this weekend our church held a little women’s conference. the topic, “getting past ‘if only'” seemed applicable and i thought that maybe some solace might be hidden in what the speaker had to say. he started by discussing happiness and its opposite hopelessness but then his remarks quickly veered towards a very specific group in attendance. a group that i am not a member of yet and that lack of membership was the whole reason i had come seeking succor.
i realize when faced with an obstacle you begin to see reminders of that very thing everywhere. i admit my sensitivity to all things related to motherhood has been heightened. but with that awareness comes the realization that sometimes we gloss over what it means to live these lives we are living.
despite the speaker’s intro, nothing really resonated with me. at one point he off-handedly mentioned his childhood rearing which included a zealously religious lds mother and a world war II veteran, drunkard of a father. i thought, that, that is what he should have discussed. how he came out of that non-traditional beginning and thrived. how at times he probably felt unlucky, or hopeless, or sad about his lot but how he was sustained and helped through the hard times.
that is the sermon i think we all need to hear preached. i heard it this morning.
last night i went to bed not wanting to face this particular sunday. when i awoke my feelings hadn’t changed. but the final speaker spoke of working through the loss of his mother and the years of trying to have children. he spoke of courageous women like clara barton and dolley madison. he spoke to me.
we know our standard sunday school answers for fixing a problem or accessing jesus more fully: pray, serve others, read the scriptures, attend our church meetings. we have that formula memorized. what we don’t have access to are the living examples amongst us. how each of us have faced our dark nights and turned that darkness into bright day (hymn 188; thy will, o lord, be done).
recently our sunday school class was in charge of teaching a lesson to a larger group of children. we talked about how we feel our savior’s love when we are trying to be like jesus. i made them heart cookies as a reminder of that very real love. and yes, our obedience yields an outpouring of good feelings, but our father’s love is not conditional.
and so, now i am asking, how are you tangibly conquering your darkness?
thy will, o lord, be done, lds hymn