A month of discouraging news but tender mercies
I am a little ashamed to admit it but I started out this month questioning whether or not Heavenly Father will ever answer my prayers. Before you start freaking out thinking I am losing my testimony- DON'T.
I know he answers prayers.
He answers my children's prayers,
my friend's prayers,
the prayers of some of the sisters I visit teach.
There have been times I look back on in my life and vividly remember Him answering MY prayers and doing it rather quickly.
(Deciding whether or not to move to Prosper and whether or not I should marry Brent being two I can think of off the top of my head.)
BUT ... Brent and I have been praying for most of the same things now for several years. One of the biggies being that he would be healed.
It was promised to him in one of his initial priesthood blessings when he was sick.
Sometimes, it FEELS like He isn't listening.
(Sidenote: This was probably brought on by the fact that he did not get into the Arizona study that we found so hopeful. We were bummed for awhile. Now we are trying to talk his neurosurgeon here in Dallas into doing it.)
But the other day Brent said something to me that resonated. Bigtime. From the moment that his headache came on he told me that he knew he had enough faith to be healed. He also said he could wait and be patient and do it when the Lord decided it was time. He has done that really well. He rarely gets discouraged. He doesn't suffer from depression - which blows his doctors away! They don't have very many patients with Chronic headache at the pain level that he does who don't also have to take depression meds. But Brent has never struggled with that.
Well the other day he said that he now realizes that
the test for him has not been whether or not he had the FAITH to be healed but whether or not he had the FAITH to NOT be healed.
Because I am telling you, that is ALOT harder.
But he does.
I know he does.
He has grown so much through this challenge.
They don't call them character builders
Heavenly Father doesn't answer our prayers the WAY we necessarily want him to.
But he does answer them.
And it is usually through another person.
He knows what is best long term. He knew in June of 2006 how much Brent would grow from this trial. He knew I would too. He knew our kids would become compassionate people by living in a home with someone who was chronically ill. He HAS answered our prayers by helping us through the last 5.5 years with tender mercies along the way. Big tender mercies like the fact that he has been able to work and provide for us, that he has not developed an addiction to the meds they have him on ....
This month he provided some more tender mercy to us by inspiring others to do anonymous things in our behalf that have completely been a blessing to us. There is no way anyone could have known to help us in this particular way had they not been inspired. We have felt so much love and support from our friends and ward family.
One night I was feeling particularly glum. Not depressed. I don't suffer from that either, btw. Just a little down about things - just for a moment. It was late. Christmas Eve. Around 1 am. All of a sudden I got a text from a dear friend that lives in another state that I haven't seen in 4 years. Stacey sent me an email in the middle of the night. Here is what she said:
Hello my friend!
How are you today this Christmas Eve?
Sleeping I hope.
I am waiting for some biscotti to bake the second time.
I saw a lovely new family picture on facebook.
You are so blessed!
I love you and miss you.
Take care of yourself.
You are more than worth it!
SOOOO simple. So quick. Probably took her all of five minutes, if that but It was exactly what I needed. It made my heart smile. I knew that Heavenly Father wanted to remind me of that and he sent Stacey a prompting to get me the message. I am so grateful for people who live close to the spirit. I am grateful for husbands that have faith, doctors who perform miracles through modern medicine, angels who leave gifts at front doors, and a Heavenly Father that hears and answers prayers. Yes, even mine.