick up some chocolate strawberries to take to a few friends. I had just come from the hospital and was feeling pretty beat up after my shot. I'm sure it wasn't hard to see I was distressed. The strawberries weren't ready but with the kindest smile, full of an awareness of me, she handed me a chocolate and arranged for me to come back. I share this because it was a simple kindness. The chocolate still sits on my counter top. You see, it wasn't the chocolate or even the kindly invitation to return that kept me inside the boat that morning. It was the compassion in her eyes as she,without a word, shared kindness and love to an otherwise stranger.
Friday, I went to the salon where I have gotten my hair done in the past. I was immediately met with a longing to feel normal look in the mirror and see myself as I have known myself for years. To look like all the other women there. A sweet stylist whom I have never met seemed to notice me and offered to shave off the remaining stubble of my hair, wash my (absence of) hair and massage my scalp. In spite of the fact that it meant I would have to sport my bald head to those around me, I agreed. Ahhhh, never underestimate the healing power in the touch of a hand. Kindness to a stranger...

I know that there are more storms out on the horizon. I will be honest and say that my awareness to them has been heightened this week. I can also be honest and say that I know that at times, I may be found with one foot dangling over the side determined to jump. I am familiar with that position. I wish I was able to just keep my feet planted regardless of how hard the waves may crash but I know myself. Past experiences have made me gun shy of brewing storms and my humanness allows me to succumb to the fatigue and fear. Past experience has also taught me that I am resilient because I have experienced the love of the Savior in those around me. I know what I know and when I 'remember', the fears give way to the hope and faith that I have been blessed with.
We all have storms that rage around us. That is what life is about. It's about learning to successfully maneuver through such storms. It's about becoming stronger and wiser and then taking that strength and wisdom to be the light for someone traveling behind us. It's about recognizing the value that lies within each twist in our lives that will ultimately shape us and create in us a vessel of stamina and courage. Some are evident to those around us but more than not, they are born quietly in the privacy of our own hearts. Tonight, I hope that you will all 'remember' what you know and have known because of the love and kindness' of others who have allowed the storms in their lives to create a guiding light of hope to share. And I hope that you will daily have 'Mrs. Cavanughs' moments that build you up when your foot dangles over the edge. And that it will be your arms that hold another safe when waves are crashing around them. Truly, that is what life is about. This what I know and believe with all my heart because it is true.

Gratitude and love always...Cyndi

My check-in...physically, I am fatigued but growing stronger, emotionally, hope is renewed, spiritually, I am comforted. My commitment is to be a 'Mrs. Cavanaugh" daily, and my affirmation is

I am blessed with the hope and strength I need to reach the shore.

No comments:

Post a Comment