I’d been praying for some time to FEEL some of the things I know. To feel them again – because I’ve felt them before. You all have too. At times. Even if you didn’t quite recognize what you were feeling (or even if your language to describe it is different from my own): that marvelous sensation when your mortal/natural self gives way a little – is pried open – and your immortal spirit can BREATHE. It can cup it’s fingers around this rough earthly mind and heart you’ve been given and whisper, “Listen!”. Truth. And you can FEEL it . . . truth and beauty and goodness and HOPE flooding through you. The connection your spirit has to God and light and all things eternal becoming, for a few moments, the perfect reality that it actually is. An open channel between heaven, Christ, all of pre-mortality . . . and your own soul. It always feels like the sky expands. And always always the message: . . . all is well. All is well.
In any case, I’d been pleading to feel it again. Because I can write it down. And I can remember it happened. But it is impossible – utterly impossible – to simply recreate the sensations, thoughts and emotions. They can’t be imagined up. They can’t be magicked into existence. They can’t be pretended. Which is part of why they are so valuable and so real to me. Because those moments . . . are the most undeniable moments of truth and clarity I ever experience. Between them is where I hang tight to that strong cord of faith – pulling myself actively along – hand over hand. Ah. I see that’s not my own analogy is it. Lehi saw it. I KNOW the things I believe. They are there in my mind. And I pull towards them, but . . . only once in awhile do I get to feel them in the way I long to. And because my mind has felt extra cluttered and clouded of late – not because of any particular challenge alone, simply because – that’s the mortal condition I suppose, I’d been asking to have another glimpse – to be able to exhale, drop the load of my daily demands, and, just for a moment, feel eternity, assurance and peace again.
It didn’t come. For weeks. And I know . . . that’s all right. That’s part of our challenge and growth here – to press forward and trust even when it can’t be felt and it’s all clouds and clutter and exhaustion. I can do that. I can hold to my God – and believe He is holding to me – even when I do not feel it at all. He can ask that faith of me. And somehow I can hold tight even when it is hard and muddled and I’m empty. Sometimes I am sadly certain that He has determined to challenge me that way for the rest of my life. I will never be allowed to have the veil part or to feel anything lofty again. And I’ll do it . . . I’ll plod along. What I have been given is enough. Even if my heart hungers and my soul aches and longs for everything beyond my mortal sensations.
But then . . . this morning . . . there it was! I was driving the kids to school, of all things. I drove a long route home. The three babies were quiet. And slowly . . . it came. God was with me. He knew my thoughts and prayers. All of everything? He was helping me with it. Everything my loved ones experience – every challenge they face and every challenge I face . . . it is all OK! We will find our way through. We will be supported. We won’t be left alone. It is all fine . . . all of it . . . ALL IS WELL. There will be SUCH rejoicing ahead. Someday every bit will be clear. All is well. All is well.
I sat in my driveway – holding to it as long as I could, praying my thanks, letting light and joy wash over me, knowing that in a moment I’d be cleaning up spilled cereal and doing laundry and stopping tantrums – that I’d be back to only holding to the truth of moments like the one I was in. Still, it was enough. It was enough. Again.
(The above stinker has been waking me up three and four times a night lately . . . wholly unwilling to let anyone else soothe her.)
(And that girl right up there? If I ever go anywhere, she requests to put a shoe by her bedroom door for the “shoe fairy” to leave a treat in. The other day there happened to be the same treat in our cupboard that the shoe fairy had left in her shoe the night before. Complete coincidence of course. Still I was surprised that a three-year-old would make enough connections to ask me [audaciously], “Mom, did you pretend to be the shoe fairy and put those treats in our shoes?” But if she thinks I am the shoe fairy, she clearly doesn’t trust me. When selecting a particularly darling shoe [all covered in stars] last night she asked Mike if he thought the shoe fairy would be likely to steal it – leaving her with only one star shoe -- because it was so undeniably and temptingly cute.)
And here Penny is. Because she participated in the story telling festival, she got to help out with activities at the school on Dr. Suess Day.
And . . . a little last bit of kids messing around: