Happy Pi Day! I have a confession: Change is HARD! It doesn’t have to be, but sometimes it really feels like it. To put it as one of the main characters in one of my favorite musicals “Next to Normal” puts it, “They say you should stay with the devil you know, But when life needs a change and the one devil won't, You fly to the devil, you don't.” It really gets you thinking doesn’t it?
I’ve been trying very hard to be more positive. I wrote a little bit about that in this post Piece by Piece last week. I feel like in this endeavor I take two steps forward, one step back. It’s easy to be grateful when everything is going well and easy in your life. However, I know that God puts trials in our lives so that we can grow and put more trust in him.
I’ve been home sick with a cold this past weekend. I mostly never like to be home, and I always want to be out doing things with my friends. However, I have a friend who has a few family members in the hospital, and I realized I’d feel awful if I gave her what I had so she couldn’t go visit her family, so that’s what convinced me to stay home. I’m not writing this to get pity, about once a year I get sick, but just to show God’s hand in my life, and publicly notice the blessings he gives me.
About 5 years ago I got really sick while in college. It only lasted a day or two, but I’d never had anything like it before. It was an all-day affair and my stomach was making all sorts of weird sounds. I eventually threw up and felt better. This was weird for me, because I’ve maybe thrown up once in the past 10 years. Turns out I had the flu.
I sat in my room really wanting to call someone for a priesthood blessing. However, I knew what my friends had been up to recently, and I really didn’t know if they would be able to give me a priesthood blessing or not. I laid in bed for a long time clutching my cell phone. I was desperate for someone, anyone, to come check on me and see if I was okay. Some of those said friends found out I was sick and brought me some soda, and then promptly left.
I got really angry at God. I told him how unfair this was. Everyone else has brothers. Everyone else has a father who is willing to give them a blessing if they need it. I felt totally and utterly alone. This is the cycle I always seem to go through when I’m in need of help and don’t know where to turn. At the time I thought I had food poisoning, and my dad happens to be a Health Care Director. I thought that was ironic as well. In this moment where he would be the perfect person to talk to, I couldn’t. I hadn’t talked to him in 5 years, and we hadn’t been on good terms in 10 plus years.
As I was laying there thinking of this unfair circumstance, this cruel joke that life had played on me; the words from a blessing I received from a family friend a few years earlier came to mind, “I bless you to know how pleased [God] is that you have acted in faith by using your agency to choose to receive a blessing by the power of the priesthood. Bless you to know that, that is an outward act of your inner faith. Bless you to not question your faith in the manner in which you have done, to dig deep and to know through these signs of the employment of your agency and see each one as an outward act of inner faith. Whether it is attendance of institute[…] requesting a priesthood blessing, saying your prayers or reading your scriptures, these are all outward acts of inner faith.”
I realized that I wasn’t having faith. I was letting my hurt, despair, and anger rule my life. I wrote up a text to my cousin Scott who lived in a complex behind me. I didn’t know him very well, and I was still embarrassed to ask for a blessing because I thought that showed that I was weak; That I couldn’t handle things by myself, that I was being a burden on someone else, and that I needed someone else to take care of me.
I stared at that text for a long time. A LOOOOONG time. I thought of the words from my blessing before, decided I was going to swallow my pride, and maybe press send, but really think about it a little bit longer. I mean what if he couldn’t come? What if he was on a date? What if he couldn’t? I just kept praying to God that someone would find me, someone would just appear, but if not, that I would send the text.
I finally had the text perfectly worded and I was about to send it when the doorbell rang. The next thing I knew there was a knock on my door. I looked absolutely awful. I went to the door and there were two of my high school friends Scott and Mike. They said that they were on their way out of town when they felt like they should stop by. They asked me if I would like a blessing and I just started crying.
The Lord in all of his infinite mercy had not only sent someone to comfort and bless me, but he even chose some of my very best friends from high school and one of them even had the EXACT same name as the guy I was about to text. Some may say that’s just a lot of coincidences, I’d say it was a whole lot of blessings and love from a Father in Heaven.
They didn’t leave after, instead they stayed and talked to me in my cramped bedroom while I looked awful with tears streaming down my face. It was one of those moments where God let me know absolutely without a shadow of a doubt that he was there for me.
So what does that have to do with what I was talking about earlier? I felt sick. I’d stayed home for two days and I felt like I needed some extra help to feel better. What’s the best way to do that? Take some medicine and call a friend. I’d called my home teachers a few weeks ago when I was going through a hard time, so I felt foolish calling them again for a totally unrelated thing a few weeks later. I started to get upset again. I started to ask God why I didn’t have any family living closer, or a boyfriend, or a best friend in my ward I could call? I decided to call a friend and he didn’t pick up. I texted a different guy in my ward and instead of saying, “Yes, when can I come over?” He said, “Yeah. Did you not want your home teachers to?” Now, that’s a valid question, but in my weak, prideful, timid vulnerable state, I didn’t want to have to explain it to him.
Eventually I did, and he had a good point. This is why the Lord instated Home Teachers. I, because of my life circumstances, should know that better than anyone else. I called up my Home Teacher and they said they’d come to my house in the next few minutes. I was still upset at my friend, and upset that God would allow me to get sick.
As I laid on the couch curled up in my blanket waiting for them to come, I realized why I had gotten sick. I was ungrateful. I thought of the above story, and started in on my list of things I’m grateful for. I’m grateful that I have a phone full of loyal worthy men I can call at any time night or day and they are more than happy to help me. I’m glad I don’t have a lot of roommates so that they’re not mad when I move into the living room for a few days when I’m not feeling well. I’m glad that I have friends who text to check up on me when they know I haven’t been feeling well. I’m glad I have the gospel in my life and a loving Heavenly Father who sees my angry ungrateful childlike tantrums, and is patient enough with me to turn them into teaching moments.Sometimes we need to be humble enough to ask.
Mostly, I just wanted everyone to know how grateful I am. That God is good, and he hears even the most insignificant and significant wants of our hearts.