Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Courage For Such A Time As This~
I love to read and usually have a novel and a couple of other books of various topics that I am working on. Through the years I have identified often with the characters of the books and learned great lessons from their life experiences. I have loved reading about historical woman and have quickly gained a new understanding of the trials they have faced and the courage they exhibited throughout life.
I have found courageous woman in the scriptures. To name some in the Old Testament would be: Mother Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Hanna, Naomi, Ruth, and many others. In the New Testament we find; Anna, Elisabeth, Mary the mother of the Savior, Mary, Martha and again so many other valiant woman. In the Book of Mormon we find Sariah, Nephi's Wife, Mothers of the 2060 Stripling Warriors, Queen Lamoni, and Abish; these were woman of great faith. Our pioneer heritage is full of stories of pioneer woman during the days of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ such as; Emma, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith; Joseph Smith's Mother, Lucy; Mary, the wife of Hyrum Smith. The list seems endless with so many that sacrificed so much. They left homes, family and loved ones and passed through searing fires of adversity to re-settle in the Salt Lake Valley where they could experience religious freedom. There are several of my own ancestors among those valiant and courageous woman.
I once read the Book entitled: Mary Fielding Smith. She crossed the plains with her children after her husband, Hyrum Smith, died a Martyr at Carthage jail. Her story was so compelling that for years when I would get into a tough spot I would say to myself; "if Mary Fielding Smith can do it; I can do".
As a Hospice Home Health Nurse I served many patients who quickly became friends and though their lives had a limited time remaining, they fully lived each day with courage.
One night I sat in a Hospital room with a very dear friend who was dying and leaving her six children and a wonderful husband. I heard her talking to an unseen person, telling them she couldn't leave her children and begged to have more time with them. My heart broke as I listened to just her side of the conversation. I knew then that she had loving family members from the spirit world preparing her to enter into that next phase of her existence. How I loved her for her courageous fight.
Even more precious are the stories of my own family and children. Our oldest daughter nearly lost her two week old baby due to a heart condition. Later she experienced the loss of a late term still born son. She suffered through a brief period of depression. Today she is a strong and faithful woman that came through these experiences with great a testimony of faith.
Our younger daughter also has faced a tubal pregnancy, severe digestive problems that required surgery. She has experienced considerable pain and discomfort but through it all, she has gained a new insight in to her own growing faith.
Our son and daughter in law nearly lost an infant daughter. They could do little more than watch and wait as this sweet little one suffered endless pain, discomfort and trauma. Not knowing if she would live or die; they remained strong and true to their faith. They fasted and prayed as healing blessings were given, and in time, this little angel pulled through. The affliction left her blind and developmentally challenged yet she displays her own strength of faith each day with amazing gifts and musical talents. It is humbling to observe our children face this struggle with continued faith and courage, knowing someday through the Grace of Christ, she will be whole again. For now, she brings great joy into our lives.
We have been on the sidelines praying diligently for our children who have faced job losses, career changes, work injustices, independent children and, financial reversals. I pray constantly for them to have the courage to face these obstacles with hope and faith sufficient to endure it all.
Today I live among many whose lives express courage and fortitude. So many of my friends are experiencing life’s battles, one is fighting cancer and recently completed a stem cell transplant that will take 100 days to learn for sure if it has beat the cancer. She faces this challenge with faith, hope and a knowledge that God is in charge and through Him, all will be well.
Some of my friends have wayward children and grandchildren, marriage difficulties, financial concerns, work struggles and the list goes on. I notice how they continue faithfully to love the Lord, follow His counsel and continue to endure their tailored life experiences. In turn, their examples help me to walk my own path of faith more firmly.
In my daily experiences, I observe incredible woman of faith who have risen up to face their strongest challenges with great faith, hope and courage in a loving Savior who stands ready to encircle us in his arms with the love and peace we need.
I believe that like Esther of old, we are here for such a time as this.
"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14.
Enjoy this video on courage~ The Question Is; How Have You Shown Courage?