Monday, October 29, 2007

Lessons From the Journey

I was thinking this morning what to post about--more job stories, random thoughts I've had lately about the interconnectedness of all peoples and aspects of their religions, Celtic festivals manifesting as Halloween, or Scallywag's spinning (backstreet boy style) during the Primary program while the obedient children all around him sang AND signed "I Believe in Christ."

But none of these seemed quite right. Then, this afternoon, I went visiting teaching. I met one of the ladies we teach for the first time. Seeing as how I blog with NOBODY from this area, I'll give a few identifying details to help you see what valuable lessons I learned this afternoon:

She had two children die of a fairly rare genetic disease--one was 12 and the other was 9.

She has a son with such severe bipolar disorder that he had to recently leave a career of 12 years to move back in with her and her husband.

She and several of her siblings joined the church together, without their parents, when they were teenagers. It took many, many years for her parents to join.

Her husband joined the church about the time their son died, after they met Elder Maxwell.

Elder Maxwell sealed her to her husband in the Salt Lake temple after their son's death.

She had a late term miscarriage within two months of her son's death.

Bipolar Disorder runs in her family and she has had many cousins and siblings suffer with it.

She has one surviving child who has children and had to wait until she was nearly 60 to have any grandchildren.

She spent 20 years as an addiction counselor and speaks with joy about her work that way.

She has spent so much of the last few months visiting with grandchildren and caring for her son that she hasn't attended church very regularly. My companion and I had wondered if she was inactive . . . but the truth is that I have seldom meant somebody with such pure testimony and spiritual strength. Our visit was wonderful (except for my screaming children) and I feel like my trials have been very light. She spoke about letting go and trusting the Lord to be in charge and then told of some incredible spiritual experiences she has had a result.

I was truly taught today, though I was supposed to be doing the teaching.


Kimberly Bluestocking said...

And then there are people who remind me that being a little behind with the laundry is not really that tragic . . .

Thanks for putting life back in perspective for me.

Christie said...

So many times I come away from a visiting teaching visit feeling like I was the one who'd been taught. Thanks for sharing and putting things in perspective.