I have had some wonderful opportunities to give service to my fellow beings this past week. Timely I might add for the lesson I taught today in Relief Society (women's Sunday School).
I was asked to take in a meal to a couple of which the husband has been in and out of the hospital with heart trouble. I know how much it meant to that couple to receive that meal. They we so gracious and happy. It was a whole family effort to deliver that meal and gave more opportunity for my husband to take out the Boy Scouts to give them more service later in the week. A lot of life lessons are taught when service is given.
The second I got to take a woman I visit teach to get her patriarchal blessing today. This woman whom I love dearly, has a tough struggle. She lost her husband a year ago. He died the end of January. It has been a long road for her. The grief cycle takes a while to run its course. She is working on getting her spiritual life in order. I am so proud of her and enjoyed every minute of our trip to the patriarch's house. The miles flew by with all the talk of life and lessons we have learned.
We laughed, shared tears, and gave advice, each in our own turn. We wallowed in the Spirit and just loved each other. I learned a thing or two on this trip. I learned another line...that comforting those in need of comfort is not just a one time opportunity. The card at the time of death and attendance at the funeral were not all she needed. She needed me almost every month of this past year. Not that I even understand her pain, my husband is alive and well. But just the listening ear and the act of doing things together. I have learned to let her serve me as much as I like to serve her. I actually asked her to help me with something. I asked her to teach me how to make a yule log cake. We had a great day, and I got her out of her house.
The other thing I learned on this trip was how much Heavenly Father loves each of his children and knows them personally. I already knew this, but now I know it on another level, a new line has been drawn in my existence on this topic.
I feel that I finally understand what it means to love people where they are. That just the act of loving and not teaching or pushing someone to do something correctly (or our version of correctly) is okay. Just the simple act of loving is sometimes all someone needs. I hope I remember this lesson and apply it often. I've learned when we don't do this, often this is the time when we lose people because the feel like no matter what they just can't measure up. I've felt this before unloved, unwanted, not good enough...
It was very therapeutic for me to have a conversation with the patriarch's wife. We talked about the season's of motherhood. How each has a purpose and how each is important. I'm in the stubborn teen phase, and learning to watch them make mistakes after we have taught correct principals. Watching them flex their agency and accepting the consequences. She in the "keep her mouth shut" phase of having children in their 30's and 40's. I found that insightful. It is good to have perspectives and paradigm shifts.
Cheerful and Hopeful is how I end up this evening.