He Was Preparing Me
Updated: Feb 20, 2018
As you can imagine, I have had a lot of time to ponder. As i've pondered, my thoughts have never been, 'Why me?,' instead, the only thing that comes to my mind is, "He was preparing me."
I wanted to share with you the experiences I had, that brought me to this realization.
Throughout the Summer and the Fall, I found myself thinking a lot about my body. Not in the way you might think, but in the way of total amazement and gratitude. I regularly exercise and work hard to stay fit, but I felt a whole new level of gratitude for the many things my body could do. I started offering, very detailed, prayers of thanks to my Heavenly Father for all I could do. I was grateful that I could enjoy exercising in the mornings, then be able to come home and keep up with my children all day. I was grateful I could sprint up the stairs when I heard a big thud. I was grateful I could take my kids to the park, climb around on the jungle gym and play tag with them. I was grateful I could get down on the ground and wrestle with my boys. I was grateful I could take care of my children, provide all the help they needed, all by myself. I was grateful that because my body was so strong and healthy, I could do anything and everything I wanted. I had no limitations. If I didn't do something, it was because I chose not to. For those months, I was very aware and very grateful for all my body could do.
"What are you most proud of?"
I had this idea to make a list of get-to-know-you type questions that I wanted to ask family and friends, so I could learn new and different things about the people I loved. One question I was curious to know the answer to was, "What are you most proud of?"
I asked a couple of my siblings, a friend, and my mom this question. I loved hearing their different answers. As I thought about what my answer would be, what I came up with was truly something I had put a lot of hard work, time, and love into. It's something I am constantly praying about, trying to be aware of, and what brings me the most joy and reward.
"What about you Jen? What are you most proud of?"
"What I am most proud of, is the way I have treated people all of my life. I can honestly say that I have tried to be kind to everyone I have met. I am proud that I can look back on my life, especially school years, and have no regrets with the way I treated others. I always tried to be a friend and example to those around me, and being kind made me happy."
Feasting upon the scriptures
I have always been good at studying my scriptures, but never quite related to the term 'Feasting upon the scriptures.'
This last September, I decided I was going to learn to feast. Together, my husband and I decided we were going to have a scripture study challenge. We were going to study one chapter a day, until we finished the Book of Mormon. We bought journals to use in our studying, where we could write down questions, thoughts, or just anything we wanted to that would help us learn. Each night, after we'd both read our chapter for the day, we would get together and talk about what we liked or learned from the days' study. It was so amazing to see how each day, we could get totally different things out of the same chapter. One verse would stick out to me that Jake didn't really notice, or He interpreted a story differently than I would. As I start each morning out with a sincere prayer, asking for help to be taught by the spirit as I study, to understand and keep organized what I learn, and to be changed by the word, I have come to LOVE the time I get to study my scriptures each day. I get so excited when I can put things together or when i'm able to teach Jake something new. I learned how to feast upon the scriptures.
Trials vs. Goals
Last month, November 2nd, I was able to attend fast and testimony meeting all by myself. The kids were sick, so Jake was kind enough to stay home with the kids so I could go to church and actually listen and enjoy the lessons. ;) (You parents know what I mean.)
One of the Counselors in our Bishopric spoke about trials vs. goals. I was captivated. I felt as though he were speaking directly to me. I didn't think much of it, just that I totally agreed with what He was saying, and I was touched with every word. He said,
Trials- Are changes and work Heavenly Father wants and chooses for us.
Goals- Are changes and work we want and choose for ourselves.
I loved that. It was so clear to me.
Two nights later, at a youth mutual meeting, that same counselor taught us a similar lesson. He brought one smooth river rock, and one jagged rock and asked what the difference was between the two. In the end, we all decided that the smooth rock had only become that way through much refinement. It had gone through a lot of bumping, rolling, and knocking to have been made smooth. We, are that jagged rock, and we must go through a lot of bumping, rolling, and knocking, to become the smooth, refined rock our Heavenly Father wants us to be.
And then it all made sense
Two weeks later, I received my life changing news, and all of these experiences came flooding back to my memory.
I was appreciating my role as a mom and my healthy body, because soon, I would lose my independence and strength.
I realized my strength of being a friend, because soon, I would be carried and blessed by thousands.
My testimony was built upon a rock, because soon, a storm would come to try and knock it down.
My eyes were opened to His perfect plan, because soon, I would need some refining.
There is a plan for all of us, and i'm so grateful that each one of you have been weaved into mine. I love you.