I was worried about the way the last entry might be taken. I am so grateful for the optimism and support from everyone; for the affirmation in the existence of great miracles of health and healing. The point was more to remind myself, and those who read this that miracles come in many shapes and forms- and not always the one we wish for most.
I had a great conversation with my sister-in-law, An.drea, last week. We were talking about principles of prayer; specifically praying through trials. Her story is not mine to tell, but suffice it to say that she faces a sad trial in here life in which she is trying to figure out her part. Wondering whether she is doing enough on her part or whether she needs to leave it more in the Lord’s hands; whether to pray for and expect a miracle, or to accept what currently is, as the Lord’s will. In these situations, what should we be praying for?
In Relief Society yesterday, we had a great lesson that tied into this dilemna, and had me in tears from the very start. I almost left the room several times throughout, for fear of a sob welling up inside and then escaping for all to hear! Sister Hardman started off by playing the 3rd verse of the song “Which Part is Mine?”, by Michael McLean, in which the narrator of the song goes to prayer for her children, wondering if she has done what she was supposed to for them without taking over the Lord’s part. “Which part is mine? and which part is yours?”
The lesson went on talking about the Lord’s prayer in the garden, when he prayed for the bitter cup to pass from him, but only if it was the Father’s will. And that’s when it occurred to me- maybe I can pray for both what I want, and also for the strength to accept His will if this trial must come to pass and be born. Hope.
After the lesson, when the opportunity was given, I knew I needed to stand and give my testimony. I was already so emotional, I had no intention of talking about our situation with Trist.an. I just wanted to reaffirm, mostly for myself, my testimony of forever families and temple sealings. I did end up sharing Trist.an’s condition though. I thought it would be easier in that setting instead of telling people over and over again as they have been asking me about the gender and the due date and all of the standard questions a pregnant belly begs.
I always wonder when people ask the innocent question “How are you?”, how I should respond. Truthfully, most of the time I am really doing well- but if the person asking knows of the situation, and I do not know that they know, it can be an awkward start to the conversation- “How are you doing?” “You know, I am pretty great today,” and then their skeptical response “Really? Are you sure?” I have found it hard not to read too much into anyone asking me “How are you doing?” There have been a few times I assumed they had been told by someone, just by the tone in their voice, when they had no clue and I kind of just dumped it all on them.
Then there is the other extreme. The people who ask innocent questions and have no clue- and I know they have no clue. I am always at a loss for what to say and usually what I say has no resemblance to what I am thinking! “So when are you due? What are you having?” people ask excitedly. I try to smile, wondering how far this is going to go. I respond “It’s a little boy and he is due in October.” I would smile and be on my way if that were the end of the conversation, but usually it is continued with “Oh, your first boy! you must be so excited, after having 2 girls. This will be a whole new experience!” You have no idea! I am thinking. Usually I am wondering whether to tell the person at this point, to avoid awkward future meetings, or try and slip out with my thoughts about dreading October more than being excited for it, and the fact that after October we will probably be back at the score of girls-2, boys-0 for the Nei.l Wy.att family, still in my head.
Anyway, if you are one of the unfortunate people I have had any of these conversations with, just know that I am not blaming you for anything. It’s just one of those bad luck situations.
I don’t expect people to know what to say to me. I am one to try and avoid a person for some time after I learn about a tragic situation they are dealing with. I am always afraid of saying something wrong or being awkward. But through this I have learned that the best response is usually a sincere, “I am sorry.” Offers of service are great, too, if you are really willing and able to help out, but don’t say it unless you mean it. Be careful with “been there, done that,” stories. Some people find it comforting to know that others have come through a difficult situation, but other times it can be taken as a message to “Get over it,” or “don’t take it so hard- bad things happen to everyone,” even if that is not how you mean it.