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December 30, 2020 - Sour Lemons

I believe that it is my Heavenly Father who has turned my trials into learning opportunities. I think of those I know and realize that they, too, face difficult challenges. For most of us, life does not unfold as we once imagined that it would. Nevertheless, for those who strive to remain faithful, the challenges that at first appear as sour lemons in our lives will ultimately be turned into the sweetest lemonade—through the loving-kindness of our God.

Alice Warner Johnson, "Heavy Trials, Tender Mercies", Ensign, December 2016

Throughout my life, I have seen the hand of God in guiding me, lifting me, and supporting me. I have seen many tender mercies. I have no doubt He is there with me. He always has been but now I'm finally paying closer attention.

I'm going to get real for a second. I know the long term prognosis with what I have. I know what my future holds. I know it will not be pretty, and it will not be easy. I am learning, slowly, but learning, to let go of my pride. I have always wanted others to see me at my best. I didn't want to be seen as someone who is falling apart. Well, my reality is that I AM falling apart, at least physically. I know there are many loved ones who are and will be there for me, especially Lori, but I am still concerned about being a burden. That, frankly, scares me. That's part of the pride I am still learning to let go of. It's not easy.

So, my focus is slowly shifting. Shifting away from my physical, even temporal needs, to more spiritual ones. Granted, I still have temporal responsibilities that I will take care of for as long as I am able. I still have temporal needs that have to be filled too, like eating. But those now are secondary. I am learning humility; humility with knowing my reality as well as humility in accepting that there are things that others will need to help me with now.

I still have mortal weaknesses, of course too, even outside of my disease, but my primary focus now is building my faith and testimony, and humility. I want to build that, anyway.

I am taking these sour lemons and trying to put all of my trust into my Heavenly Father so he can use them to make sweet lemonade. Every day, I learn a bit more. It's a slow journey but I am learning.

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