My last post on this blog was about how I would not be having a garden this year. I didn't. I was in Indonesia and Timor Leste all Summer! Wow! That was a fantastic experience! Does that mean I did not grow anything? NOPE!
healing, in my heart. Getting away from the one causing the harm was key. The first thing you do with a wound is stop the bleeding. Being completely away from my usual environment was such a good thing, in so many ways... it's hard to explain, but it got me out of myself. The world suddenly seemed bigger and more vast, which gave me hope and a desire to explore it! Then, add service to the mix and the healing power increases exponentially! I'm pretty sure that the power of service does not need to be explained to anyone who has served another. Immersing myself, for an entire Summer, in service was the most healing thing I could have done and I will never regret it.
I grew faith. Funny thing about faith... you have to use it to have it. You must exercise it to grow it. I had no idea why I was going on my "mini mission" but I knew I was meant to go. It was hard to leave my family for so long, live with a 1000 complete strangers, and travel to a place where I did not understand the language or the culture to do a job that I had no idea what it would be before I got there. I sensed that my purpose in going was for my own healing, but I did not understand how that would happen. I trusted. It worked! I can't even tell you now, how that healing happened. There was not one moment of epiphany, not one great witness of a miracle, not one big spiritual revelation..... Instead, there were hundreds of tiny moments of joy, awe, humility, surprise and witnesses of the Spirit. Little by little, Heavenly Father whittled away the hard shell of anger and bitterness I had developed as a protection. Then, he drizzled on me, love and kindness, like the salty mist of the sea cools the heat in a Pacific storm.
|I took this from the ship, on the way to Guam.|
I grew my testimony. I was privileged to work and live with the most amazing Latter-Day Saints! Every night, we gathered for a devotional where I was honored to listen to their strong testimonies and the inspiring thoughts that had come to them while serving on the USNS Mercy. As I learned of their lives of struggle and hardship, I realized that the trials of life are not any easier on some than others. We all must endure things that are tailored to try us where we need strength. It is in the choosing that determines what happens to us. Two people can have the same struggle and one end up bitter and miserable, while the other ends up stronger and enlightened. It is not the trial that did it... it is how we chose to deal with that trial. I met so many who were choosing to become like God, following His example. I saw the results of those choices and I want to be like them.
|A few of my examples....|
I grew friends. I grew love. I grew compassion. I grew thankfulness.
I grew closer to my Savior..... to Him, I give thanks.