Happiness in hard times – it’s The Plan
We arrive at the hospital when it’s dark … and we leave when it’s dark.
And from arrival to departure we feel and see dark weight and worry.
The weight and worry stands in elevators, sits in waiting room, and holds hands of loved ones in wheelchairs or hospital beds. We’re noticing the same faces and families each day, the similar circumstances and comparable facial expressions. It’s heavy here, and sometimes my heart is swallowed up in sorrow for those around us … and sometimes I’m overwhelmed and in tears for their tears … and ours.
But there’s a sure way to hope and happiness in the hardness: Focusing on The Plan of Salvation.
A few weeks ago, the missionaries were in our living room teaching a neighbor about this Great Plan of Happiness. They laid felt cut-outs across the table as they explained that we lived in heaven before we came to Earth and that while there, our Heavenly Father presented a plan for how we could obtain a physical body, gain experience and become more like Him. We knew it would be difficult and dangerous – our mortal journey would include temptations and trials to overcome – and yet we shouted with joy and anticipation at the chance to prove ourselves and progress. We also knew our time one Earth would not be permanent … and we would not be perfect in our attempts. We would need a Savior to make this Plan work out justly and mercifully. After our mortal stint, we would advance to an eternal sphere where we’d be reunited with family members and our Heavenly Father, be judged based on our earthly choices and receive eternal glory and happiness.
As those missionaries taught these eternal truths, our struggles appeared so clear and simple: It’s supposed to be hard. Physical death is but a gateway to eternal life. It’s all part of The Plan … and The Plan is perfect because it designed by our perfect and loving Heavenly Father.
So, in those moments when I walk the hospital halls and find myself heart heavy and head down, when I’m replaying his pain and seeing the pain of others, I recite The Plan. I go through it all again: Why are we here? Where did we come from? And where are we going after this life? As I do, the hope of eternal families and joy calms my worries and lightens the weight … I feel happiness in the midst of the hardness. It’s amazing how that knowledge can center our minds and cradle our hearts.
“We can accept this stunning, irrevocable truth: Our Lord can lift us from deep despair and cradle us midst any care.”
– Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Notwithstanding My Weakness,” Oct. 1976 General Conference
So thankful for His cradling and His constant calling us to come to Him for love.
Dad update: Last week Dad was readmitted to the hospital for edema (swelling), fluid around the heart and in his lungs, pneumonia and the infections flaring up. He was readmitted weighing 30+ lbs. more than he weighed pre-surgery because of all that water weight – thankfully, that’s getting under control now. Unfortunately, he’s experienced increased nausea, difficulty breathing, and feeling extremely weak and tired. Yesterday was a better day, and we’re praying for many more of those …
So many kind souls ask how they can help. Here’s our plea: Pray for his body to be strengthened so it can fight off the predators; and pray for the doctors to be inspired by the Spirit with a plan of care both personalized and impactful. Thank you!