Monday, May 9, 2016

What Lies Ahead

A little background: This is Hermana Nery. She is one of the most faithful women in Paraguay. I just really love her. She fed us missionaries lunch every Sunday after church. I don't know how she always had it ready within minutes of getting home from church, especially since she worked in the temple all day Saturday. Anyway, her son and his wife and their 1-year old baby boy lived with her.

I read this entry in my mission journal today (100% un-edited, except for translating the Spanish parts):

April 17, 2013

"Today during companionship study, Hermana Nery called. I answered and said, "Hi, how are you?" and she answered, "Bad." Her grandson who lives with them who is one year old died in the night, without warning. His heart just stopped. I am heart broken. I know this little boy. I saw him happy and healthy last week. And in that healthy condition he went to bed last night and never woke up. His parents are members but inactive. But Hermana Nery has a testimony like a rock."

"But the whole ordeal made me think a lot. Every heart beat truly is a gift from God. Every breath. Every day. He can take us without explanation and without warning any second. We truly have to always be ready to go, don't we?"

"Just this morning, before all of this, my companion and I were talking on our run about how, thanks to the gospel, we're not afraid to die. And I am really not. But I am a little nervous about living, and all the pain I will have to endure. Who knows if I will lose a baby, or two? Or a grown child? Or a husband? Who can ever anticipate the trials that await? The decisions that have to be made, the hard times endured? But truly the gospel is the ultimate consolation--that no matter what, God is over all and will help me. I will never, no never, no never forsake.

But to visit Hermana Nery's house today, full of sad people and seeing the mom sobbing over her son's body non-stop, in so much pain and confusion....oh man. It makes me realize how much suffering is in the world, and how much Christ has suffered. It is incomprehensible, really. How badly I want to reduce the suffering suffered."

Reading this journal entry was crazy for me. I hadn't thought about this experience in a long time. I see it all now through completely different eyes. Little did I know, that in 3 years exactly from the day I wrote that, I would have just lost two babies, just like I jotted down as an example of an hypothetical excruciating trial?

No one really knows what lies ahead. Not to be a Negative Nancy, but your worst nightmare just might come true. It just might. And the beautiful thing is, that it's all accounted for in part of the plan. It will be downright miserable for a long time, and you'll feel you simply can't go on, but then it will all be ok. This part of life was never meant to be easy, it was meant to have opposition (why is that so hard to remember??). But this life isn't the end, thank goodness!

 As Joseph B. Wirthlin said, "While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." To those of you in the valleys of hard times, I say, let's be patient together for that happy day that lies ahead, when all that is unfair will be made right, through the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

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