Wednesday, January 31, 2018


I found this picture online just before Christmas and I fell in love right away.  This miracle is obviously a very significant one for our family.  So I framed it and packaged it up for Dayton for Christmas.  We hung it up a week ago and every time I pass it, it just fits.  During the time we were figuring out Capri's stuff I worked on cultivating my testimony of Christ.  I think I remember reading somewhere, maybe from Elder Holland, or maybe I just made it up haha I don't know. But something to the effect of "if you don't know where to start reading in the scriptures or you're kind of stuck, study the life of Christ.  So that's what I did during 2016.  I studied his miracles, his parables, and the things he endured in life.  It was such a good foundation to start from when I felt pretty desperate.

There's an actual quote from Elder Holland haha that says "Brothers and sisters, we say we want to be disciples of Christ.  Well what does that mean? I want to be a disciple, but I don't want to walk where he walked, I don't want to say what he said, I don't want to feel the way he felt, and I sure don't want to shed the tears he shed."  That rang so true for me when I first heard and I honestly felt really guilty.  Think of what Christ went through in his life.  He was abused, bullied, betrayed, and beaten.  Things happened to him out of his control.  He was at the mercy of someone else's agency---almost always.  And his response was always "Father, if it be thy will".  I spent alot of time fighting all of this hard stuff.  I wanted to walk with Christ, even be like Christ but I didn't want to accept this trial.  So as I studied His life I usually found myself simultaneously studying the Plan of Salvation. Why are we here? Why do I have to experience pain.  I kind of have had this thought in the back of my head that if I do everything right nothing bad will happen.  Kind of a defense mechanism to suffering.  I know that sounds like such an immature thought, but I really have felt that.  And what that year of focused studying taught me was hard stuff is going to happen and I need to allow it.

I am always re learning that opposition isn't always punishment.  That's been confusing for me a lot of my life.  Sometimes trials are a natural result of our sins, an effect of someone else's agency, or simply something out of our control. BUT no matter how they come, they are always an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with God.  Over the span of a year I would get little bits of revelation along the way.  I have always known God is with me in my trials.  It has never been my experience to feel abandoned.  But I knew I did not understand why Christ had to come and die for us, and how this fit into the purpose of life as well as I should of.  I needed to get my own personal testimony of that and little Capri and even Winnie were going to teach me that.

When things come up, related to Capri or not, I just try to take deep breaths, say a quick prayer, jot down some things I'm grateful for, and remind myself that this is part of life.  The push and pull. The good and bad is necesssary.  I plead for help to be ok with all of it.  Along with becoming like Christ/ being His disciple, we also believe, as members of the church, that we are working towards being Gods one day.   I see life now like Godliness training.  Again, I thought about what God experienced.  He sent his perfect son to be sacrificed for his children.  And now he gets to watch his other children struggle and make mistakes alllll day long.  It's excruciating to think about.  We will experience a variety of suffering and part of our job on earth is to invite Christ into our life through all of those times.  

Capri's therapy has taught me some really important truths.  When her therapist comes over every week we usually work on structured play.  We assess what she needs work on and then find activites to help her!  Blind kids tend to use just their thumb to press on buttons so we regularly practice "using pointer".  We had to get her comfortable using her pointer finger and then practice over and over pressing buttons with it so she could strengthen her muscles.  She had this one toy she couldn't push easily with her index finger so we would work with that toy.  Most times she would go 90% of the way, but she couldn't quite get the last 10.  It was so frustrating for her and its painful for me because she's SO close to getting it.  There were times, in the beginning, I would push her finger to show how little she had to go to hear the music on the toy.  But it came to a point where I had to let her get frustrated and gain that muscle in her finger by repetition.  I would cheer her on and encourage her and just tell her how close she was.  One specific time, I had a really clear, sweet feeling that this was how God felt about us.  He does not sit back and watch us struggle.  He's right here.  And what I really realized was he allows things to happen to us, but it is not with malice.  He doesn't say, "Here are your babies with hard lifetime medical issues, or a devastating divorce, or dark family problems and now you're here and just deal with it."  It is so loving. He's rooting for us.  Of course he can easily take us out of our struggles much like I could have pushed the button for Capri.  But that smile on her face and the pride she felt when she actually got it is second to none.  But she had to work it out on her own.  That is a principle I had to learn how to feel about God in a big way.  It is not in his nature to rescue us from everything, like parents can't and wouldn't rescue their children from everything.  And what God does every day goes beyond anything I could do for my kids.  He provides support, but most importantly eternal hope and promises. 

Right now in our lives, things are pretty great.  I walk around anticipating that other shoe to drop a little bit.  What's it going to be this time?  And when I get that anxiety now I try and remember how close I felt to God last year.  I'm not alone.  Whatever comes will hurt.  It will stretch me and push me.  But I will get a chance to change.  It's an opportunity take a broken heart to a loving Heavenly Father and ask for help and know that, without a doubt, it will be made whole.  "And we get back something better than we gave."  You don't even get just a fixed broken heart!  You get it back gold plated, shiny, bigger, stronger.  It's really incredible.  I look forwards to that day of relief for my kids so much.  But I hope neither of them, including myself, waits until the end of our lives to find relief.  We can find it woven into the details of our life every day.

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