Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reposting, but for a Good Reason

Hello all. Two years ago I sat down to write to you all about my son who passed away, and my experience that day. Two years ago. It's hard to believe how quickly time passes when you're not paying attention...or in denial.

I want to put out my Happy Birthday wishes to my son, D, who would have turned 11 years old this year. Your presence has been felt recently in our home. We all love you so much.

Sending Out a Birthday Wish

Monday, March 7, 2011

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Several years ago I was a part of a marvelous online group dedicated to the author Jan Karon, who penned the books known as "The Mitford Series." For anyone who may not know much of these books, I highly recommend them. They revolve around a certain Father Tim Kavanaugh, who is the spiritual leader over a parish of very unusual, funny, and downright lovable characters.

As an online community I grew to love the women I'd met there. Every once in a while we'd get the trouble maker who loved to stir things up for the sheer intent of creating discord, yet on the whole I enjoyed the friendships made.

One of the most beautiful parts of this site were the needs being met in the area of prayer. Prayer is a powerful tool, especially when a group of people are brought together for a single purpose. Eventually those who chose to participate in the prayer threads of the site were referred to as the Prayer Warriors. It seemed particularly fitting as there is always a battle to be fought on spiritual levels, and the combined efforts given had proven to be a powerful force on more than one occasion.

It's been many years since I was last on that site. Things in it had changed a little too much when it came to the general aura of the site - at least for me it had. I didn't enjoy it as much. However, the term "Prayer Warrior" still makes my spine tingle. I was thinking of this term earlier in the week when the need for serious prayer in great numbers came to me.

About six weeks ago I was asked to be a part of a very small group of women who would work on a special spiritual activity for our stake girl's camp this year. Our leader had an idea of what this needed to be about. As a group we filled in the details and then, due to the special talent for writing my Heavenly Father has given me, I took the assignment home and began.

For almost two straight weeks every spare minute (and even some not so spare) was dedicated to writing. I felt the words and ideas flow through me as they had not for almost a year. I could tell the Holy Spirit was with me during this journey. The beginning was at first tough to pin down as I wasn't sure how to begin what had to match the already blossoming middle. Little inspirations struck, helping me understand which ideas our little group had come up with would or would not work, and before I knew it about twelve pages had been put together. I was ecstatic, elated, and other exciting words starting with the letter e. Mostly I was humbled with the incredible project the Lord was helping me to create.

Then Thursday hit. From the moment I awoke everything felt...wrong. I was tired, grumpy, down, depressed. The weather that day dawned dark and rainy. No matter how hard I tried I could not get myself to sit down and work on my beloved piece. I couldn't seem to wrap my mind around anything except for one fact - for I was overcome with a nauseating "truth" - that everything I'd written was simply no good. It was so off course. It was horrible. It was far too long. There was no possible way the others in my group would like it.

I was in absolute despair.

Everything in me said, "Just erase it. Start over. Don't let anyone know how you failed." It is difficult for me to help you understand what it means for a writer to be threatened with the thought of needing to get rid of something we once thought of as brilliant. I'd put my heart and soul into these wonderful combinations of words and ideas. To erase it all felt so much like erasing a part of myself.

In despair I retreated into my mind and pleaded, as a child of God, "Father, what do I do?"

As though He'd been waiting for me to ask the words of the ladies at our first meeting came to my mind. They'd talked about how difficult this entire camp had been to put together, not like the last one which seemed to come about with ease. This time around they found themselves constantly finding one stumbling block after another. They would get one block out of the way only to find another even bigger one needing to be moved. They began to despair, wondering if they were completely off track, until the thought to stop and pray came. Once their plea to have Satan's hindering hand removed from their efforts, things began to flow smoothly.

I clutched on to those words, to the hope they offered, as a frightened child might grasp tight to the hand of a parent. My thoughts and actions went to the very place I knew I could find my own group of Prayer Warriors, and to the computer I went. "Help me," I implored to my friends and family on Facebook, for that was the place I could reach the greatest number of people immediately. "I think Satan is attacking me this morning, tempting me to destroy something important. Please pray that his hand will be removed from me."

The responses were immediate. Within minutes the sun literally broke through the clouds, lighting the world outside my front window. From my mind a giant pressure was lifted. I could even breathe easier. Throughout the entire day my Warriors helped to stay Satan's hand, and my own hand as well. To my mind came the thought, "Leave it alone." And so I did. That night my wonderful husband gave me a very special priesthood blessing where it was confirmed that not only was I meant to write for this project, but that Satan was indeed trying to bring me down so it would not happen.

Throughout the entire next day I was still told to leave it alone, and so I filled the hours with laundry, a bit of cleaning, my family, and as I was told, did not touch the project. This did not mean my mind wasn't constantly on it. I kept thinking, "If I just read it, that wouldn't matter right?" But no, came the instant impression to my mind, leave it alone. And so I did.

Not until late Saturday morning was the restriction lifted. I only made it through a few pages when I realized what it was I might have destroyed. As though the sun broke out in my own head I knew that what my very own fingers had typed was not only good, but greatly inspired of God. Later that afternoon I read it to my three ladies and they confirmed what the Spirit had told me, and I was grateful.

There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not gone to ask my friends to pray in my behalf, every word I'd lovingly put to paper (figuratively speaking) would have been lost. There is no doubt in my mind my Warriors, and indeed I think of them as my heroes, who came together in prayer when my soul was in need saved me that day from doing something I would forever regret. I am here to offer them my intense gratitude and love.

And so I leave you with this thought: the next time you are in need of prayers offered in your behalf, don't be afraid to ask. The more people you ask the more you will be blessed. Just as important is the opportunity to be a Prayer Warrior for someone else in need, even if you barely know that person.

I will end with the request that those who read this will continue to pray. My project is not done, but with Satan trying to keep from writing it I need all the prayers I can get. When it is complete, and offered to the young women for whom it is being written later this summer, I hope to share it here with all of you.