trials

a little more than a week ago, i had a bad day. a bad ivf day. who knows where it came from. just didn’t have it in me to be excited or optimistic about this next round of shots and ups and downs.

so i got in bed and listened to the first half of “laborers in the vineyard.” (i’ve provided link to the text version, but i recommend listening or watching to improve your experience.) because i wanted to refresh my memory of this powerful message:

“…there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. may i plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? we are not diminished when someone else is added upon. we are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. the race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.

“furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! what a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! to say nothing of the chagrin in the end, when we find that God really is both just and merciful, giving to all who stand with Him ‘all that he hath,’ as the scripture says. so lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. so be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. it is a happy way to live.”

(i go back to that section a lot. to remind myself that i really am happy for all of my pregnant friends. really and truly. and more importantly to remind myself that their pregnancies don’t diminish me. that it doesn’t mean that someone has cut in line and is taking what i wish deep down would be my turn. i am human, after all. and my understanding is undeniably finite, so i tend to think in terms of people taking turns at things. instead, i need to remember that my “turn” has very little, if ever anything at all, to do with yours.)

then i switched to “an High Priest of good things to come.” (again, listen or watch.)

and cried. just lay there and let the tears roll. let the pressure slowly seep.

there’s so much good stuff in there. like this:

“even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed.”

and this:

“no, it is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that i testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm. always remember in that biblical story that He was out there on the water also, that He faced the worst of it right along with the newest and youngest and most fearful. only one who has fought against those ominous waves is justified in telling us—as well as the sea—to ‘be still.’ only one who has taken the full brunt of such adversity could ever be justified in telling us in such times to ‘be of good cheer.’ such counsel is not a jaunty pep talk about the power of positive thinking, though positive thinking is much needed in the world. no, Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them. but even as the Lord avoids sugary rhetoric, He rebukes faithlessness and He deplores pessimism. He expects us to believe!”

and this, when he’s talking to his younger self:

“don’t give up, boy. don’t you quit. you keep walking. you keep trying. there is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. you keep your chin up. it will be all right in the end. trust God and believe in good things to come.”

then i went to sleep. and felt so much better in the morning.

i don’t want to fool you into thinking that listening to those messages of hope left me feeling hopeful. they didn’t. they just provided the soundtrack to which i could cry and feel miserable. the next morning when i was feeling better about the world, i could let the words i’d heard marinate. and germinate a seed or two of hope.

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3 Responses to trials

  1. mar says:

    i love you dearly alyce. i’m sorry for the pains you are having, but as always, admire you and your stalwart and true example of all i wish i could be. xoxo

  2. Ann says:

    love you. love you so much.

  3. Pingback: good to remember | From Wonderland to Hinterland

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