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The lesson I’m trying to learn.

Melanie made me download some Christian Rock. For reals. She did it a long time ago and since they’ve plaid in my basic rotation of Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and various angry chick singers. Two songs. It’s always funny when they come up because I think, “this is catchy…what is this again?” and then somewhere, out of nowhere I find myself raising both hands to the sky and shaking my head back and forth with my eyes closed.

That last part is only a little bit of a lie.

Still though. I’ve had a tough time with my faith lately. The funny thing about when that happens, is that the LAST thing you want to do is work on it. It just gets easier and easier to not believe. And it’s not that I even got to that point. It’s just that I’ve struggled with issues and questions. I’ve had my doubts. But then I also have this amazing husband who has such a way about him that I feel like I can tell him every single thing I think about and he never judges me, but works his way into explaining things that I’m too stubborn to see for myself. (He also does this with politics, but he’s not as convincing as we still on separate sides of the political isle. Guess which side I’m on?) . He takes me back to the very beginning of my faith. Do I believe in God? Of course I do. Do I believe that God knows me personally? I do. How? So many reasons. Because he gave me Lance. That on it’s own, and the way that I knew, I KNEW, he was supposed to be my husband should be testimony enough. I could have never ever known I would have needed a man so perfectly fit for me and my children. (He’s on the phone right now and is driving me crazy…he lingers even when we have nothing to say. I’m not a phone person. At all.) But moving on. I know that there are angels because I heard them before Abby was born. I know that there’s life after this because I can feel my dad’s presence from time to time. And I believe in the Holy Ghost because it comforted me right before Abby got really sick. And I know that God has a plan for me because I would have never planned my own life this way. But it’s so much richer than it would have if it were the way I had envisioned.

But there are days that are so taxing that I don’t think I can make it through. There’s a weight on my shoulders that could well be literal (‘literal’ is one of those words that I hate so much because it’s never used correctly. In this case, I mean that there could really be weights, of any kind, on my shoulders. It really feels like there are. The more you know.). Where the exhaustion is too much to deal with. These are the days that I wonder what is meant when in the scriptures it says, “I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs (Mosiah 24:14).” How is it done? Christ can’t be there to help me physically lift my gigantic son and carry him two blocks to my car (there’d only be one set of footprints though…right?).  Or rock Abby to sleep- because she won’t- because the steroids she has to take every day make her jittery. How is it done?

I can’t explain it. But I know that there have been times in my life that I knew I couldn’t go on. When Casey was a baby he did not sleep. I’m not meaning he got up every couple of hours. That would have been dreamy. He did not sleep. One night my mother tried to take him for me and Lance so that we could get some rest. She lasted forty-five minutes before she had to give him back.  He was inconsolable most of the time. At the same time, I had a newly-mobile TERROR named Carter who was into EVERYTHING. He was a curious boy. There were days that I would be so tired I didn’t know how I’d make it until 11, when Lance would get home from school. Then I’d pray for strength and for a little bit of energy to just make it through, and there it would be. It didn’t mean that my days got any easier. It just meant that I was given the ability to get through.

So anyways, back to the original thought.  I was listening to this song and the verse says,

“You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own
I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
For the both of us”

And today it really hit me. I don’t have to be strong. I’ve never had to be as strong as I thought I needed to be. I’m not alone. I’m not doing this on my own. I don’t know how it works, but it does. I’m learning this. It doesn’t mean that life will be easy. Or that there’s a quota on how many trials one person can have. But it does mean that there are lessons to be learned, and that we have the best teacher.  I found this on pinterest and thought it was perfect:

You can buy this on the etsy site that it originated: http://www.etsy.com/shop/VinylLettering

My life is a lot like Seattle. Sort of stormy all of the time. But because of those storms, it’s the prettiest place in the world.

My spirit is naturally a little rebellious. My bishop told me that long ago. I think questioning will always be in my nature. And I don’t think that’s wrong. I think it’s okay to have questions.  We learn line upon line, precept upon precept. And I’m learning. Slowly.

8 thoughts on “The lesson I’m trying to learn.

  1. It's amazing how that silly song, "Strong Enough" can answer so many prayers and offer so much comfort. I need those hands of mercy and I need to remember that it isn't my job to do it alone. I NEED my Savior to fill in that gap. I've really needed his help lately and have found he sends little blessings like that song, a scripture, a quote on the wall, to remind me that He is there and understands my pain. I also get those little glimmers, too, that dad is nearby and has a part in my spiritual comfort.I love you Lexi. I'm sorry for your heavy shoulders. I wish I could hold them up for a while.

  2. First, I'm sorry to hear that your shoulders are feeling heavy. I'll pray for you, because it's all I can do to help. Second, sometimes I think you're in my head.1.That song is amazing and reduced me to heaving sobs in a WalMart parking lot because it's so true. And I never cry.2. The vinyl is adorable and would go really well with your "Be Still" art, which I still want, by the way.3. Thank you for your humor and honesty. You inspire me.

  3. This is very good stuff, Lexi, & exactly what I needed to read. Do you remember something my dad said that I shared with you when I was pregnant? You probably don't, because I say WAY too much to keep track of. But, he told me that God allows things to happen to us, and then he *qualifies* us to handle them. It's like what you wrote– be doesn't always take away the challenges, but He somehow makes them feel more bearable when we rely on Him to get us through. But the way you wrote it sounds better.Thank you for taking the time to write this. I know you did it for yourself, to try and work through some of the stuff in your head, but it was exactly the perfect thing for me to read right now.

  4. I'm happy that the internet provides so many ways for us to stay connected to you while you will be far away. Do you want contact info for the family for whom I was a nanny in D.C.? They're democrats. I don't want you to feel totally disconnected.

  5. Yeah so, I seriously love you, and your blog and your perceived Drop Dead Fred face that you SO DON'T have (totally forgot about that classic movie!) Good luck with the move, and thank you for this post … I got the chills while reading it, this is a good thing.

  6. lexi, i don't know how you do it. those sweet kids of yours needed you as their mom. i don't think i could do it…seriously! i listened to a talk by Gerald Lund once and he said that we should consider our trials our gifts. weird huh? but they keep us closest to god. life is the sweetest when we can rely on him and feel him there guiding us and teaching us. i wish you all the best this year in DC and hope you find a house soon!

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