For those of you who have read my book A Future for Tomorrow, you know that it is much more than a story about overcoming anorexia. It is a deeply personal and spiritual story as well.
I experienced extraordinary spiritual happens that I feel I depicted respectfully and accurately the way I felt guided to relay the events.
I came away from that experience with many precious truths, but one was specifically focused on the importance of service. It is a huge part of why we are here on Earth.
Right now I'm in a hard place physically. As I mentioned briefly in my last post, I get extremely ill during my pregnancies. This one is no exception. It seems every day is worse that the last. Without sounding like I'm complaining I will just say it has been a trail to say the least.
I want to share with you the story of an incredible women in my ward. She probably will never read this since she doesn't have a computer, so my reasoning to write it isn't for her, but to hopefully inspire you to continue the service chain and reach out to those who are in need around you.
The story actually begins around three years ago. When I saw who was assigned to be my visiting teacher I had to chuckle. "What an odd match," I thought, "pairing the not only vegetarian but vegan in the ward with the rancher's daughter." (me being the rancher's daughter)
I was convinced she would try to force her believes on me and try to "convert" me to her no-meat friendly diet, but I was surprised that she was completely accepting and respectful of other's life style with no desire to change them.
I began to know her casually, but not until I was pregnant with my daughter did I truly see how remarkable this lady was.
When she caught word of my suffering and inability to keep enough food and water in that I was struggling with dehydration among other things she popped into my house and wouldn't take no for an answer. She did dishes, brought over meals, surprised me with bowls of freshly prepared watermelon, told me about home remedies for morning sickness --leaving me with a few, and constantly kept tabs on me.
I don't think I ever got completely comfortable accepting the help especially when it came to her cleaning my house, but wow what a blessing she was. She told me that her pregnancies are hard as well and when she was bed ridden she had a visiting teacher who did the same for her and she decided right then and there she would pass the charitable helping hand on. I too vowed to do the same when I was in a place and time where I could.
After my, now two year old daughter, was born. I did do my best to serve anyone who needed it and made sure my name was always on the sign up sheet to take meals to those in need.
My visiting teacher was reassigned to visit another sister, but I was still thrilled to see her in church and share a brief moment of sisterhood.
I remember thinking that no one would ever have been able to help me the way she did and have the true compassion and understanding of how severely ill I was. I knew the Relief Society Presidency was inspired to place me under her care.
Years went by, as they do, and it was months in between hellos with my dear sister.
My husband and I decided to embark at least one more time on the journey of pregnancy. It was not taken lightly or without fear since I knew what I was in for. (basically compared to having the worst stomach flu you can imagine for nine months) It had been months and months of trying and still I was not pregnant. I started doubting if it was the right thing. I feared that something was wrong and I wouldn't be able to carry another child.
One unexpecting day I received a phone call from the Relief Society President to tell me I had new visiting teachers. I was shocked to hear that my kindly sister was called to me again! I had never had a visiting teacher called to me more than once. The thought came to my mind that maybe I would be getting pregnant soon and that is why she was paired with me again. She was meant to help me out on this trail once again.
Soon I received a call from my v.t and she said that she saw me in church a few weeks before and the impression came to her that I was going to get pregnant and I would need her help once again. She vowed that she was going to continue to help me regardless of being my visiting teacher or not, but just a few days later she was told she was assigned to me again.
This brought tears to my eyes as I visited her on the phone since I had started to loss hope in conceiving.
A little more than a month later we did receive the exciting news that I was indeed pregnant and less than two weeks later I was bed ridden once again.
Yesterday, who do you think popped up? My v.t she had a meal and as I lay helpless eating it on the couch I heard her buzzing around my house. She did dishes, cleaned, swept, took out the garbage, and entertained my two children. The grateful feelings of her service brought tears to my eyes more than once while she was here. Hours later she helped me up the stairs and into bed, but not before she brushed my kids teeth and had them ready for bed as well.
It is always hard for me and humbling to accept her help. I have to push the embarrassment behind and just be grateful. I have to remind myself that once I am well again I will too show this "don't take no for an answer" kind of service to others. (I call it that because how many times have I told her that she has done enough and she doesn't need to do it, but she does anyway.)I am eternally grateful to her and to the others who have offered me help during this time. Especially to my husband who has taken on double the responsibilities and never complains.
I hope this story inspires you to show kindness and not take no for an answer when the Lord prompts you to serve your fellow brother or sisters.