Last night was an interesting study in opposites and how a little phone call can change life (in a good way!).
Yesterday afternoon and after work on my drive to school, I was tired. I didn't want to go to class. The music on the radio seemed depressing and I just was feeling a little beat up and a bit broken. It seemed that all I could think about was the losses in my life. And it was annoying.
I got to school and realized that I was caught up on my school work and decided to read a fun book that I had in my bag. That helped my mood a bit.
Then my brother called. Two days ago he turned 27. I feel old. Anyway, we chatted for a minute as I asked how his birthday was and if he did anything fun. He was very chipper and chatty...which was a bit odd, but hey, I'll take it.
He said, "Hey, I have some news." Then he asked if I was sitting down. I was. He asked if I was in a public place. I was. He then made me promise that I wouldn't scream, or cry, or do anything to embarrass myself. This really stressed me out, but I promised. And then to drag it out longer, he said that a mutual friend was over and said hi. I told him that I had to go to class, so just tell me already!
He did. And it was great news. And I can't share it yet. But it is sooooo awesome. He told me the story behind the news and I might have shed a tear or two. And I'm not a weepy person.
Anyway. This post is not about his news, but I how I felt afterward. All I could think of was how there have been soooooooo many people that have blessed my family, when we were little, teenagers, and even now.
As a kid that grew up under difficult circumstances, I always felt like an outsider, judged and pitied from afar for my family's deficiencies. No one could understand. No one could relate. No one cared. I felt abandoned and unloved by someone that wasn't supposed to act that way. All I could see was how my family was deficient when compared to others.
I've realized over the years that this was not the case at all. Our friends at church may not have been in similar circumstances, but that doesn't mean that we were not cared for or ignored. Sure, maybe they couldn't relate, but that doesn't mean that they didn't help us. Watch out for us kids. Love us kids. Adopt us into their families. Include us as their own.
I will forever be grateful for these families. I will love them forever for the priceless gifts and memories they have given me and my family.
I think how I didn't have the Priesthood in my home, and I used to feel that I missed out on so much. Sure, there were things that I did miss out on. But the big things were never missing. I may not have had a father at home, but I had at least 10 men (that I can think of the top of my head), and their families, in my ward that constantly, and consistently, watched over my family for years. Even now, all four of us kids are successful, functioning adults (two even being married), and yet these families are still watching out for us and supporting us and loving us.
I felt this way when I went through the temple. I was reminded how much a ward can (and should) be a family. And my family ward really was an extended family for us. It was hard to see it as a kid, but I certainly see it now. I love that ward and what it represents so much! I have felt so much love from them too. Heavenly Father put people in my family's lives so we could feel his love for us. These families have been angels to us.
After talking to my brother last night, I was reminded AGAIN how much my family has been watched over and loved by our friends and most importantly Heavenly Father my whole life. All I could think of last night driving home was all the blessings I have received because I didn't have a dad in my home. And the blessings FAR out-weigh any bad things that happened (or didn't happen). I kept thinking that without this Gospel, none of the positive things that have happened in my family would have been possible.
Last night I felt so loved driving home from work in the dreary rain. It was wonderful. And I haven't stopped smiling.