I don't really know how this email is going to turn out, but I am just going to go for it.
Have any of you ever felt refining fiery? Do you know what I am talking about? When life just seems to rain down upon your back all at once, and you are just looking up to the sky, like, "What the heck? What is this storm all about?" Ah, and the more you try to do good, the more it feels like someone is pushing you back under, pushing you back down. Well, the struggle is real, and if you understand that, join my team.
Most people call times of trial, a "REFINING FIRE" making it sound like an event. But since I have been in this event for a while now, I just decided to make it an emotion. This week I have been feeling refining-fiery. And it's because at the beginning of this week, I found out that my sweet, oh my very dear sweet Grandpa Frampton passed away. And it was such a truck load of emotions that I had never experienced before. My head knows that my grandpa is much happier now, and that his spirit is safe, and back home with our Heavenly Father, but my heart couldn't take the fact that he is actually gone.
Because of other mission circumstances, and a trying companion, I felt ALONE. Completely alone, and I know this is deep stuff, but I share this with you so that you don't ever feel alone in your aloneness.
After I heard the news, I sat there, cried some, prayed more, and got up and did some missionary work. Getting up was so hard. I wanted to sit and sulk. I wanted someone to talk to. I wanted...I wanted...I wanted. Later that night I prayed and shouted my desires to my Heavenly Father, thinking He might hear me better that way. I laid there holding on to the scriptures, like it was a teddy bear. Knowing it was the only comfort I had.
Throughout the week I even felt angry that my relief wasn't immediate. That my will and my wants weren't completely taken care of instantly. But I had to humble myself and realize that sometimes all we have to turn to is Him, and maybe that is the lesson.
I read a scripture this morning, that really hit me. It is in Mosiah 24:21 and the last sentence stood out to be. "NONE could deliver them except it were the Lord their God." It hit me that nothing was going to satisfy or heal my heart except the comfort of the Lord. Truly, he is the only one that can deliver me out of this trial. It really touched my heart like a little message from the Lord, nudging me quietly to know that He is nearby, waiting patiently for me to realize it.
Every day there was a little tender mercy. The things that happened were all that I could handle. Exactly what I needed to survive. Just barely. Just barely. The best advice I got was from a sweet senior sister who told me to cry it all out in the shower. Right ON!!
The day after my grandpa passed, I got Grandma and Grandpa's Christmas card. I've looked at it every day. And I was reading through an old journal, and I found the poem "Footsteps in the Sand" that Grandma Frampton sent to me a few months back. Here is what it says:
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.
This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.
The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.
I have let frustration get the best of me, and it has caused me to feel more frustrated. This has kept me from feeling a POWERFUL spiritual relief. It has caused my faith to be tested, wondering "Where is my relief? Is the Holy Ghost busy or something?" But as I read this, I understood. The only reason I am able to continue on, and put in an even okay missionary effort, is because the Lord has been carrying me the whole way. He is lending me with some of his strength, and oh, am I ever grateful.
That's my promise to all of you reading this. You never are truly alone. Never EVER stop turning to the Lord. He comes silently, and after the trail of our faith sometimes. And sometimes He is carrying us. He is always there. I know that to be true. And I am so grateful that my Grandpa is happy and finally at peace.
Oh, this life is great isn't? A little too refining fiery at the moment, but hey, I trust the Lord will help me get through it.