Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Freedom, Too?

Today, I couldn't sleep very long (kind of a normal thing recently - if I sleep at all).  I was awake at 6 a.m.  I laid there for about an hour, dozing in and out.  Finally, I got up.  I finished taping some vinyl and then got ready for church.  We left for church and got there about 10 minutes early.  We were sitting there, waiting for it to start when all of a sudden, one of the ladies in the ward walked in and told us there was a lady out in the foyer, not in church clothes, asking her to come get the two of us - it was extremely important.  I figured it was Linda, and it was.  I thought maybe something was wrong with Lisa, or Auntie, or Uncle, or someone in Linda's family or mine.  Melon Man got to Linda first and I was about 15 seconds behind him.  When I got to him, he just had this look of, oh crap, what else can go wrong?  I thought, oh crap, what now?  It was then that they told me the alarm on the house was going off and the police were en route.  Really?  My word.

I ran and grabbed my purse and jumped in the truck to head back to the house.  I couldn't get there fast enough.  I talked to the alarm company the whole way.  I met the cops at the house and all, thank heavens, was secure and okay.  Just a minor issue on our part earlier.  I came inside to make sure, and then secured the house again, said goodbye and thanks to the cops, and headed back to church.

It was just as I got on our new freeway, that something just hit me and I realized just how much I felt like my freedom has been taken away because of all of this.  I sobbed all the way back to church.  I don't feel safe anymore in my sleepy, little, now bigger, town.  I don't feel safe in my own home - I sleep with the lights on at night now when Melon Man isn't home - if I sleep.  I DIDN'T EVEN FEEL SAFE AT MY CHURCH.  I just feel nervous and scared and sad and angry - almost all the time.  I had a pit in my stomach the whole time we were gone until we walked in the door after church, and even then, it remained through dinner.  It went away for a while, but even now, at 1 a.m., it's still there, in fact, almost worse than earlier.

I try to let things go, but when I do, something comes back again and makes me relive all those feelings again.  Maybe that's part of the grieving and healing process.  Today happened to be Testimony day at church.  I had no intention of getting up and talking specifically about what's happened to us this week.  But, the last five minutes were quiet and nobody got up.  I felt the Spirit prompting me to share something I learned out of all of this crap this week, so I finally got up.  This is essentially what I shared:
Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.  They happen and we don't know why.  They happen and often we are given the opportunity to learn something from it.  This is something I would never want to happen, nor want it to happen to anyone else.  I feel like I really do try to be a good person, a good young women's leader, a good wife, a good daughter of God, a good sister, a good friend, all of it.  I really do try.  So, why did this happen to us?  We're trying to live righteously.  We're trying to follow the commandments.  We're doing what we're asked regarding emergency preparedness - to the point that we're probably one of the most prepared families in the ward.  However, as I've thought about all that has happened this week, all of the money we've had to put out to repair, replace, and prevent, and how a "thief in the night" came and we were unprepared for it, it's made me reflect on whether or not I know my Savior well enough that when He comes, as a thief in the night, will I TRULY know Him and will I TRULY be one of His disciples?  
I thought back to a talk in our most recent General Conference by Elder Daniel L. Johnson of the Seventy.  He gave a beautiful talk on Becoming a True Disciple of Jesus Christ.  In it, he said, "Making the covenant to be a disciple of Christ is the beginning of a lifelong process, and the path is not always easy. As we repent of our sins and strive to do what He would have us do and serve our fellowmen as He would serve them, we will inevitably become more like Him. Becoming like Him and being one with Him is the ultimate goal and objective—and essentially the very definition of true discipleship.  Becoming as the Savior is not an easy task, especially in the world in which we live. We face obstacles and adversity virtually every day of our lives. There is a reason for this, and it is one of the primary purposes of mortality. As we read in Abraham 3:25, 'And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.'  These tests or trials vary in nature and intensity. But no one will leave this mortal existence without passing through them.  Our discipleship will be developed and proven not by the type of trials that we are faced with but how we endure them.  Discipleship is all about doing and becoming. As we obey His commandments and serve our fellowmen, we become better disciples of Jesus Christ. Obedience and submission to His will bring the companionship of the Holy Ghost, along with those blessings of peace, joy, and security that always accompany this third member of the Godhead. And they can come in no other way. Ultimately, it is total submission to His will that helps us become as our Savior is. Again, becoming like Him and being one with Him is the ultimate goal and objective—and essentially the very definition of true discipleship."
When I thought of that, I got an overwhelming feeling of despair and discomfort - that I have SO MUCH to do to be a better disciple of Christ and example of Him to others.  I know I'm doing a "good job", but there is so much more I can do.  I look at the Apostles on the earth today and at their lives and how they are TRULY Disciples of Christ.  I want to be like that in my own life.  I feel that the time is drawing near for the return of our Savior.  When He comes, I want to weep at His feet and I want to KNOW Him like He knows me.
That's what this whole thing has taught me.  Yes, I will continue to be scared for quite a long time - in fact, I'm very scared tonight, for some reason.  But, I also know that this experience is driving me to refocus my life on what matters most.  And that, gives me the feeling of freedom that I've lost in other ways.

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