Monday, August 4, 2008

In the arms of the Savior

Today (well yesterday if we want to be technical) was Fast Sunday. For those that don't know, my family and I are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the first Sunday of every month the church as a whole fasts and during our meeting we are invited to share our testimonies with the congregation. I have been a member of the church for over 9 years and in that time my testimony has grown and gotten stronger. There have also been times over the last 9 years that I have not allowed my testimony to grow and have not allowed the Savior to be as fully in my life as I should.  Recently I have leaned more on Him than I have in a long time. I have felt a real peace even though the current situation that my family is in is very stressful. I have felt the Spirit around me on a continual basis and have grown closer to my Father in Heaven and my Elder Brother. 

Last week Piper told me she wanted to bear her testimony. I told her she would have to wait until the next Fast Sunday came. As we sat down in church today I let her know that it was Fast Sunday and that she could bear her testimony if she still wanted to. She said she didn't want to anymore and I said that was okay. After a few people had gone up and bore their testimony she pulled at my hand and said she wanted to go but she wanted me to go up with her. We walked up to the front and waited our turn. When it was her turn she walked up to the stand and bore her testimony. I have never heard her bear her testimony in church before. It was such a sweet moment for me and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the sweet spirit that is Piper. She said in her testimony that she knows the church is true, that Jesus is real and that her family loves her. There are truly no other things in this world that I would want her to know with such surety as these things. I was awed and humbled by those simple words and the grace with which she delivered them. She was not nervous or scared, she was strong and steady. What an example she is to me.

After she bore her testimony I felt it would be remiss of me to not do the same. I bore my testimony of the love that I have for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and even more so the love that They have for me. A perfect love that is never changing and goes beyond unconditional to a realm that I can not even begin to truly imagine. I spoke of my knowledge that the church is true and that we are blessed to have a true and living prophet on the earth today. How lucky we are! I spoke of the love that I have for my family and how GRATEFUL I am for them. I am especially grateful to have Matt as my husband and the father of our children, grateful for the priesthood that he holds and honors and the love he has for us.

As I went through the rest of my meetings I had a real peace inside of me and knew that the Spirit was with me. At the end of Relief Society a sweet sister bore her testimony. In it she spoke of a meeting in which a visiting member of the church spoke and told the gathered members to close their eyes and think of the most difficult child in their primary. How even though they loved this child they were frustrated with them at times for not listening, acting out, etc. She then asked them to picture the same child with the Saviors arms around them. Immediately I thought of Piper. At first I felt a little guilty to picture her as the difficult child, but the truth is that Piper is not an easy kid. She is wonderful and amazing but I would not say she is easy. But when I closed my eyes and saw her in the arms of the Savior, I saw that she was perfect to Him. That she was loved by Him and that she was precious in His eyes. Why have I never thought of it that way before? Of course I have often thought as my children as children of our Heavenly Father, but I have never actually pictured them in His arms.

The image has stayed with me throughout the day and I have been able to stay calmer and more patient as a result. These are things that I struggle with and that I pray for all the time. I think maybe I have been going about it the wrong way. Maybe what I really need to do is just slow down and appreciate the gifts that I have been given. I am grateful to be a mother. I am grateful that I was blessed to raise Piper and Dax. I sometimes wonder how I am going to get through each day and ask my Heavenly Father if there is perhaps not a better suited mom for Piper. I struggle with this and then feel like a horrible mom for even thinking something like that. I have spent countless hours in prayer asking for help as I raise my children and specific direction in what Piper needs from me. I think today I received the answer I have longed for. "See her in My arms. See who she is in My eyes. See the gift I have entrusted you with." What an amazing blessing for me.

I know that this by no means means that I will have perfect patience with my kids or that I will be able to always see the image as immediately as I should. But I am grateful nonetheless for what I was given this day. I am grateful for His arms and that they not only encompass my children, but me as well. I am grateful for a love so perfect that it never wavers, even when it is taken for granted.


Melissa said...

Sarah - THANK YOU for your post! I found you through Stephanie's blog (A Daily Scoop) - my comment is just after yours. (I am LDS too.) You were definitely inspired to type what you did and now you have helped me. I too have a child (my oldest, 6 yrs old) that is incredibly intelligent and cute and amazing, but definitely not always easy. We have even started taking him to a psychologist to hopefully gain some understanding of him and how to better parent him. I also struggle with feelings of frustration and impatience, and then come the feelings of inadequacy and guilt. Your description of picturing a difficult child in the arms of the Savior brought tears to my eyes as I, of course, immediately pictured my Matthew. I am sure that image will remain with me also, and help me as I struggle with this wonderful, crazy journey called motherhood.

I am ever grateful to you for your post, and grateful for blogs and the internet, which allow us to reach out as sisters across the miles and know that we are not alone. God Bless you.

Sarah and Matt said...

Melissa- I hope that you will check back here, I tried to look at your blog but it is private. I just wanted to thank you for your comment. You brought tears to my eyes and made me once again so thankful to be a member of a church where strangers are true sisters.

I wish you the best with Matthew and want you to know you will both be in my prayers. If you would like to email me I would love to talk with you more about our extraordinary kids. My email is

Ras Fam said...

Oh, Sarah! What a beautiful post. I am so sad that I missed church last Sunday. I love the image of the Savior with the "difficult child" (Zoie) in his arms. Thank you os much for sharing this.