On Fast Sundays we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints (Mormons) will miss 2 meals. The funds that would usually be spent on those meals is donated and distributed to those that are struggling. It is a blessing to be able to help others by doing such a small act. But there is also another reason we do it, a more personal reason. By fasting, we also believe that we are able to become more aware of the promptings of the Holy Ghost. This allows us to better receive answers to prayers. Heavenly Father recognizes our sacrifice and we become more in tune with his spirit.
During our church meetings on fast Sunday, we as members are allowed (as prompted) to speak to the congregation and share with them our testimony. Today while I was sitting in sacrament meeting I was touched by the spirit. I heard some beautiful testimonies. One in particular touched me greatly.
This sister mentioned that we are all here to be tried and tested. Without those trials we are not able to draw close to our Father in Heaven and depend on him. She spoke about HANGING ON through our trials. That he is with us. That he knows us intimately. He knows the struggles we have faced or are facing. His son Jesus Christ has felt them, and understands. He would not give us these trials without also giving us a way to come to him for help with them.
This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Isn't it amazing how the spirit works!!
Life has been hard. Nastia came home 2 weeks ago and to say it has been anything else would be a lie. We were hoping to be able to transition her slowly back into family life, but it turned out that our insurance company had other ideas. So here we are, and here I HANG! I am hanging on by my teeth some days. I won't share with you all the ugly details of the last 2 weeks, but it is enough to say that she is home and life is hard.
Therefore the message I received during our meeting today was a blessing. Those of you who know me well, know that I have been struggling. I have struggled to understand why if the Lord wanted us to travel this journey, why would he make it so painful for us, especially me. I am not sure I still fully understand the answer to that question, but I do KNOW that he knows who I am. He KNOWS I am struggling and he is there to help me if I am willing to ask for it. But I have to be willing. I have to allow him to help me, and that is hard for me. It is had to turn it over to him and trust in him fully. Asking for help, even from someone that completely understands, is so very difficult.
I was blessed to be able to attend the last few minutes of my daughters young women's class today and hear Miranda sing. She was asked to sing the song His Hands by Kenneth Cope. This is a song I have known and sung for many many years. It is probably my favorite church song ever. It was such a blessing to not only hear my daughter sing it, but also, to once again through the power of music, be reminded of what Jesus did FOR ME. I need to be reminded frequently that the Atonement was not just something amazing that happened for everyone else, but it also applies to me.
I am so grateful to my Loving Heavenly Father for the privilege I have of being a mother to all 6 of my children. They are hard work, but it is such a blessing to have them all in our home. I KNOW with all my heart that even though she makes my life and hers so very difficult sometimes, Nastia is meant to be in our family. I felt it when I met her and I know it still now. I am grateful for the feeling I had when I met her. That is something I frequently go back too. I know that the Lord sent us there to find her and I know that these trials, as hard as they are, will pass eventually. My hope is that she will one day realize how truly loved she is, not only by us her family here on the earth, but how VERY loved she is by her Heavenly Father. He sent us on this journey, for her.
I am grateful for the Gospel in my life and for the knowledge I have of eternal families.
I would love for each of you to listen to the song that Miranda sung today. I hope that you too will feel our Heavenly Fathers love for you, as I did today.