Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Shouted for Joy

5:45 am. Reid came out of his room needing to go potty. Barely conscious, he immediately asked me if we could go to Grandma Bassett's house. Instead of trying to explain (for the hundredth time) how difficult it is to just go get on a plane and go (because I know he'll just tell me to buy tickets already), I quickly told him it is Grandma's turn to come visit him. This did not appease the poor boy.

"No! I want to go to Grandma's house"

"Why buddy? Think of how much fun you'll have when she comes here."

"But I want to see her kitty. And go to the splash pad. And go to her pool."

"Yeah, we did have fun when we went to Grandma's house, didn't we?"

"Why does she have to live so far away? Why can't Grandma live in Oshkosh?"

"It'd be fun if our Grandmas and Grandpas lived in Oshkosh, huh?"

"Let's tell them mommy. Let's tell the construction guys to go get Grandma Bassett's house and tear it down. They can put it in their truck and bring it to Oshkosh. Tell them, mommy."

By this time his potty routine was just about over and the only thing I could do to console him was to crawl in to his tiny twin bed with him. We snuggled the morning away.

11:25 am. Our Sunday School lesson was amazing today. Most Christians have heard the story of Job a dozen times, but I was still spiritually fed this morning as I sat through our Sunday School class. Many members shared trials they'd experienced, and together we all agreed that we need to be valiant in keeping our baptismal covenants. We all re-committed to helping mourn with those that mourn. One class member (the teacher's husband) asked us to think about how different the story of Job had been if he had just one friend who was willing to mourn with him. Obviously, he joked, the story wouldn't have been as good but Job's suffering could have been made light through the kindness of just one friend.

Though much of the lesson left me with a deep desire to improve myself, to better align my will with God's, and to comfort those in need of comfort, it was the closing comment that really stuck with me. One of the missionaries pointed us all to Job chapter 38 verse 7. He reminded us that through Job's suffering, Job strode to draw closer to God and to understand His doctrine better. In chapter 38 we learn some fabulous early lessons about our Premortal Life. God asked Job to remember where he was when God laid the foundations of the Earth. Assuming (as a reader, that) Job knew the answer to that question, God then reminded him (in verse 7) that "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."

We were all in that Council in Heaven. As God's spirit children we were all made aware of how difficult this mortal life would be. We knew God would give us all we received, and we knew that God could take it all away. And yet, we shouted for joy. Job shouted for joy, that he might have the opportunity to come to Earth, receive a body, learn of God, choose to follow Him and return in glory. Job shouted for joy, that he might experience sorrow, feel afflictions, learn of God, choose to follow Him and return in glory.

I distinctly remember a sacred moment I had as a missionary when I knew that one young mother had, like Job, shouted for joy. The poverty some of the Saints in East Malaysia lived in was beyond my understanding. I could not have even imagined it had I not spent months serving these wonderful women. One such mother, Sister Suin, truly touched my heart during my seven month stay in Kuching. And I'll never forget the glimpse of knowledge God gave me in regards to Sister Suin and our knowledge in the pre-Earth life. I just knew that Suin was made well aware of her deprived circumstances and that she eagerly agreed to them. I just knew that she accepted the possibility of poverty and abuse, heartache and despair, long before she experience any of it. I knew she'd promised God she was tough enough to handle her lot in life. Most importantly, I knew she promised Him she was tough enough to protect her five children and many more that lived in her drug infested neighborhood.

I'm not really sure why some of us are given more hardship than others, and that is an idea I struggled greatly with as a missionary, but I do know we all shouted for joy when we realized how glorious the opportunity to come to Earth would be.

I love the Plan of Salvation.

4:55 pm. My sweet little Nell, refusing to leave Ben and I alone in the kitchen, pulled on her dress up apron and knocked my computer off the top of her play kitchen. When I went to assess the damage (on my computer, because my child was obviously fine) my eye went straight to the crack on the backside. This was, of course, after I'd already let out a huge scream. I was beyond frustrated. I'd spent a good ten minutes trying to get her to leave us alone for some dinner prep time. Reid was quietly watching some TV, but Nell refused to join him or to play with any of her favorite toys in a separate room. No, she wanted to be right beside me. Finally, finally, she at least stood next to me and made her own dinner, in her own little kitchen. I thought I'd finally found some peace. Then crash!

I seriously was furious. Ben came running inside (he was on our deck grilling up some caprese chicken masterpieces) and I immediately told him my computer was broken. Nell was too difficult to ever cook dinner with. And we'd just be having plain old spaghetti for the rest of our lives. I was done making nice meals that took time and effort. My computer was never going to work again. (Later, when I'd cooled down -- so like hours later -- he laughed about how much I am just like my dad!)

Ben took care of Nell, fixed my computer, and reassured me my efforts in the kitchen were appreciated (he would not do well on a diet of spaghetti). I was still mad, but this time I wasn't mad about Nell or the computer. I was so disappointed that I couldn't be like Job! For crying out loud, it hadn't even been six hours since our lesson and here I was yelping over a cosmetically scratched computer. That doesn't even deserve the tag first world problems. That's simply a spoiled mom fit. I felt terrible.

Sometimes it is tough being human, but I would like to think God could take away everything he has given me and I'd still continue with faith, hope and charity.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

Loved the post sis!!! Very good, very thought provoking, and very true. Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Which kitty would Reid like me to sneak on the plane for him? Or better yet how bout Reid and I make a trip to the local animal shelter when we come. It can be his Christmas gift! What do you say Ben!?

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