Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pushing through the Fog

On Sunday morning, Abe was still in Las Vegas performing, so I was getting the kids ready for church alone.  A couple of my children were having a hard time getting along in the morning.  The rude exchanges were very subtle but evoked defensive behavior from the other children.  I could feel that something was not quite right.

As I drove all the children to church, one of them in particular was instigating more of the negative responses.  I had finally had enough.  I asked him what was wrong.

He said, "I'm just mad."

"What are you mad about?  What's bothering you?" I asked.

With a scowl on his face he said, "I don't know yet.  I haven't figured it out."

Wanting peace I told him to not speak the rest of the way to church... just pray.  I looked back a few times and said, "Are you praying?"

He nodded his head.

As we went into the church, all the other children seemed to be in good spirits except for my child with pursed lips.  We partook of the sacrament and then it was testimony time.

The first Sunday of every month, we fast as a church for 24 hours or the span of two meals.  My 11, 9, 8 & 5 year olds were fasting.  On this same day, we receive an opportunity to stand in front of the congregation to bear our testimonies of Christ and HIS gospel if we feel the desire to do so.

The time for testimonies began, and my son who had been grouchy but praying all the way to church was one of the first to stand up amongst the entire congregation.  He walked up to the front of the church... took the microphone... and bore strong testimony of Jesus Christ.  My heart was touched.  I looked over and my other 3 older children also walked to the front to bear their testimonies.

Their testimonies were not rehearsed.  They were not even things I had heard them say before.  Even little Mariah paused to look around in the middle of her testimony; and as the Spirit prompted her, she continued to bear strong testimony of how to show Jesus we love HIM.

I asked my previously grumpy child how he felt after bearing his testimony.  He said, "It made me almost want to smile.  I think it helped me."

Church continued, and I was sitting by another sister.  I asked her how she was.  She said, "I don't know what my problem is today.  I just feel upset inside.  My kids even told me they needed a break from me.  I told them that I needed a break from me too!!"

It's true.  Some days we just feel grouchy.  It's normal!  My sweet little child felt it.  A grown adult felt it... that is the time to do what we don't want to do.

My child's decision to do something spiritual when his spirit was weak made me remember one of my favorite scriptures in 2 Nephi 32:8-9

"8)And now, my beloved bretheren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing.  For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
9)But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate they performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul."

My child spent 15 minutes praying on the way to church after being scolded by his mother.  That took humility!  Because he did, he was able to consecrate his behavior (performance) to God "for the welfare of [his] soul."  Because of his prayer, not only was he able to share beautiful testimony, but his testimony helped him to smile and push the negativity away.

Sometimes we just have to do that which is hard and that which we don't want to do... and then God blesses us because of our continued faith and diligence.

 I have learned that after I push through the fog, the Lord's reward is increased clarity.   That increased clarity is a miracle to me.