Finding Light Amid The Darkness
Each week we send these emails and put them on our blog and each week I try to think about what it is I can share that will be helpful to you in some way. I hope that what I share is what God wants me to share. I hope that it lifts you up and strengthens you.
I have found when dealing with anxiety, I have to find ways to help myself get through tough times. I have to get up and fight when everything around me is saying I'm not good enough, it's not worth it. I am here to testify that it is worth it. It is worth every single effort we put into all we do.
This past Sunday my grandpa died from this terrible disease in the hospital and my grandma was able to be there just before he passed. It was a beautiful experience to be on a zoom call with his kids and grandkids. I'm so very grateful my grandma was able to be there to help him go calmly and to let him know it was okay to go. Seeing the love they share is indescribable in words. I'm sure she will miss him but she kept telling him to "go say hi to your dad". You see, his dad died when he was 2 years old so he doesn't remember much about him. What a joyous reunion I'm sure they are having along with his mother, in laws, and so many others.
Today I took time to reflect on what it means to live a life of peace and hope, to live a life full of goodness and strength, and I believe my grandpa lived a beautiful life. He served wherever he could and he worked hard. I believe that through serving others and finding joy within his family, his life was rich and full. He loved to share his testimony of the Savior. He loved to feel peace and to know that it would all be worth it in the end. I believe he really searched for the good in life. Whenever we were together we would sing and he would bear his testimony. He wanted us to know that he knew that God was his Father, that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us, and that his family meant the world to him.
Today as I write this I can't stop but think that I want to serve the way he served, I want to love as he loved, and I want to give as he gave. I hope that you don't mind me sharing a couple stories with you about my Grandpa. Just a few months ago on the 4th of July my Grandpa was fast asleep but felt like he needed to get up and go outside late at night. He had been praying to listen to the spirit better and this was an opportunity to listen. As he was outside on his back porch he saw the man next door shoot off a firework and it hit these bamboo bushes in his yard that just happened to be right by the RV that my parents were sleeping in. The bushes were going up in flames quickly and he ran to grab the hose. His hose wasn't working so the neighbor quickly threw his over the fence and my Grandpa proceeded to drench the fire out. It was a true miracle that he was there at that moment when it happened so he could quickly do something about it. If he wouldn't have put that fire out those bushes would have most likely caught the RV that my Parents were sleeping in on fire. It was a very scary thought for sure. I think the best part about that story is that my parents slept through all of it. They didn't find out until the next day what happened.
This past summer Anna got to go to the temple for the first time and since my Grandpa was around I called him and asked if he wanted to go with us to help with the baptisms. (For those who don't know in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we believe in being baptized for those who have already passed on through proxy.) He was able to come that day and help and it was a sweet tender experience for me and I believe our daughter.
Last but not least I have to tell you all about my grandpa's bus. My grandpa was a pretty stubborn man and when he got it in his mind that he was going to do something, he found a way. When I was young, we traveled to California to go to Disneyland with a bunch of us cousins and he drove through California in that bus. You better believe he got inches from some of those cars but he never once seemed like he didn't have everything under control. I mean he may have been irritated at the choices of other cars but he made it work. We also took that bus to Utah and on other little family trips.
Life is hard, people. It just is. Sometimes we like to sugar coat things and say everything is wonderful and we should always just look for the good because we can always find the good. If you know me or have been reading my emails long enough you know that is true. There is always good to be seen. I believe God is in the tiny details of our lives and I believe that we can always see something to be grateful for. Yet, I also have to remember that we will not get through life without pain, suffering, sorrow, loss, anger, fear, or any other negative emotion we can come up with. They will happen, it's part of the plan. Some days it just hurts and some days it's just hard. That doesn't have to mean that every day will be hard. There is hope and there is peace to be found through it all. (If you don't feel much hope and you are having a hard time ever finding peace then you may want to talk to a doctor. There is no shame in this. If you need help, get it!). But through the day-to-day, I believe it's important to know that we will experience both. Experiencing both doesn't make us a bad person, it just makes us human. Every single person experiences all the feelings! I've had my fair share of trials and I know they aren't over yet. Now when those trials come and they seem too big and scary I'm able to look at the big picture easier and to see that there is so much goodness to be had still. There is still so much light and peace!
Christy and the family
P.S. Check out our journal bundle options this week. Option #1: Affirmation Journal Bundle; Option #2: Gratitude Parent/child Bundle