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Wow! What a weekend! I am not really sure where to start. On Monday, we received word that Drew's aunt had passed away. On Thursday, we drove 15 hours to be with family (just Drew and I). On Friday, we went to the funeral, visited with family, and hung out. Then drove home 15 hours on Saturday. Sunday morning we got ready and went to church, got home, relaxed and pondered about the weekend. Today we are back to real life.
I had a few reflections from the funeral. First, you will need a little background. Drew's aunt was in a rehabilitation center recovering from a back surgery. Everything seemed to go fine, she just wasn't recovering as fast as they had hoped so they had moved her from the hospital to the rehab center. Her daughter, who had had a different surgery happened to be her roommate. Around 3 a.m Tuesday morning, her daughter noticed that her breathing sounded funny and called for the nurse. Her mother had vomited and aspirated. From that point on, her mother was in a coma.
Family flew in to be with their mother. One son is a doctor. For the next week, the family went through many tests trying to decide what had happened and why she wasn't waking up. They tried many different things and avenues. After a week without much medical explanations, they felt, unanimously that it was time for their wife/mother to cross the veil and they let her go.
Listening to their experiences during the funeral, I noticed several things. One son in particular expressed significant lessons about the atonement that he had come to know personally through this trial. He discussed his feelings at the beginning as 'insisting/demanding' that his mother get better and return to health. Over several days, that turned to pleading, then to recognition, and finally realizing that his will was not the Lord's will and submitting his heart to what the Lord wanted. His testimony was sweet and personal. His lessons were deep, significant and soul-stretching.
I marveled at the Lord's ability to teach each one of us different life lessons through this trial of our extended family. He knows what is best for each and everyone of us. Though we all experience the trial, our experiences of the trial are different, unique and individually tailored through our understanding, knowledge, and willingness to submit or not submit to the Lord's will. Each of those individuals who were personally connected with Drew's aunt were touched differently by participating in her passing through the veil. The lessons were personally tailored.
I think that often the point the Lord is trying to get across to us is the submission of our will.
"The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give,’ … are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!"
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Ensign, Nov. 1995, 24
When we allow our hearts to bend and yield to what we know He wants, that is when we truly grow and are ready to see with eternal eyes. As long as we are fighting to do what we want and the way we want to do it, we are not in a place where humility and understanding can really grow.
For myself, I had my own learning lessons. I felt prompted to write about my feelings. So in my journal I penned how free I felt to get away.....away from my calling, away from the demands of motherhood, away from my responsibilities. I realized in my writing that I felt like I was always living to serve others, that I felt pressed upon by the demands and responsibilities I had. I wondered if I always felt like that.....yep, pretty much. I wondered where the balance is because the scriptures teach us that when we lose ourselves in the service of God, we find ourselves. There is a balance there and how come I did not feel really happy with all of my service??! And then it hit me......
I have been waiting to be finished with what the Lord wants of me so I can do what I want to do. I have been trying to ride the line of obedience just enough to have a time-table for my service, a time to do what the Lord wants, so I can get it over with and then do what I want to do. Wow!! Really?? That is in there in my heart? I am not waiting on the Lord. I have an agenda and I want to finish the Lord's agenda so I can get on with my own. Ugly! That is not the program. So this is the lesson I am suppose to be learning right now??
The Lord has his own time-table. The lessons are uniquely tailored to me, just as yours are to you. In case you are wondering, they will extend over my entire mortality, even until the end and I cross through the veil myself. There will be no getting done with the Lord's agenda so I can move onto my own. I have my own 'heart' work to do. It is time for me to submit my will to His. Now that I consciously know that, I have to apply it. Application is so much more difficult than theory. Wish me luck and just plain pray for me.....I am not really good at letting go of my agenda.
In the meantime, I am sure the Lord will find a way to help me learn to submit if I do not chose to do so on my own. I am grateful for the time we had with my sweet husband's family even if our gathering was to mourn our loved one. I know we will see her again, and I look forward to that reunion.