It is interesting how we can look back at certain dates in time and gage our lives accordingly.
9/11 2002 was the first time I really remember doing this. It was the first anniversary of "9/11"…A day that the our lives were forever changed. A moment in time when we lost a sense of our security. The nation changed… the world changed. We were stripped of peace as we knew it as we all watched the planes that morning, glued to the televisions and radios recounting over and over what had happened. I remember feeling frustrated that I couldn't help what was happening, it was in that moment I realized that what I could control was what was happening in my home. I had a profound moment, a deep look into myself and my family that I CAN change what is happening. It was an evaluation of my life, my spirituality and my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
That day I took a deep long look of who I was and what I wanted to be. I made a promise to myself that I would strive for greater things, things of eternal importance. I made spiritual (reachable) goals. Nothing grand just to start trying harder. 9/11 2002, exactly 1 year later, I looked back at my life. I continued to feel like the world was in shambles but had more peace than I had ever before. Me and Doug and our sweet little Sam lived in Utah. At the time I was experiencing medical issues and was working closely with the U of U hospital. Physically I felt like a mess:) but spiritually I gaged where I was just the year before and realized I was changing. Every year on 9/11 I again evaluate my life and recommit to a more spiritual life.
9/11 2010~ We had received the news of Doug's cancer a few days earlier. Words that no one ever expects. It felt like a punch in the gut. The diagnosis at first was gloom and discouraging. Although Doug seemed pretty fine with it I wasn't:) We had an incredible marriage, 4 beautiful children and an AWESOME life! I didn't want anything to happen to him, to US! It didn't take me very long to realize that I would only feel peace if I trusted in the Lord. Neal A. Maxwell said, "Faith also includes trust in God's timing." I tried so hard to apply this teaching to my life during that time and let Thy will be done. I prayed…I prayed hard for understanding.
Doug was scheduled for surgery on a later date. On 9/11 2010 he ended up being rushed to the hospital where he underwent an emergency right hemi-colectomy.
I sat in the waiting room with so many unknown questions and answers. I glanced up at the television and realized, it was 9/11. I had forgotten. "A day to never be forgotten." I was so caught up in the happenings of my own life I had forgotten. I quickly remembered the promise I had made 9 years earlier to strive for greater things, things of eternal importance! I, again, took a look at my life, my family, and my spirituality. As Doug was having surgery and my life was unknown…with a fervent heart I prayed …"and I did find peace in my soul." Alma 38:8. Doug and I were sealed for time and eternity. Nothing was going to break that bond. Our children were ours FOREVER! Surgery went well though we still didn't have the final news of the stage of his cancer.
People visited, like 100's of people. 1 person in particular, who I adore, came to our room expecting to find us sad and in a state of disarray. He was a young college boy, living a fun life, thinking he had it all. We had an amazing talk that evening about eternal life and the peace that we had knowing that no matter the outcome we will have each other and our family forever. This was eye-opening for him. Here he was thinking he had it all with all his friends and 'stuff.' It forced him to take a deeper look into his life. From that moment on he made a change~a change for better! A CHANGE FOREVER! He is literally, right now, changing the world in Africa.
Wherever we are, whatever we are doing…Change for the better. There is always a place to start. It is like the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today. Our Heavenly Father wants us to Come Unto Him!
While we were going through all this we knew that cancer is a physical journey but we also knew that we were going to be given an opportunity to be on a spiritual journey as well! We have understood this well through the trials we have gone through. It is a time to strengthen our testimonies, pray harder, and to realize that…"in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things." Alma 20:4 We can make it! Even in those dark hours and when our soul is racked is sadness or torment, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can do all things!
So today on 9/11 2014 I, again, take another look at my life. What have I been working on? Where have I fallen short? And am I trying harder than I did last year? How can I be better? (maybe I won't answer all these questions to you:))
We never know when our earthly test is over. I am reminded of that through so many things our family has experienced. In the mean time I will continue to try to keep an eternal perspective, and realize these experience are for us to grow.
Have a great day everyone!
LiveSTRONG in your spiritual lives!