I find myself thinking about things and that I should blog them, but I always (lately) seem to lack the time to sit down and get that accomplished... here I go...
Last week while lying in bed and talking quietly in the night, R told me about an experience he had just that evening. He helps coach Tbone's football team and another coach said to him that he would not be there for the next two practices. He then proceeded to tell R why. He talked about the stress they had been having with their teenage daughter for along time. Nothing was working and she was set to move out and live with her 21 year old boyfriend in 3 weeks once she turned 18. With no other options, they contacted one of the wilderness groups for wayward teens and the next morning at 5 am they were coming to take her. No notice, no warning for the daughter. Handcuffs if necessary. My heart went out to the mother, wondering did anyone know her struggles? I woke up 3 times through the night thinking about this mother and praying she would be okay. I cannot imagine getting to this last resort in dealing with an out of control child.
She continued to stay on my mind and in my heart for the next 3 days - until after sacrament meeting yesterday. I saw a lady who I needed to visit with and I went up to her and asked how she was doing. We began to talk and she told me she had been watching some friend's children over the weekend while they dealt with their daughter out of town. Amazingly, I asked if she was referring to this family and she was. She knows them quite well and I immediately felt such comfort, and recognized a tender mercy in my life reminding me again that our Heavenly Father knows everything about us and how best to help us. I felt comforted that their needs were known by a few others who loved them. I asked my friend at church to give this woman an extra hug the next time she saw her. She did and called me today to share more of this event. After we had talked about this, this woman then began to tell me of the struggles she was having with her own daughter. I never knew what burdens she was carrying around and I never would have guessed. I listened as she talked and then cried. It is not easy to open up and admit things are not going perfectly. I am glad she did for a moment and I hope that I was able to lift up a small part of her burden for a moment.
Needless to say, this has been on my mind. When that happens, I know there is a reason. I have been making calls, seeking others who may be suffering in silence. I write this down only so that I will be accountable for this decision. I don't talk about it to be prideful but to wonder how many of us are in need of understanding and compassion without judgement? I know I have needed it. I am trying to put my own small struggles to the side and concentrate on helping others. Doing this is not easy as opening this Pandora's box identifies a lot of need.
I have added some personal notes from a stake Relief Society leadership meeting that I went to last week (the same day that R told me about his conversation) that would benefit all women. I have also added my favorite quote from President Uchtdorf from the General Relief Society meeting in September:
"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers" (President Uchtdorf, General Relief Society Meeting, September 2008).
From the Leadership meeting:
A. We have to be there for each other
· Remember covenants that we made at baptism (mourn with those that mourn, etc)
· We need to talk to each other rather than suffer in silence
· We have to get real and be approachable – we are not perfect, we all have difficult times in our marriages, some have wayward children, many struggles for all of us
· Let go of the "Hi, how are you? Fine! Great, see you later", we all need more