This week my writing (private, not for blog) led me to think about how my life has changed over the >gulp< decades. Where God leads my life continues to amaze me. Not that God railroads me, I'm happy to go where he takes me. Just that my vision for myself is shortsighted. I get to a point in life that I think is OK and he ramps it up, telling me that "OK" is not good enough.
So I have been thinking about how far I've come, that I've become a strong, faithful, and courageous woman. As I partook of the sacrament yesterday, alone because the rest of the family were home sick, I felt the spirit whisper that my progress would not have happened without the Savior. This is a future post in my thankful series, but it relates to my gratitude for people. Without the healing of the atonement I wouldn't be able to function, I would be overwhelmed by the guilt of sin, and stuck in habits I'd like to rid myself of. But without good, strong people surrounding me I wouldn't have climbed out of my past either. It reminds me of that famous quote by President Kimball:
"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs."
There have been influential people lining the path of my life. My high school art teacher, Mr. Case. Other teachers: Mrs. Hewlett, Ms. Fowler, and a physics teacher who put me right on the front row and made me succeed. My youth leaders: Sister Coburn, Brother and Sister Perez, Bishop Bergener. My seminary teachers, Brother Cassiday, Sister Farr, Brother Hawkins, and the last one whose name I can't remember! Women in my wards who taught me how to serve, most of them by being a good example, but there were a few who taught me what NOT to do. There were leaders who led well. There have been co-workers who were just there everyday with a positive attitude.
Then the friends, I can't even begin to list them by name! Real friends. Friends who were friends just for a day as our paths quickly crossed, or those I still consider friends even though I haven't spoken to them in years. The memory of all of them adds to my life. I have found, now living in an area where my peers are in short supply, how valuable friends are.
This post about people would be a complete joke if I didn't talk about the people who've treated me badly too. It is inevitable, being hurt by people. The test is in how we respond to it. As I wrote this post I got an unpleasant phone call from someone who calls herself my friend. What are ya gonna do? Maybe shed a tear, talk to DH out of frustration, and then move on. Having the support of my truest, bestest friend - my husband - makes it easier to deal with the fair-weather types. (no picture for this paragraph!)
Family, they're people too! But I won't get started down that thankful road today, I'm not ready for all that emotion just yet. I'll do a whole post on them later too. I miss them, that I know, like a phantom limb - it's not there but you can still feel it, a part of you that is missing. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I could see them more often, I think so much better (sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows?) . But I have to be content with the way things are, far from them.
Yea for People!