"It is profound to witness the gospel plan working to bless individuals during their most difficult moments."
A friend said that to me shortly after Cali passed away. It has truly stayed with me over the last (almost) 3 months. What is the gospel worth if we don't use it? I would submit that it is then worth very little. Today's been a hard day. I don't need to go into it, but it this morning I felt so empty and lost. After many tears I prayed. I prayed to feel love instead of anger. I can't say that I am now Mother Theresa or anything close, but I can say that the very strong emotions of this morning are much less, and I feel an overwhelming love for the gospel.
The last week has been such an emotional week. It was Thanksgiving morning that Thomas told me about our friend John who had passed away. As I learned more and more about the events that lead to his passing, and also about Emily being pregnant my heart ached. I know too well right now the sting of death. John's funeral service was beautiful. So very touching. I truly felt the spirit so strong bearing witness to me that John (and my Cali) are with Him and are not only well, but happy. They love their families they left behind and they are working hard to bring the gospel to all souls.
Then Monday mom and I got to help decorate a tree with some friends from IHH for the Festival of Trees. I felt Cali near me that day. It was an emotional day to talk to the others decorating trees most often for ones they've lost. I talk with another mother who lost her baby at 5 days old unexpectedly. I talk to an adoptive mother who had her son for just a few months before he left us.
And then Tuesday came and with it an unexpected phone call. It was Walk Monument. They have Cali's grave marker and are going to put it in! Mom and I went up to East Lawn right away and got to see the men put in Cali's marker. It turned out beautiful. I am so pleased with it!
Even in the strong hurt that I felt this morning I still feel the peace of the gospel reaching to me. Reminding me that even though it hurts so bad right now, and even though I cannot make sense of any of it at times, that I am doing OK, that what I feel is natural and one day I will feel more peace than pain. And that through my relying on the atonement one day I will be able to say as Alma, "yea, my soul was filled with joy as was exceeding as was my pain!" (Alma 36:20)
I know that it is through Christ's atonement that we may all receive peace and joy. But I also know that there are natural courses to that end, and that for the most part we can't skip though it, even as much as we would like. But, as we travel through the course as we turn to Him and as we give our hearts to Him, He will help us, He loves us. He loves me, and my Cali girl. He loves John and Emily and their children. He loves us all, and I know that when we do these things, when we turn to Him He gives us all the help we need. It's just that sometimes it's really hard to fully turn to Him.
I believe what my friend told me back in September that "It is profound to witness the gospel plan working to bless individuals during their most difficult moments." But I must say that it is even more so to see the gospel working in yourself, in your own most difficult moments. Thank heavens for the gospel. Without it the difficult moments would be so much more.