Do you ever have one of those Sundays where EVERYTHING you hear at church seems directed at you? Every prayer, every talk, every lesson seems applicable to YOUR life? This was my Sunday.
Sacrament Meeting went well. Lately I've tried to make a conscious effort to concentrate on the Savior during the passing of the sacrament, and today, it just totally slipped my mind. When the deacons were returning the water trays, I remember thinking to myself, "Wait! I forgot! Can I have a do-over?"
Once the speakers started, I DID get my do-over. The first speaker talked about being Christ's hands and responding quickly to promptings. He talked about how we say our prayers praying for someone to help us and they come and DO help us, why can't we be the answer to someone else's prayer?
Then our choir sang one of my favorite songs, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." I sang with the choir, and before going up I warned my boys to be good....Jake followed us up onto the stand and then stood at the front and peeked over the edge. Nice, my son is the ward's entertainment.
The second talk was about forgiveness. I come from a long line of grudge holders, and have perfected this trait myself. In fact, I've been struggling lately, but I haven't really mentioned it here, but I will now, because I need some help and perspective to get past it.
About a month ago, on one of our many Family Home Evenings, I had a blow up with my step-grandma. She is constantly telling me what to do, and treating me like a little kid. She's not very nice about it, and acts like she's my mom and I'm an incapable child. Well, that night, she tried to tell me something (at the same time that my own mother was telling me the SAME thing) and I got frustrated. I've held in my true feelings for years. And unfortunately, I blew up. I yelled and screamed and basically acted like a baby. I told her that I was an adult, and that I did NOT need her to tell me what to do. I can take care of my own family and she didn't need to get in the middle of it.
Now, the message is one that she might need to hear (since she is a butt-insky and is always trying to micromanage everyone around her....) but my presentation was HORRIBLE! I felt terrible. I wanted to apologize to her for yelling, but not for my message. So after consulting with some friends, I decided to email her my apology, but tell her that I will not put up with her treatment of me anymore. I meant what I said, but that I felt bad about yelling and acting like a little kid.
That was the single most SCARIEST moment of my life. I did NOT want to hurt her feelings, but I felt like I needed to stand up for myself and let her know where I stood. A week went by...she had not responded. I felt like things were going to be okay, and she was just going to let this blow over. I was relieved that we were "okay."
Unfortunately that is NOT how it ended. By the end of the week she had sent me a very nasty email saying that I was a horrible mother and wife and that she needed to tell me what to do because I was so incapable of doing it on my own.
I was hurt and angry. (Truth be told, I'm STILL hurt and angry.)
I have not seen NOR spoken to her since then.....it's very odd, and I have guilt that she is keeping herself from the rest of my family because of me.
When I heard the forgiveness talk today I KNEW that it was Heavenly Father's way of telling me that it is time to forgive her and move on. I just don't know how....it's so hard to forgive someone who refuses to forgive me (yes, in the email she told me that she will NEVER forgive me....) and someone who treats me and my family so badly. (I've been thinking over and over at how she treats my sweet Cameron....and it brings Mama Bear out EVERY time.) Someone told me that I need to let go and stop stewing over her, especially when I haven't seen her or talked to her in such a long time. That it is Satan trying to get me into his nets.
I admit that I should, but I am SO good at holding grudges. I mean, I'm amazing at holding grudges.
All through his talk I felt the Spirit tell me, "You need to forgive her. Forgiveness will make you feel so much better and you know it."
I know I do, and so in the middle of that talk, I said a small prayer that I will be able to find a way to forgive her.
Sunday School was great as well. The teacher spoke of parables and how we need to change ourselves to be receptive to truths. (Hello, I must need to do a lot of changing, because forgiveness is one of my weaknesses....)
Relief Society was probably the place where I was touched the most. I will tell you, I love my ward. LOVE them. And I've been trying to sit in different parts of the room to get to know every body and to switch things up. I sat by one of my favorite people and settled in to enjoy the lesson. Our opening song was "As Sisters in Zion." Again, a hymn that I love and that means SO much to me. I didn't have a book, so I felt the power of the words coming through my heart. It was very special.
Then the lesson was about Charity. This is something I wish I had a better grasp of. Charity is something I wish that I had for everyone, but I've been learning that I am very judgmental and I don't love everyone the same way Christ does. I've been trying to change. It's started a while ago with my younger brother, who has made so many wrong choices. One day I commented that something he loves is for "weird people" and he chastened me by saying "no, it's for people who are judged...." I have been quick to judge first and not to love as quickly. I've tried to change this about myself, and can truly feel stronger love for my brother.
During the lesson today I realized, "Charity is the answer to your forgiveness.... You need to learn to love your step-grandma the way that Christ does. Not only do you need to find Charity in your heart for her, but you need to share this love with your husband and children. They are the ones who are most deserving of your love and understanding. Treat them ALL better and you will be happier."
I spent the remainder of the lesson in tears and being chastened by the Spirit. (The teacher didn't make the lesson out to be one where you feel bad, in fact, she did an amazing job! I just took the truths she was teaching and applied them to my situations.) The closing hymn in Relief Society was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's version of "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus." As I think back to that song, I'm tearing up. It was beautiful and so true....we need to" love one another as Jesus loves [us]. Try to show kindness in all that [we] do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught." It shouldn't be so hard, it should be simple and easy to follow in his footsteps.
I've tried applying these lessons into dealing with my children, and while I have fallen a few times (yes, I've failed a few times in the last few hours since church...) things are going SO well. My boys aren't going to turn to me immediately, but I believe that if I love them with the "pure love of Christ" then things will be better and I will be happier.
The best part of the day came after the closing prayer. My favorite lady, that I sat by, leaned over and said to me (while the tears were pouring down my cheeks...) "I want you to know, that whenever people mention 'Dawnyel,' I hear nothing but good things. You are so sweet and we all just love having you here." Could there not be a better way to end the day?
So many lessons learned in such a short amount of time. It's been a fantastic Sunday.