Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Be of good cheer

(hawaii 2008)

This past week I gave a talk at church. It was based on the talk given by President Thomas S. Monson entitled, "Be of good cheer." It's a wonderful read.

However, it was difficult for me to prepare to speak on this topic given because I am normally such a pessimist. Truly. I am. My cup is usually always half empty. The idea that my subject would be about being happy throughout our trials was a bit of a laugh for me! But it was what I needed to hear and learn. I just happened to be the one teaching the principle too!

My preparation before speaking brought to memory something I had forgotten, but definitely something I needed to remember...

One month after we were married I found myself in the need of a very routine outpatient surgery to remove my gull bladder. However, the surgeon made a mistake and I was in need of an emergency surgery, where another mistake was made that rushed me to the ICU. I remember waking up, with a mask on my face forcing air into my lungs that had collapsed. My brand new husband was allowed in the room for only a moment and I could see the pain and fear in his eyes. For some reason that did not frighten me, and instead I remember saying to him, with as much conviction as my weak body could muster, that I would be okay.

I don’t remember much about that clouded experience, but I do remember waking up and knowing that if I chose to live this life here on earth, it would be very difficult. I also remember feeling sad because this world didn't feel as nice as where I had been. But I wanted to be here. I wanted to get well. I wanted to start a family and experience this life with all its sorrows and all its joys. And so I fought.

Since then, our life in our 9 ½ years of marriage has been very difficult. We have had more hardships in the last 10 years than many receive in a lifetime.

We experienced the NICU not once, but twice, as each of our children were slow to breath after birth. And yet, they stand now, breathing and talking quite exuberantly.

My husband has been given the hardship of not one, but two diseases that will remain with him his entire life or until a cure is found (gitelman's disease and multiple sclerosis). And yet you look at him, and you wouldn’t guess he has such adversity because he fights each day with humor and optimism.

Each trial came one on top of the other. Our hospital stays sometimes felt never-ending. Sometimes I questioned why? What is the purpose? Can we make it through this? But we always did because we fought. I highly doubt that this life is going to get easier, but every day we become stronger because of it.

I have realized that we should not look upon our afflictions as a punishment from God. Our own actions may cause some of our problems, but our journey through life teaches us that nothing worthwhile comes easy.

And frankly, it hasn't been easy for me. It has been filled with immense sorrow, but likewise, it has been filled with joy.

My children are beautiful.
My husband loves me and likes me.
My world is creative and funny and a bit dramatic.
My earth right now smells of rain and early sunsets that bring hot chocolate to my table.
My Father in Heaven knows my heart because I am His.
My cup is full and I am thankful.

This life is worth waking up for, don't you think?


Mommy #1 said...

Absolutely! Thanks for the reminder. I've heard similar experiences, that feeling that things were going to be really hard but really worth it. And why do I complain about foot surgery and slow weight loss? Hahahahahahaha! Cuz I forget to be THANKFUL!

P.S. - Know what else makes waking up really nice? GOING TO BED THE NIGHT BEFORE -- holy cow, woman, get some sleep already! ;-D (says I at 5:48 a.m. after being awake almost two hours now)! :)

aimee heff said...

Great reminder to be joyful.

I wish I was there for your talk. From this post it sounds like it was wonderful.

Carmella 'n Sydney said...

I'm glad you did have to give the talk. It is always better to look at the positive than the negative. Keep up the positive thoughts! Love Ya! Wicked Witch of the West, LOL (I remember)..... Ella-Bella :D)

Pasion Family said...

Wow Carrie,
I would of never known.. It makes me think even more highly of you.. how you have overcomes so many trials in your life.

gkgirl said...

you say it so well.

now i am going to check
out your link...


Kristie and Ryan said...

I know where to go if I am in need of a little crying. :) Thanks for that, my friend. You have a beautiful life Carrie. I love you!

Nina said...

Wow Carrie! Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. I have too felt that this world isn't as nice as where we were before and where we will be in the future. But we are here to learn, grow, and prove our willingness to do His will. You guys are an inspiration for us. Keep fighting, because it is worth it!

Love, Nina

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