Do you ever have times when life seems to have an ongoing theme? When, for months, maybe even years, you see and hear and “chance” upon things that add to and build on one another? Things you’d never really thought much about before?
I certainly have of late – and, actually, as I think back to how things and thoughts have built on one another – each making new ideas and possibilities more . . . I don’t know . . . more pure and clear – I see that it hasn’t been so much just “of late”. I feel like it’s been . . . ongoing in bits and pieces since Anders’ birth over three years ago. At least noticeably since then. (And no no, the theme isn’t bird houses. I just put them there because they were fun to look at. And they certainly are a theme around my yard lately! I think my kids have hung five around our house so far and there are several more crowding up my laundry-room shelf waiting for their owners to paint and hang them. I don’t know why. Why the bird houses?)
The theme has been one of . . . connection. Of the Lord’s hand. Of people having greater capabilities to know and love – and the Lord having greater capabilities in connecting those people – than I ever would have guessed before. In fact, I would have felt it was presumptuous to even suggest before.
It came in the form of a thin veil, and a sense of bustling, and excitement, and goodbyes on the morning Anders was born. It came after he was born -- in thoughts I would have, and things I would find myself uttering to his little baby self that were hardly part of my conscious mortal mind at all. Things like, “I told you not to worry. I told you it would work. I told you we’d be together again.” It came even earlier I suppose, on a run after Jesse’s birth when I knew, simply and clearly, that I wasn’t done with my family because I hadn’t yet fulfilled a promise to Summer. I hadn’t yet brought her here. It came in the midst of a horrible post-surgery foot infection when, as I sat pondering on a great-grandfather I never met (in this life) and knew little about, I felt a sudden, unmistakable, and shocking jolt of connection – of a closeness I never dreamt existed. A closeness that transcended mortality. A closeness I’d forgotten.
It’s come in a million ways since then. In ponderings and whisperings. In quotes and scriptures and feelings and sacred experiences. Less and less does it seem “presumptuous” to assume my very own Father in Heaven would place me among people I already knew and loved. More and more it seems like the very thing He would do. As I have considered on my relationship with Heavenly Father, as I have come to truly believe that it is possible – not only possible, but natural, and easy – for Him to be absolutely aware of every moment, every thought and every influence, every worry and joy in my life at the same time as He is aware of those things for everyone else (not only among those of us living, but those who have already lived here, and those who will yet come); it has occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, before I came here – before I inherited this fallen, mortal state – before I became so blind and limited in my capabilities – perhaps, as His eternal daughter, as someone who actually has the potential to become like Him -- I might possibly have had some small portion of that ability. Perhaps I was more capable of loving deeply, knowing intimately and caring greatly about a vast number of my spirit brothers and sisters than this mortal, restricted me can fathom.
I’m not suggesting fate. I’m suggesting greater connection and closeness and love among, well, all of us, but most especially among those God places in our lives . . . than we can yet comprehend.
I recently came across these Neal Maxwell quotes that so beautifully summed up parts of what my own soul and thoughts have been stretching towards.
“I am so grateful . . . for a part of mortality that we sometimes overlook: the intertwinings of our lives. I acknowledge the Lord’s hand in these intersections. Some here have heard me say that one of the reasons we love each other in the kingdom is that our friendships are not friendships of initiation at all but are, instead, friendships of resumption! . . .
“It should not surprise us, brothers and sisters, that Heavenly Father brings about these intersectings and intertwinings of our lives. . . .
“You and I may call these intersectings ‘coincidence.’ This word is understandable for mortals to use, but coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by ‘coincidence’ but instead by ‘divine design.’”
My love for Heavenly Father has grown so much lately. It has grown mostly . . . because I have begun to know how well He knows me, and how much He actually loves me. I am so grateful to be here – in mortality – living this hard and wonderful life. How does the poet describe it? “Your one wild and precious life”? I love that I am here. I love that I am here with my brothers and sisters. I am recognizing them more and more as just that. And I am so grateful SO GRATEFUL for the “intertwinings” and “intersectings” in my life. I think one day I will be among those angels in heaven singing praises to my God – and it won’t only be for this chance to progress and the Atonement making it possible. It will be for a thousand unimaginable extras – His hand in my life, and Him surrounding me and connecting me with . . . my people!