Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tender Mercies

This week has been a time for me to focus on the Savior and all He has done for me.  I have felt His presence greatly in my life and have been blessed beyond anything that I have deserved.  Prayers have been answered, fears have been calmed, worries have been erased and confidence has come.  This last week I have been touched by two very big blessings.  I know that not all stories have happy endings, no matter how much faith is involved.  Sometimes hard things happen for a reason and even if we have all the faith in the world, we cannot stop them from happening.  Those experiences teach us things that we might could never learn any other way.  This week I was blessed with happy endings.  I want to share these with you.

The first one happened on Wednesday.  I was subbing at the elementary school.  Over my lunch break I texted Michael to see how his day was.  He texted back and said it was not very good.  He had gotten run over by cows and was pretty sore.  To be honest, I didn't think a whole lot of it except for "Ouch! That must have hurt!"  After all, Michael has been run over by a lot of things over the last almost 13 years - draft horses, quarter horses, races horses, he even got hit and thrown about 20 feet by a 150lb steel ball!  A few cows just added to his list of stories.  However, that evening when I got home he called and told me more about it.  First of all, he was on cement, I thought he was in the squishy pens.  There were about thirty 900lb cows running at him, only about 10 of them ran over him.  He got stepped on and pulled to the ground.  Both legs got stepped on, one of which is very bruised and sore.  He got kicked in the cheek as one cow went over the top of him.  The back of his head got kicked and his left shoulder got stepped on several times resulting in swelling around his shoulder blade and his chest.  As he talked, the realization of what could have happened set in.  He was very lucky to have escaped so easily that day (easily being used very loosely here).  His glasses were bent up, his hat knocked off his head. It really was not a good situation.  That morning, as with all mornings, we had our family prayer.  Zane had said the prayer and asked for Michael to be safe at work.  The Lord heard his prayer and it was answered in a very real way.  The rest of the week I have had these emotions riding around in my heart about what could have happened and how thankful I was that it didn't.  It has been very powerful to me.

The second happened Friday.  My mom called me Friday night to tell me that one of my neices was being life flighted to the Boise hospital in Idaho.  She is 5, just a few months younger than Olivia.  Her dad, grandparents, aunt and uncle had taken her and her sisters and four cousins swimming that afternoon.  At one point, Savannah was found face down in the water.  Her dad grabbed her and her uncle started performing CPR.  She was dead when they found her.  While her uncle was performing the CPR her father gave her a priesthood blessing.  (In our church worthy, righteous men are given the priesthood which the authority to act in God's name.  It is used to lead the church and bless it's members on many different levels.) They loaded her on the ambulance and took her to the helicopter.  After blood work was done they determined that she had been under the water for about 5 minutes.  After two days in the hospital she was able to come home.  She is still weak but she is ok.  Another tender mercy of the Lord.  He heard my brother-in-law's blessing.  He heard my sister's prayers.  He heard the prayers of the rest of the family.  He answered those prayers and my little neice was saved.

Today as I sat in church and listened to the testimonies and the hymns my heart was full.  I looked at my six children, all healthy and well. I looked at my husband and though he still limps when he walks and groans when he moves his left side, he is here and with me.  I looked at the picture of my little neice smiling as she wore her caped and walked the halls of the hospital - what a beautiful little girl.

We talk about the Atonement of Christ.  We talk about how it gives us the opportunity to repent and be forgiven.  It allows us to return to our Heavenly Father and live with Him and our families forever.  It is more than that though.  Because of the Atonement, Christ has felt our sorrows and pain.  He knows our joys and triumphs.  He can be with us as we wade through trials and afflictions and give us comfort while we wait for the skies to clear.  He can then envelope us in peace and joy as we celebrate the breaking of the sun through the clouds.  He lifts us up when we need it, He gives us strength when we are weak, He listens when no one else is around and He loves when no one else does.  Because of the Atonement, we are never alone.  There is always some one who knows what we are going through, always some one who has felt the same pain.  He has felt OUR pain and He knows how to comfort and strengthen us perfectly.

I know Christ lives.  I know that through Him we will live again.  One the third day He rose and we will too.  Our spirits and our bodies will be reunited in perfect form.  I will see my oldest sister in a healthy body.  I will see my dad without his handicap.  I will see my grandma with a healthy mind. Through His Atonement we can become perfected and live with Him and our Father in Heaven again.  What a wonderful blessing.  What an amazing gift.  What a beautiful reason to celebrate.

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