Nevertheless, true to form, in my post-more-intense-than-usual-migraine state, Saturday night I prayed harder than I have for a while. Hubby was out of town. I was feeling alone and weary, and frankly, quite scared about how bad my headaches and dizziness have been. Recent doctor's appointments have left me feeling nervous about other things as well.
And so, I lay on the couch and sobbed, pouring my heart out to God. When I woke up Sunday, I considered staying in bed. After all, I think health-wise I had a legitimate reason to do so. And it's hard for me to go when I feel so spent, so weary. I just want to curl up into a ball and pull into my shell.
But I really was feeling well enough to go. And I know I need church. I need the consistency. My children need to see me go. And going to church is one way I seek to show God that I'm not going to give up (even though sometimes I think I can't keep going). I made a decision long ago that I would just always go to church as part of keeping my covenants. Church is often a place, too, where I find peace, solace, and inspiration. And I really do love to worship with my brothers and sisters; we have a fantastic ward family.
I dragged my weary self out of bed and went.
True to form, God gave me help.**
I'll write about other insights another time, perhaps, but here I want to share just one. During the sacrament, I opened up my General Conference Ensign, hoping for some insights. I scanned the table of contents, looking for a talk that might catch my eye.
This one did: All Things Work Together for Good (need I say that that is from one of my favorite scriptures, Romans 8:28?)
As I read the talk, this paragraph in particular stood out:
[W]hen we face our challenges, we must seek greater help from God. Even the Savior of us all found a need to pray “more earnestly” as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.5 We can learn to gain great faith if we do this. We must remember that often the answers from our Heavenly Father do not remove the trial from us, but instead He helps strengthen us as we pass through the experience. As He did for the followers of Alma, the Lord can “ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs.” [Mosiah 24:14, another favorite scripture of mine.] In our trials, let us not become bitter or uncommitted, but let us follow the Savior’s example of becoming more earnest, more sincere, and more faithful.
Suddenly, I wasn't berating myself for praying harder when I'm in pain. Even the Savior, the perfect Son of God, did just that!
I will be honest. I am having a really hard time right now not wanting my pain to just be removed. I'm. so. tired. Weary. Wanting to feel better. Wondering when and if physical healing will ever come.
Again, I am reminded, though, that sometimes our cups do not pass, but we can be given strength. And I take comfort and ponder truths from the Savior's experience in Gethsemane.
Even the Savior of the World was "sore amazed" (even "very heavy") when the time came to drink of His bitter cup!
Even He wanted His bitter cup to pass!
Even He "prayed more earnestly" in His time of agony.
And even He needed and received strength beyond His own to bear His pain.
I realize tonight that it was a physician, Luke, who recorded many of these details that have brought a measure of healing to my soul this week, reminding me of the power of looking to the Great Physician for help in facing my health struggles.
Much for me to ponder and remember....
**As a postscript, I will add that answers don't always come that quickly, so if you happen to be still waiting for answers, don't give up, ok?