Sunday, July 31, 2011

Small Miracles

(Beware, this post may be TMI for the average reader.  If you're feeling the slightest bit unsure about what you really want to know about me, you may want to back out now.  I won't know.  And I won't hold it against you later even if I find out.  I promise.)

I have never been great in the self control area.  Until recently, controlling my thoughts and actions and, at times, my words hasn't been a huge success.  And I have even less control over my physical weaknesses.  

Last May, when I was on the verge of the worst cold of my life, I went to the Temple.  (And I'd like to apologize right now to everyone who was contaminated with those germs that day because of that visit.  I really had no idea.)  I had already made the commitment to go with two friends, and I have made it a point in the last few months to be where I've said I'm going to be.  I hadn't slept much the night before and there was excessive sneezing that morning along with a miserable headache.  But having very little experience with this sort of thing, I just assumed it was really, really bad allergies.  Another little note: around November, as part of my quest for a clearer head, I made a decision to eliminate all OTC drugs from my life...ALL of them!  So, armed with just a box of Kleenex, I got into my car, picked up my two friends, and drove us all to the Temple.  20 minutes later, when we arrived, I had gone through that entire box of tissues and was completely and totally miserable.  So, while I stood in the dressing room, stuffing a million more tissues into the pockets of my dress, I said a sincere, heartfelt prayer asking Heavenly Father to please let me get through the next 2 hours without sneezing on everyone or being a distraction.  Guess cold symptoms subsided from exactly 10:00a - 12:00p.  The women I drove down with really wanted to sneak in lunch after we were finished and I was feeling so much better that I agreed.  My small window of clarity only lasted to the end of the parking lot.  I endured lunch (barely), dropped everyone off, drove home, and got into bed for the rest of the day.

Last week, I had a similar experience.  On Wednesday morning, I felt a STRONG impression to go to the Temple.  It was that relentless tugging that happens occasionally for me and I couldn't quiet it.  So instead of getting ready for the day I had planned, I got ready to go to the Temple.  Unfortunately, by the time I agreed to the change of plans, I had already been on my morning walk, which means I had already had about 60 oz of water to drink.  Bladder control is another one of those areas where I don't have a lot of success.  (I warned you that this might be too much for you weaker readers.)  I left for the Temple at 10:15am and by the time I got there at 10:35am, I was approaching an emergency state.  It's a good thing there wasn't a long line of people waiting at the front desk.  I tried to prepare by going to the bathroom a couple of times before I committed to the 2 hour session, but I was definitely worried about the length of time I would be in there.  So, once again, I sat in the dressing room and said a prayer to be able to get through the next 2 hours.  And once again, I made it through the entire session without the distraction of having to go to the bathroom.  I even had time to linger in the Celestial Room, which, I found out, was the whole reason I needed to go to the Temple in the first place.  

And then last weekend, there was a third little miracle.  I'm typically pretty active during the day.  I think that's because whenever I stop moving, I fall asleep.  I can't sit in the passenger seat of a car for even 15 minutes without taking a nap.  I fall asleep watching TV, reading books, pretty much whenever I'm not in motion.  So, I was a little nervous about the upcoming Book of Mormon Read a Thon where we would be SITTING quietly and LISTENING to the scriptures on CD for 12 hours straight!...2 DAYS in a ROW!  So, once again, because I knew that this was a worthwhile thing that I wanted to do, and because I had felt those impressions calling me to be there, I prayed for help.  I asked to be alert and awake for the entire 24 hours that we would be reading, and to get as much out of the experience as I possibly could.  And it worked again.  I sat in a comfy leather recliner with a blanket.  I laid in the middle of the floor with a pillow.  I did all the things that would normally invite sleep, but I didn't fall asleep.  And not only did I not fall asleep;  I didn't even FEEL sleepy.  I read every word of that book happily and with excitement and interest.  I underlined stuff.  I wrote notes in the margins.  I wrote notes in my journal.  I was engaged, intrigued and inspired.  I had a conversation about relevant things during the breaks.  (And not a single caffeinated beverage was involved!)

I know those are really silly examples of small miracles, but they have huge personal significance for me.  They testify to me that Heavenly Father hears me, that when He asks me to do something, and I'm willing to do it, He will clear the way of obstacles.  It also testifies that Heavenly Father is a God of miracles both large and small.  He has been before and He is currently.  And if those little miracles are possible; if He hears and answers even my most insignificant requests; how much more capable is He to work the mighty miracles, too?  There are upcoming events for me, for my husband, for my kids, which will require the moving of mountains.  But these three little experiences remind me that if He's the one who wants those things to happen for us, then surely He can move the mountains for us.  And probably those things that look like mountains to me are insignificant little specks of dust to Him. 

I'm grateful that I finally know how important it is to ask Him for help.  I'm grateful that He hears me when I ask.  And I'm grateful that with His help, absolutely anything is possible. 

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