the parable of the red gerber daisy :O)

As I was pulling out of my driveway this weekend, I noticed this sweet little flower, doing it's best to push through and
 amid all the deadness and debris it was growing amidst and way before it' season. 
In a weird way, I think it is beautiful. 
My kids thought I was a little crazy when I jumped out of the car, camera in hand, and took this picture.  :O)
I was actually thinking earlier in the week, I wanted to go cut all my gerber daisy plants down to the soil because they looked so bad.  Now I kinda smile every time I back out and see this
cute little red trooper.
Have you ever felt like you were in the crummiest of situations and
 yet you realized (after the fact) it made you bloom and grow and BLOSSOM?
I have.
One time, many moons ago.  Like ten years or so ago, my best friend was called to be the RS president. She decided to change the visiting teaching routes.
Unbeknownst to her, she assigned me to visit teach a sister in the ward that
-(and I am not over stating this)-
Pretty much hated everything about me, even the ground I walked on.
I was horrified at the thought of having to call her every week, schedule an appointment, not to mention take her a spirit filled message!
I wanted SO badly to go to my friend (the RS president) and explain the situation to her and ask to be moved to someone else.  I'm sure she would have.  I think in my mind I thought it would be best for Sister Hater, not just me. 
(I still have no idea why Sister Hater didn't call and have it switched herself.)

And believe me, I prayed about it ALMOST every month- 
the answer came back, "NO."
"That is not what you are supposed to do."
So I did it. 
 Every month I visited and taught her. 
Every single month without fail. 
It was painful.  It was uncomfortable.   

Over the course of that two years, she suffered some sadness and trial.  Her grandparents (who also lived in the ward) passed away within months of each other.  She was very close to them.  It was heartbeaking for her.  At one point she had a high risk pregnancy that forced her on bed rest for a long time.

Of course, she was not in a place where she was going to ever let me help her.  But I found ways to help "behind the scenes".  I made lots of food for the family dinner after both funerals. (She never knew).   I suggested a midweek activity for my laurels (I was in yw at the time) to go over and clean her house top to bottom when she was on bedrest.  The Laurel President made all the arrangements so she was none the wiser.   
It felt like the right thing to do.
It felt good to serve her, even if she didn't know.
I think I even felt love for her at that point. I KNOW I felt some of the love that Heavenly Father had for her anyway.
That was one of the biggest growing experiences of my life. 
I learned about turning the other cheek AND SMILING, and loving people when they don't really like you very much, and charity, and the true love of Christ.
And I will carry that experience and what I learned from it forever.
And Visiting teaching has felt like a breeze no matter what the situation since then.  :O)
I love this scripture:
Matthew 5:46, 47
46 For if ye alove them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

They are the Savior's words from the Sermon on the Mount.  He is saying, it is easy to love people who love you (or are nice to you or who having sunny dispositions).  Pretty much anyone can do that!  (Even Publicans)  It is the other people that we come across that are a challenge to be kind to and love that make us better people (thus the reward part). 

I am so grateful Heavenly Father told me "no".
Over and over and over again.
and for inspired RS Presidents. 
I don't think for a minute that was a coincidence.


Chesney said…
Geesh! How could anyone not like you!! you are an amazing person! I am inspired by you!

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