Monday, December 12, 2011

How your service increases my faith

On Saturday our babysitter canceled at 10 AM. We had reserved a babysitter a week and a half before so that we could be sure to have one on Saturday night for the adult session of Stake Conference where Elder Scott would be speaking.

I tried really hard not to cry when I got the phone call telling us that our babysitter was sick. I knew there would not be any other babysitter available. I tried to just have faith that someone would miraculously be able to come to our rescue. After eight phone calls I gave up and told Mike if he wanted me to go he would have to find a babysitter.

He went upstairs and promptly told me that our friends in another stake had agreed to babysit last minute. I felt grateful. And embarrassed.

You see, our family has been served so much these last few months. I can't even tell you how many sweet gifts and acts of service we have been the recipients of. They come at the perfect times, just when I most need them. I can't possibly mention them all, but I will name a few: a scrapbook full of pictures of Laila, a beautiful painting of Jesus holding a baby, a journal to write my thoughts in, a container for her tiny white shoes she wore at her blessing. These are just a tiny sprinkling of the generosity of people. There are days when I just feel so emotionally drained and then I get a sweet, thoughtful email telling me how much I am loved or a phone call from someone just checking up on us.

I feel so thankful. Every email, gift, phone call, prayer, etc. means so much to me right now. I need to be remembered and know that Laila is remembered.

But I also feel embarrassed. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm too proud to receive help. I have always tried to find a good balance between accepting service and giving it, though, I have a lot of work still in giving it. It's just that lately, I wish I had more to give. I am giving what I can and hopefully one day I can give more.

I guess the embarrassment comes from having to accept help once again. I had tried to take care of my family beforehand, by not procrastinating and finding myself a babysitter early. And then my well thought out plans fell apart and I found myself once again at the mercy of someone else.

Of course they were happy to be of help. I think most people are happy to help a friend if they can. I just hate being the one always having to accept the help right now. And I guess things always work out--they always do. I just wonder why it has to be so hard sometimes. Why can't it just work out in to begin with? Like when my envelope of $400 got lost. It got found, and quickly I might add, but I wonder why it had to be lost in the first place. Or when I get pregnant and stay sick for 6-9 months. The sickness goes away and it could easily be worse, but why do I have to be sick at all? Or when my babysitter gets sick and I have to find a new babysitter. Thankfully, we found one but why did my original babysitter have to get sick on the one day finding a new one would be so difficult?

I mention those examples not so I can just complain and bemoan my life. It's a good life. My point in mentioning them is to say that I have great faith that Heavenly Father has a hand in my life and that if I stay faithful, things will always work out. But right now even those simple things I have to have faith in, like finding a babysitter, take a lot of effort. Sometimes I sit on the edge of my bed and the thought comes to me, "God can work miracles. Just pray and ask him for help." But then the next thought is, "But I'm so tired. I just am so tired of trying to have faith every single minute of the day that things will work out. Why does it have to be so hard?"

And generally, that is when I get a phone call, an email, or a precious gift from someone who loves me. It's a gentle reminder that I can brush myself off and have a little more faith. It shows me that God loves me because he is sending me mortal angels to help.

So I say thank you and I hope one day I can do the same for you (though, I hope you won't have to go through something like this in order for me to be there for you).


Jed and Kera said...

I'm glad you got to go. I bet it was a great conference. When you have a moment where you are feeling bad for receiving service, remember all the service you gave us! That's a lot and that's just one family. :O)

Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, and Josh said...

I am so glad you were able to hear Elder Scott. I bet it was amazing. Thanks for your thoughts. They are always insightful and enlightening.

JC Choate said...

I like this post. I like serving others, and I like feeling that connection to those that serve me and my family. It's an excellent thought, how service increases faith, and I think if done with charity it applies to both the giver and receiver. Thank you for something to ponder!

Gillian Mohlman said...

You are one of the most giving people I know, so really I think you are just on the recieving end right now, but most of the time you are the one giving! But look at all the good you are still doing- that service project you are setting up for the hospitals in Lailas name is one example. You are always doing things for people. I try to remember a little saying my bishop told me once- "Let people serve you. Let people help you. For when you deny their service, you deny them serving their God." So just think of it that way. God will bless them- all you need to do is serve others in return. (which you already do!) You serve me by calling me, picking up the phone when I Call you, letting me do your hair or paint your toe nails, by helping me sew, by telling me recipes... those are all small things but they all are big things to me! Love you.

Marcy said...

I was happily surprised to see the words, "things will work out" in your post. I just got a wall hanging with those words on it. When I saw it I knew I had to have it in my home--it reminded me of President Hinckley's attitude and counsel. And Hans is always telling me that things will be fine--because I (often?) sometimes let worry cloud my faith.

Another thing my good husband says is, "Things will get easier."

lrbodine said...

You could have called me too! I have been on the other end of service the last few months when I was so sick and had to rely on others to help me out - and it was REALLY hard for me. But when my mom was fighting cancer - she taught me that it is just as important to LET others serve and give them the opportunities for those blessings. Just like it is important for us to do service ourselves - I have had to learn how to let others serve me without feeling guilty. I always try and think of it as another chance to serve someone else later and pay it back in a way...

Zachary said...

Serving a family like yours is a gift to the server. Such service uplifts those who have the privilege of serving.

Sheri said...

Your friendship has been a tremendous gift and blessing in my life--know that you have lifted me up in many ways!!!