This Sunday I sat in the middle of the row. With my huge teenage boys and husband on either side of me and Anna, Sarah, William and Camron at the edges so I was sure to be safe and trapped. There was no way I was going to stand to bear my testimony. I'd been feeling off all morning and was worried about it.
The bishop began the meeting by sharing about a miserable defeat he had in court this week. He is a lawyer and I think the term he used is that "he got creamed." He spoke of personal times in his life where he was dispondent and discouraged (his first wife died of cancer), but his patriarchal blessing warned him that was the devil's tool and he needed to overcome those feelings.
The next man who got up was our high councilman who told his story. He too had lost a wife to cancer but just recently. When this happened he totally shut down, even stopped attending most of his meetings. So the Stake President called him to be a high councilman. He prayed about it and realized that he needed to stand up and do what he should so that he could be with his wife again. He said that he was filled with the assurance that he was going to do what it took to be in the Celestial Kingdom and that eventhough she was in heaven, that they were both learning the things that they needed to at this time. It was remarkable to see the healing. Then last week the Stake President called him to be in charge of the older singles- that man is going to be snatched up in a heartbeat.
Speaking of heartbeats, you could hear mine from across the room. I sat there knowing I should stand, my heart pounding, until I squeezed out of my comfort zone and stood. Literally, I'm not sure what I said. I talked about how we can't change some feelings on our own. Those changes are gifts of the Spirit. The lifting of grief, the desire to move forward, the hope that we can make it come as we open our minds and hearts to Christ. I ended with telling about a friend who asked me once "what if it's not true." I laughed because I've seen and heard too much with my own eyes and ears. I know it is true without a doubt. That isn't even the question. The question is "Am I true?" and that's a question I'm still trying to work out day by day.
I sat down feeling like just once I'd like to be an example of what to do, instead of what not to do. But I also knew I had fulfilled what I was asked and smiled because I was asked. If my prayers weren't answered so miraculously time after time, if I hadn't been given impressions that have saved my family from heartache and if I never felt compelled to stand up or speak out when I really didn't want to, I would mourn for the loss. It is nice to feel like the Lord loves you enough to ask. You know?