I was asked tonight to share a piece of my testimony at Enrichment -to pick a hymn and share how it has strengthened my testimony of the Savior.
When I was asked, a hymn immediately came to mind. I just finished sharing, and I'm feeling... well... silly. Other women shared their experiences through tears and I cried with them because they talked about serious health issues and serious health issues with babies who didn't get to stay on earth.
And Alicia's share just seemed so shallow, so surface... whatever anything else is, it ought to be real. But I couldn't be real tonight. I couldn't get up and share my experience as it REALLY was because it would have read exactly like what I'm about to write.
I want to be real.
I want to share what the story really reads like.
And this is my real place, so here it goes.
When I was pregnant with my now one-year old, I needed to go the Temple. The heaviness of my husband's addiction was weighing on me. I felt hopeless and scared. I had questions that needed answered and fears that needed squashed. I wanted to feel safe, held, and loved.
Going to the Temple when I'm pregnant isn't easy because I need to pee every 15 minutes.
Going to the Temple when I'm pregnant without my husband isn't easy.
Going to the Temple alone period isn't easy.
Paying for sitters for the other two...
But I made a way, found a way, FORGED a way. I found one sitter for one child, another for another (putting them both together with one sitter would have been downright mean at that point, trust me.)
I got myself ready, loaded us all up (no small feat), AND?
The car wouldn't start.
So I loaded us into the truck which is small, rattley and kind of scary (only one seat belt works).
I dropped one child off, and rain started to fall. I dropped the other child off and the sitter forgot and was not home. I took the other child back to the other child and begged the sitter with all the emotion of a pregnant woman whose freshly curled hair was now frizzled and damp.
The A/C didn't work in the car. (I live in Arizona, just wanted to toss that reminder out there to the masses.)
And then, for whatever reason, the wipers quit.
By then I was running late. But it was Tuesday afternoon, so the Temple would be fairly slow. I went as fast as I could stand (seriously, that truck is terrifying). And because the radio is broken (of course it is), I sped in silence.
At least, the AIR around me was silent. My thoughts ran a mile a minute, panicked and rushed and crazy. As they spun through my head, I began humming without realizing it. When I caught myself humming, I paid close attention to the song coming through my lips.
"Fill our hearts with sweet forgiving. Teach us tolerance and love..."
Tears brimmed to my eyes. A direct message. A direct message TO ME from my Heavenly Father who knew my hurts, my struggles and my need for tolerance and love.
"Let our prayers find access to Thee, in Thy holy courts above."
Because I felt so distance, THAT WAS my prayer. Hear me, O God. Won't you?
Instead of focusing on my thoughts, I focused on my humming and my humming turned to singing, and 45 minutes later, I turned into the Temple.
Which was PACKED. Because a Tuesday afternoon is the perfect time for a gigantic family reunion, right? And I'm not kidding -that family was GIGANTIC. (Mormons, obviously.)
I barely made it, but made it I did. And I prayed my bladder and I through that session. As I walked into the light of the Celestial Room, there were people. everywhere.
Happy people... LOUD people.
I have nothing against this family, but I swear... unChristlike thoughts were welling up in my pregnant body like... like... well, negative emotions in a pregnant body. And so I bowed my head and played the song in my mind, slowly, peacefully... and amidst the noise and family conversation going on, I connected to God. I found access to Him in His holy courts above.
That song was a message sent directly to me from my loving Heavenly Father who knows me well -intimately, even. Who loves me AS IS without any plaudits or plaques or trophies.
He is interested in my life, the details of it.
He has messages for me.
Tonight, I shared one of my Valentines with a group of women and felt superficial about it. But I didn't feel good about sharing it ALL. Maybe the share was more for ME than anything... maybe I needed a reminder.
Either way, I wanted to share it all with SOMEone, and I'm glad of you. Have I ever told you that? I show my real valentines to you. And that really means so much more than you can ever know.