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.
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.