Since my mom passed away last February, I have really been dreading this upcoming holiday season, and with the official kickoff of the holidays this week (the festivities start with Halloween around these parts), and my birthday yesterday, I have been feeling her absence something fierce these last few weeks. I knew that this holiday season was going to be a particularly difficult one for me - it being the first of many without her, but as my birthday approached, I started to feel myself dipping into a depressed emotional state - one that I know has been affecting my ability to be a good wife and mom.
I am not going to lie . . . I’ve been having a little pity party lately, entertaining thoughts that since my mom is longer here, there is no one left that understands me like she does, no one who loves me like she does, or takes a genuine, sincere interest in my happiness like she does. I don't doubt that pregnancy hormones had a role to play in all of this emotional chaos, but I also know these negative thoughts have been contributing to my unhappiness lately.
My sister-in-law, The Purple Lady, recently extended an invitation for me to join in on her traditional 30-days-of-gratitude challenge, and I knew it was a message from the Lord that I needed to focus on the things in my life that I am thankful for, and that doing so would bring me joy this holiday season. So, here it goes . . .
Today is day one of the challenge - and today, I am thankful for tender mercies. Just tonight, I attended my daughter’s Young Women in Excellence program at church, and I was reminded by a special guest speaker that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father who knows ME, who understands my struggles, and wants me to be happy.
During the speaker’s talk, we read 1 Corintians 10:13, which says:
“There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
I think in this scripture, it’s safe to say that we can also replace the word, “temptation” with “trial” or “suffering,” and it still holds true, and reflecting on this scripture tonight reminded me that this IS true in my own life.
I know the Lord allows us to endure certain trials because they are meant to strengthen us. I can’t tell you how much my testimony of the Savior’s Atonement has grown since my mother passed away - because I have seen first hand how the Atonement applies in my life - and I know that I HAD to experience this trial for that growth to be achieved. Despite that knowledge, however, the trial has not always been easy to bear, and I am grateful for the simple reminder I received tonight that the Lord is on my side, and that with his comfort to fortify me, I can and will get through this too.
When I got home from the program tonight, I hopped on Facebook and soon found myself reading an old post that I wrote a few months back, where I spoke about a tender mercy I had received regarding a playlist I had put together after my mom’s passing - how listening to it that day brought such a tremendous feeling of comfort and peace, and how I was also reminded then of God’s love for me.
It was almost as if by reading this post, the Lord just wanted to remind me (once again) that He has always been right there beside me . . . to guide and comfort me in my sorrow, and to strengthen me when I think I can’t possibly bear the weight of it all on my own.
I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who does hear and answer my prayers. I am grateful for my knowledge that because of His perfect Plan of Happiness, I WILL be together with my mom again, and I am grateful for the tender mercies I receive daily to remind me of His love for ME.
|Photo Credit: The Purple Lady|