Sunday, September 2, 2012

Testimony

A birthday bear from Payton to Aaron.  Payton is a little
girl who had Trisomy 13 and lived 17 1/2 months.
This is a gift from her family to Aaron.

Such a soft and cuddly friend.
I'm not sure where this is going, not even sure if I'll post it or just keep it as a draft.  But I've had these thoughts running around my mind today, and I'm hoping to settle them and make them coherent.




Today was Fast and Testimony Sunday at church.  We fast two meals, giving the funds saved to the bishop to help others, and try to draw closer to Heavenly Father through sacrifice.  Sometimes going without that food is harder than others, like when I've not fasted for almost two years due to pregnancy and nursing.  But that was neither here nor there this time.  It's been almost two years since that was a factor.  But today, it was more out of rote or habit than an actual purpose in fasting.  Except, I wanted to feel something, learn something.  So maybe that was enough.  I think it was.  Anyway, all was about the same, some kids tired, others cranky.  Aaron had a good morning and was trying to decide if he should sleep or stay awake for church.

The scriptures teach us that fasting brings for blessings.  When his disciples tried to cast an evil spirit out of a boy and couldn't, and then the Savior did, they asked why.  His reply:  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21)  I know the power of fasting and prayer.  How could I forget it?  I've felt it's influence many times in my life, both in tangible and intangible ways.

And it makes sense that when bearing testimony on Fast Sunday, fasting would be mentioned.  Anyway, I was just sitting there, enjoying the meeting, when one comment hit me, hard.  A wonderful woman was talking about the blessings she's seen and mentioned that it was through the power of the fast that her daughter wasn't in a wheelchair.  Wait a minute, my soul cried, my son IS in a wheelchair.  And the Spirit gently whispered, "Yes, he is.  He is in a wheelchair, right here, beside you, happy and smiling."  And I began to be taught.

Each of our trials are custom-made for us.  Mine are different than someone else's.  For a moment, I felt just a tiny bit of the anguish I've heard from angel moms.  Just because our miracle is still alive and we give God the glory, does that mean that their angel was any less of a miracle, or that God loved them less?  No, most certainly not.  I think, at least for me, the miracle is feeling of God's love.  I don't know why some have to die and others get to live.  I don't know why Aaron struggles so much and has chosen (because I believe he chose this life) to fight so hard.  I just know that when I'm with him, when he smiles at me, I see God's love shining through those eyes.  If being a Christian means taking on ourselves the attributes of Christ, then Aaron is the best Christian I have ever been blessed to know.  Because he loves, unconditionally, just like my Savior.  He forgives, and he works hard, and he suffers, innocently, just like Christ did.

There were others who spoke, and it seemed that a few spoke about trials and how the knowledge that God was there for them in their struggles helped them.  Then right at the end, the very last speaker, bore a powerful testimony of the Savior, and of His resurrection.  He spoke of attending a colleagues funeral yesterday, and the struggle that was.  Then he concluded with the wonderful word of Jesus, Himself:  "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"  (John 11:25)  I couldn't hold back the tears, but they were tears of thanksgiving and gratitude.

I know my Savior loves me.  I know He loves Aaron.  This life is not all there is, and we will be together again when it is over.  I will hold him and love him.  He will have a perfect body, one that breathes and eats and laughs and runs.  One that won't need machines and medicine to help him.  One that will let him speak the words of his heart and hear my voice.

One of my very favorite hymns is I Know That My Redeemer Lives:
1. I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.
2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
3. He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.
4. He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

“My beloved brothers and sisters, in our hour of deepest sorrow, we can receive profound peace from the words of the angel that first  Easter morning: 
‘He is not here: for he is risen.’”
                                     President Thomas S. Monson 

3 comments:

  1. Leilani ChristensenSeptember 3, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Amazing testimony, Rebekah. Thank you for sharing. With love and prayers, Leilani

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  2. Very touching post. I can't find anything on the site that gives your full name or an email address, Rebekah, so let me just say here how impressed I am with your writing and that I would like to discuss featuring one or more of your posts on new website for Latter-day Saints that are raising children with special needs. It's called "The Liahona Project ... faith and direction" (www.theliahonaproject.net) Please contact me there. Lisa Riska

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  3. One of my FB friends posted your blog post on her FB and I am so glad she did.
    I love how you said "This life is not all there is, and we will be together again when it is over."
    That is so true and something that many people fail to keep in mind.
    God has not promised me nor my children tomorrow, mortal life could end for any of us at any moment.
    I think knowing that our mortal existance is not all there is and that each of us need to make the best use of every moment makes life so much richer for us all. That knowledge that this is NOT the end and there are better things ahead makes the tough moments in life more bearable I think. For me when I look at all the medication I give my son so he can be "comfortable" It is bittersweet to know that one day he won't need it.I know when that day comes I will be over the moon with joy for him that he doesn't need those med's anymore. But I know how much I will miss the presence of his sweet spirit in our house. Like I said Bittersweet.

    "The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life".
    (Russell M. Nelson

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