What I need and then some

I used to think that I knew what I wanted and needed, but today it occurred to me I really didn’t have a clue.  Today, this Christmas Eve of 2011, I think I have finally learned what it is I need.  To fully explain, you will have to take a trip with me.  Close your eyes and let me take you back…way back to a time before some of you reading this were even born.  We’re going back to a relatively warm Winter Day nearly 20 years ago.

I was 19 and almost a thousand miles away from home.  I was going through what was, up to that point, one of the most difficult struggles I’ve ever endured and alienated from my family for many reasons.  To make matters worse, I didn’t really feel like I fit in with my Ward (congregation) and didn’t know how and where I fit in anywhere.  I did; however, always find solace when with my Bishop and his wife.  I spent so much time with them that I wound up calling them Mom and Dad long after he ceased to be my Bishop.

So, on this relatively warm Winter night, my Bishop and his wife took me to go see the stage production Forgotten Carols by Michael McClean.  I won’t go into much detail about the plot of the story…you can click here, here, or here to read more on that yourself.  But I will say I was hooked instantly.  I’ve now seen the live production and I own the book, DVD, and CD.  I’m kinda a Forgotten Carols freak I guess.  Really though the story IS that good.

It is no secret that holidays haven’t been my thing for many years.  This year though, Christmas became my thing again.  The last time I remember being this excited about all the magic and wonder of Christmas was the first Christmas I was a Mommy.  That baby will be 16 soon so….it’s been quite some time.  I don’t even know how it all started, but I do know how it all finished.  I’ll get to that in a minute.

So this morning I wake up and am incredibly happy.  I don’t mean artificially happy or pretend happy…I mean I woke up smiling.   I don’t remember what I was dreaming of or anything, I just woke up smiling!  I had some errands I needed to run and had my little Ranga join me this morning.  The day was incredibly beautiful.  Crisp and chilly, but beyond beautiful.  I saw my mountain a few times (and yes it still takes my breath away), I didn’t have an anxiety attack at Wal-Mart during “regular” shopping hours, and I just felt happy.  I sat with my nephew and laughed and played and played and laughed while his mom ran some last-minute errands this morning and as I did so, a perfect beautiful peace was about me.  All was right in my world.

Ok no…it wasn’t or isn’t really right, but it was all right.  Does that make sense?!?  I hope so.  I left my sister’s house and raced home to make a ham, finish up her present, shower, bake Jesus His birthday cake, pack the presents into the car and be back at her house in just a few hours.  No pressure though…so I decided to watch Forgotten Carols again tonight while working on my sister’s gift and a miracle happened.  Funny how I could completely relate to so much of Connie Lou’s experience; complete with her disdain for all things Christmas.  Ok…maybe not all things Christmas, just most.  Anyway, like Connie Lou, an experience I had changed some things and I found myself so excited and happy I could hardly keep it all inside.

The closing scene of the play shows Connie Lou is on-stage rocking a baby so a new mom can get some rest.  As she rocks this baby she sings these lyrics:

All I ever wanted all I ever dreamed of everything I hoped and all the things I prayed for couldn’t hold a candle to what I’ve been given I’ve been given what I need.   

A mansion on a hill or love like in a movie. Perfect little lives where no one has a problem instead of all those things I thought I really wanted I’ve been given what I need.  Even when I didn’t understand, when I thought You had no heart.  Thank you for rejecting my demands and always giving me the better part.

 All I ever wanted, all I ever dreamed of, everything I hoped and all the things I prayed for couldn’t hold a candle to what I’ve been given I’ve been given what I need.

 All I ever wanted, all I ever dreamed of, everything I hoped and all the things I prayed for couldn’t hold a candle to what I’ve been given I’ve been given what I need.

It  was a miraculous moment for me.  I looked around knowing that the same was true of my life.  I don’t have any of the things I’ve prayed to have for months.  The life I live now is certainly not anything I wanted or dreamed of either, but I wouldn’t trade it either and it is exactly what I need.  It just took me a long time to realize it is all.

I’ve been given gifts that will endure for all of time…gifts that are priceless.  These include a sister who doubles as not just a best friend, but also a second mom to my kids, four of the most amazing children to have ever walked the Earth (just ask anyone who knows them….really I’m not being biased at all), a beautiful place in the world to live, a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back, electricity, and a fire by which to warm my home if need be.  I’ve been given good great friends, many talents, a phenomenal Ward (congregation) family, the love and support of a man I’m privileged to call Daddy, 2 nephews I love like my own sons, and love.  Lots and lots of love.  Today as everything went down that did, the thing I just kept coming back to was how truly madly and deeply loved I am.  I’m loved by my Heavenly Father and I know this with a certainty that I think I’ve never quite known or understood before.

This knowledge or awareness or whatever you want to call it has made me my heart swell so big it keeps threatening to spill out my eyes and roll down my cheeks.  I am loved so much that, despite my most earnest pleadings for things I thought I wanted and needed, He has given me everything I need…and then some.  Like President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has says, “you are not forgotten…wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.  Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!  He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name—you are the daughters [or sons] of His kingdom.”

Merry Christmas with love to all of my friends and family.  May He give each of you EXACTLY what you need (even if it differs from what you think you need or may want) is my prayer!  Be blessed!

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One thought on “What I need and then some

  1. Faith, this brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful, how beautiful, how blessed you are!!! My joy for you is immeasurable. ((((((Hugs)))))) You are an amazing woman!

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