Friday, April 8, 2016

Tender Mercies...and Windows

Yesterday was one of those frustrating days.  I have no idea how all that doubt manages to creep into the giant spiritual fortress that I've worked so hard to build, but somehow it does.  Always faster than I expect it to.  And no amount of prayer or anxiously engaging in good activities makes it go away.  It drives me, and I'm sure Heavenly Father, completely crazy!  Everything feels overwhelming.  I can't even figure out which thing to start with on my never ending list.  And the people I want and need to talk to seem way, way too far away.  And that is the very worst...that desperate feeling of not being able to get to the people who calm and reassure me.  

Like when all the windows are closed and you feel like you're suffocating...

My sweet friend's dad passed away unexpectedly on Sunday morning so there was a funeral to attend yesterday.  I had to do some serious praying to even get it together to put on a dress and drag myself to the building for that because as much as I wanted to be there to support Stacey, and as much as I knew for sure that the Spirit would be there, a funeral was the very last place I wanted to be.

That same General Authority who spoke in Stake Conference a few weeks ago also spoke at Stacey's dad's funeral.  I don't think he knew the family, and I still haven't figured out what the connection was, or why he was there, but I'm glad he was because he talked about tender mercies, and quoted this from Elder Bednar:
"The Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from, and because of, and through the Lord Jesus Christ.   When words cannot provide the solace we need, or express the joy we feel; when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable; when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding; and when it seems that we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance." - David A Bednar
I decided a funeral is kind of a good place to cry without anyone asking you a bunch of questions.  So I sat in the back and thought of all the people I would really like to talk to, but who are totally unavailable, and listened to that talk about tender mercies, and thought about Stacey's dad, and just cried for awhile.  

I tried the rest of the day to look for tender mercies, but I couldn't really find them.  By 6:00 last night, after driving kids all afternoon, and not hearing from Craig because he was first working and then golfing, and having extra loud teenagers at my house with special dinner requests that they wanted delivered to their hammocks in the backyard (seriously??, no I did not do that,) and forgetting a million things I was supposed to do, and getting 29 texts from Emma at her DMCO rehearsal complaining about everything under the sun, and having only my own super LONG, super intense DMCO rehearsal to look forward to (that I was in no way prepared for,) I decided to give up looking for tender mercies and just go back to crying.  

( much for my "cheerfully and with patience" plan...)

Around 7:00 the clouds parted a little.  Craig called.  I made it to DMCO on time.  The rehearsal was LONG and intense, but it flew by so quickly and it was so amazing.  I have no idea why.  Maybe because only three out of 150 of us have our music memorized, and so we were all a little relieved?  Maybe because you can't sing that music for three hours and not leave there feeling better??  Whatever the reason, rehearsal was completely invigorating and uplifting and even with a grumpy Emma complaining all the way home, I still felt better than I had when I left the house.  

And then there was finally an answer to a thing we've been waiting forever for an answer to...more on that later hopefully.  And then right before we went to bed, Megan and I found this super short, hilarious little video in that iCloud album Savannah occasionally drops stuff into from her iPad in Austria.  (It's so short and so dumb and so Savannah that you just can't help but laugh.  I've watched it like 10,000 times.  Make sure your volume is turned up.)

It turns out, there were tiny little tender mercies yesterday, and most of them, the best ones, came at the very, very end of the day...long after I had given up hope of hearing from Heavenly Father or anyone else.  Tiny little things that I might have missed otherwise, especially after a long Thursday night when I wanted to just fall into bed and sleep for 12 hours...instead, along with all those tender mercies I also got 5 of the most restful, delightfully happy hours of sleep I think I've had in months.  

And all those tiny little things together equal a Friday that looks a whole lot better than Thursday felt.  All of a sudden, all that overwhelming stuff yesterday seems manageable today.  The DMCO music will come always does.  The house stuff will all work out.  My GD lesson will be fine...hopefully.  CSM deadlines will be met.  Choir practice will be fine, or at least they probably won't mind if it's not.  I'm sure I'll get the list of hymns eventually...and really, would I have practiced the organ this week anyway?  

It will all work out.  

There are only tiny openings in some of my most cherished windows lately, and I definitely don't have enough time with the people I most want and need in my life right now, but I have complete faith that eventually, in some future season, all those windows will once again be flung wide open.  For now, though, I'll happily receive the tender mercies that come through the tiny openings in those windows with joy and gratitude.

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