I don't usually fill my blog with that much fluff. So, when you see that I am blogging about the Post Office's best kept secrets, you've got to know that I'm avoiding writing about the real topic that is occupying my heart.
Sunday was extremely emotional for me. I was really close to the spirit, and I learned a lot, yet every truth that was spoken made me ache just a little bit too.
You see, I was grieving for my dear friend--a beautiful, amazing girl--who had reached out to me the night before to let me know that she was going through a trial that was--through no fault of her own--going to result in the ending of her temple marriage.
Oh, how I love this friend of mine. She is intelligent and creative, as fashionable as she is compassionate. She is witty, quick with a laugh, and so much fun to spend time with. She is strong, like a woman should be. She is confident. She is faithful. She is kind. She's got that thing, you know, that women have--a vibrancy--and you can just tell by the way that she carries herself that she believes in her abilities and that she is happy on the inside. It's a happiness that can't be tampered with or shouldn't be anyway. She's also got youth on her side.
This should give you just a touch more insight into the kind of person she is: in her professional career she has had a hand in the interior design for the newly-built temples! She's a really good girl, and brilliant in so many ways. I could go on and on.
So, you can see why it is just tearing me up inside to think that anyone could ever do wrong to this wonderful person. That anyone would ever try to crush her spirit by exercising unrighteous dominion, by being unfaithful to their marital vows, by making light of her efforts to forgive and save the relationship, and by making a mockery of sacred things.
The whole thing makes me teeter between anger/disbelief and deep, deep woe. You see, this is the second such story I've witnessed happening to a good friend of mine in the past year. (And surely there are a million more just like it.)
My other sweet friend is just as spectacular as the first friend I have just described, only in addition to being a good, kind, and faithful wife, she is also an excellent mother. She's not Mormon, but she cares just as deeply about the marriage covenant as we do, and has proven this by spending a good year and a half (at least) bending over backward to mend the wreckage that was again brought about by the unfaithful acts of her spouse. (Incidentally, neither one of these women have ever said a derogatory word about their spouses in my presence, but, instead, they have expressed such charity toward their weaker half.)
So back to my emotional teetering. I am angry and disgusted, but I'm not quite sure who to be angry with. The husbands (in this case) for making such hideously selfish choices and being lead completely astray? Or Satan for waging such a merciless war on ALL FAMILIES of the world today. If you know me well at all, you probably already know the answer to that question.
Last year, someone called my love of The Family Proclamation my little "gospel hobby". And in the context of our conversation, her comment was definitely not meant to be a compliment. My knee-jerk reaction at the time was to refute her criticism of me that seemed deeply hurtful, but which I can now see really came out of her misunderstanding my words and coloring them with biases of her own...which, admittedly, we all have.
But as time has passed, I have come to actually own that "hobby" description. If someone were to run that line past me today, I'd gladly say, "Dang straight, my friend!" However, it would be much more accurate to say that I have not one but two gospel hobbies: The study and application of the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ AND the principles found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
When understood and applied correctly, these two things--which are found in their fullness only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--can act as a both a sword of truth in one hand and a shield of protection to us and our families in the other. To any woman (or man) reading this, I say, these are two important weapons that you never want to set down, not for a moment.
I think what was really getting to me on Sunday was the stark realization that this spiritual armor--these beautiful truths--can only be of use to us when we study, understand, believe, and apply them faithfully throughout our lives. If we dismiss the truths found in the full doctrine of Jesus Christ--which we know includes the Family Proclamation--then we are only robbing ourselves of the peace and happiness and power that comes from living the word of God, words that come to us from both ancient scripture and from living prophets. Words that apply with great wisdom to EVERY situation and every trial that we will face in our day.
Both of these women, these dear, dear friends of mine, are complete class acts. I have total confidence in their ability to pick up the pieces of this shattered dream, and with the comfort and strength of the Lord, Jesus Christ, move forward, grow upward, rediscover that girl they knew themselves to be before heartbreak, and be lead to brighter days, and the fulfillment of even happier dreams.
They will embrace the gospel, because, through it all they never let go of their faith. They will hold on to The One who has NEVER LET THEM DOWN and who never will let them down. They will find healing in His touch and shelter under His watchful eye. They will walk the way that I described once again, with their heads held high...leading the way for their children to follow, because that is what women like them are here on earth to do, walk tall regardless of the choices of others.
This post contains a lot of personal emotions and experiences. I hope that it does not offend anyone reading it. Instead, I hope that someone reading this hears and understands the spirit of my words and the truth of them too. But most importantly, I hope that my friends read this, because I want them to know that I know that they have what it takes, and that the "future is as bright as [their] faith."
If you are suffering under this or any other kind of disappointment in life...I want YOU to know this as well. If you have the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you HAVE what it takes.
(*For the record, my intent is not to knock anyone down, but to build others up...and I sincerely hope those misguided men someday figure out how to "have what it takes" too!)