I just wanted to tell you that I just finished reading hard times and holy places. It was so beautifully written, I couldn't put it down. I have so much to ponder and think about now. Thank you for being so open and sharing your story. I feel like the biggest thing I really took to heart, is that utilizing the atonement when we suffer not only allows Christ to help us endure, but it helps us become more like him. I like to be an independent person, but since having triplets I have had to accept a lot if help. Sometimes I feel like because I take way more service than I give, I'm not showing charity and growing more like Christ. But that isn't true! I have become much more like him recently because I can't cope with life unless he is right by my side helping me endure. Thank you for helping me realize this.
Also, I love the concept of holy places during hard times. When my triplets were first diagnosed [with eye cancer], I can't even begin to describe the pain and sorrow I experienced. I had a real moment where I had to make the decision to become angry and bitter at God, or to decide to accept what happened and allow God and Christ to help me overcome my sadness. From the moment I humbled myself and prayed for help, I felt my burdens lighten, and peace enter my body. In the last 4.5 months, that peace has never left me. Sure hard things have happened, but I know God and Christ are right by my side helping us make the best decisions for our boys and giving us peace.
Anyways, I do have to admit that you scared me a little. I honestly don't know of anyone who has come close to suffering as much physically as you have. As I read the book, I kept thinking as I'm sure you have thought many times, Heavenly Father wouldn't dare allow ANOTHER trial. I often think that since all 3 retinoblastoma, God wouldn't dare allow anything else bad to happen to them. But I worry that my boys may not be finished with their trials yet either. At the moment, their prognosis seems good, but it is so hard not to worry. They each have one really good eye with no tumors affecting their central vision. Thomas had his right eye removed right at the beginning. Mason had his left eye removed a couple months after. Luke actually lost his sight in his left eye due to a mishap during surgery. I continue to feel such peace that things will be ok. But I'm starting to realize that it doesn't always mean that miracles will happen. It means that God is completely aware and in control of our situation and he will help us overcome whatever obstacles come before us. We just have to live life one day at a time and like you said, we need to live with hope. Even though so many things could go wrong with the boys still, I have just decided I will hope and expect for the best. If the best doesn't happen, I know I have Christ to rely on and I have no need to worry.