Friday, December 11, 2009

Keeping the Faith

I told myself not to blog. I seem to be developing a healthy addiction. I tried to stop myself, but here I am, and since you're here now why not?

Overall I would say I'm a pretty positive person. I honestly do recognize that I have it pretty good. I have two of the best children on the planet. My wife is a ceaseless fountain of amazement and perseverance (luckily for me!), I have a job and school is going well. I know that God lives and His Son is my personal Redeemer. I live free in the wonderful country and no matter what foolishness I find myself in my friends and my family support me. So first off, Debbie, thank you for sticking with me despite my constant battling against the "injustices" I see around me. You must have some secret stash of patience to have put up with me for this long.

Despite all of the great things in my life my hope sometimes runs low. It is so hard to stay positive when looking at a denied stamp on the application that would give your son the services he needs. It is difficult to stay positive when your wife asks if it is really worth it to do work so hard and still be denied coverage that should be a essential right. It is difficult beyond word or measure to look at your beloved son and know that relief is within reach, but is beyond your grasp. This is just one of the reasons I'm convinced God cares about the suffering of parents; He's experienced it more deeply than I could begin to fathom. It is difficult to stay positive when all the right choices seem to bring all the wrong results. You see, today Debbie found out that the ABA treatment we desperately want for Avi will cost $880/month. I want to believe that something incredible can happen, but in the face of such opposition it strains my hope.

So, I cry and rant on the internet to an unknown audience. Well, unknown audience, do mind if I tell a little story? It was the end of the first miserable winter on my mission. Following two difficult companions and the last minute change that left me a junior companion again I was feeling pretty worn out. My companion and I had no investigators and no prospects. We didn't even know our area very well. One night after spending the whole day tracting in the rain we started home. We were both wet, but one of us was about to get a lot more wet. We didn't realize it, but no buses were running at that time of night and we had a long, rainy walk home. When a mini bus went speeding past us my companion turned to try and flag it down and, so doing, stepped into an open sewer grate with real raw sewage. I knew this would send him over the edge and the next day would be difficult to get him out of the apartment. I was feeling pretty down (though he was probably feeling worse) as we made our way to the bridge and eventually home. But I still remember on the back roads of a tiny area of a small town in the middle of one of the most insignificant countries in the world I felt comforted. The words of the hymn When Faith Endures came flooding my mind and warming my heart. I often reflected on them throughout the most difficult times on my mission. Those of you with your speakers on are listening to my favorite version of this hymn.

So this morning as I sit feeling beleaguered by hopelessness I try to remember that I will not doubt, I will not fear. No matter how the rain may pour or how insignificant the road I walk, God's love and strength are always near.

Thanks for reading this far, maybe you'll read a little further? I honestly feel better knowing, or perhaps believing that eventually you will be reading this. And despite the fact that you aren't here right now, you strengthen me. Thank you for checking in on me. Honestly, I feel better. If you feel so inclined, maybe you could leave a quick note about how you renew your hope. Really, I feel much better now. Yes, I cried. I've recently decided I don't care who thinks it's not masculine, I'll cry when I feel like it! I'm just curious about you.


Heather and Thomas Mann said...

I am sorry that things are so frustrating for you right now. You and your little family are pretty amazing. You are such a good dad to those little men!

Tiff :o) said...

Sorry life has its injustices for you and your family right now. You guys are doing such a good job with Avi...he's already made so much progress. You're a strong person and I admire you.

Valerie said...

I didn't post a comment when I first read this post since I didn't have time. Now I have more time, but still don't know what to say. It is sad that in a country where there is so much advancement in medicine, so much of the care is witheld from those who need it. I'm sure Heavenly Father will give you the strength to endure all the heartaches that come with your situation, even though it doesn't make the hard times go away. What a good father you are to do your best for your children.

Thanks for including the song on your blog. I hadn't heard that version and I really like it. I have been thinking for the past few weeks how much certain music brings me hope. Of course, scriptures and prayer also help to renew my hope. Also reading (or watching) biographies of people who struggled with a hard situation, but came out on top. (I don't mean Hollywood stories--actors, singers... I don't happen to like those.)

And serving other people helps me to see my blessings. You know how they say that you complain about your problems, but if you had the chance to switch problems with someone else, you'd keep yours. I'm sure that's not always true, but I know I've seen plenty of challenges that I'm grateful not to have to suffer through.

We'll keep praying that Avi is able to get all the best treatments and therapies that are available and that you and Debbie are able to be lifted up in your heavy times.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." ~ Helen Keller

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