Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hope In Good Things to Come

I have been writing another book and thought you might like a sneak peak. Here's one of my chapters. What do you think?


After n hour, we finally arrived at our family reunion in a canyon near Salt Lake City, and I had one thing on my mind. I had to find the restroom.
Before we joined my husband’s family members around the camp fire, we detoured into the cabin. I opened the bathroom door, then closed and locked it. I leaned my cane in the corner, and got all ready to sit on the toilet. However, as I was sitting down, I reached out my hand to find the toilet, and instead, felt…a head of hair! Needless to say, I yanked up my pants extremely quickly.
Noting the altitude of the head, I deduced that it was a young head, and was probably a bit disturbed by what had flashed before its eyes. Trying to reassure my new friend, I inquired, “Was that scary?”
It spoke! The head could speak! Why it hadn’t found its voice earlier, I’m not sure, but I was glad to hear it nonetheless. After apologizing, I left my bathroom buddy, and walked out to the group- shaking my head in disbelief. When they saw me approach, the family asked me what was wrong.
“I’ll pay for therapy.” I said. “Some little girl in the bathroom is going to need it.”
You know, being able to look behind you does have its advantages.
I am amazed at the situations I get myself into. So many embarrassing things wouldn’t happen if only I could see. As things stand, however, I guess I’ll continue collecting experiences for my stand-up comedy routine.
But, not all my experiences are funny. There have been times that have been so difficult and discouraging, that I’ve longed to have my life back the way it was before my cancer and blindness. I miss the woman I used to be, and the things I was able to do.
I look back to my days of light, and wish things had turned out differently. Do you, like me, ever suffer from the “If only” syndrome? It is so easy to look to our past and say, “If only this or that hadn’t happened, then…”, “Why didn’t I…?”, or “Why did I…?”
Sure, we can benefit by remembering lessons learned, and good times we’ve had, but too much looking back can damage our spiritual eye sight. If we focus on mistakes, wallow in guilt or regret, hold tightly to grudges, or long for what has been lost, then our eyes are again removed from the Light. Our vision dims, and our progression slows.
It may be extremely difficult to move beyond sadness, anger or bitterness caused by past events. But, if we remain stuck in those emotions, we forfeit light which can lead us forward. It works the same when we long for the good days of the past. We may not live fully in today because yesterday was easier or happier.
“…I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experi¬enced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives” ( Brigham Young University 2008-2009 Speeches, Remember Lot’s Wife, Jeffrey R. Holland
13 January 2009).
I love the truth that faith points us, and helps us to move forward. Faith in Jesus Christ promises hope for good things to come. It brings meaning to our struggles, and offers courage to continue through dark times. Faith in Jesus Christ is light.
My life is definitely not easy, and I don’t like living every day in darkness. But my faith in my Savior leads me to have hope in what lies ahead. I invite you to allow Christ to hold and heal pain from the past. Allow his sacrifice to pay for sin- your own and those who have hurt you. Point yourself forward with hope in a loving God who wants your happiness. This takes work, of course, but our faith will bring the needed strength found through and in the atonement.
It’s true that I miss those far off days of light, but I know that the woman I was had not been polished enough to someday sit with my Savior and the Father. I needed to grow more. I needed to become more. Although I thought I would never again be happy after I went blind, my hope in Christ has brought me to a much better place- a place where joy still exists.
Whether our past is filled with sadness or joy, we cannot dwell there. This life is all about progression, and our individual growth will come as we keep our eyes firmly facing forward, not backward. Have hope. There is joy and happiness ahead. There are good things to come.