Do you feel you could consider yourself lucky

RECENTLY, MY BROTHER ASKED ME, “Do you feel you could consider yourself lucky?” IT WAS A BAD DAY WHEN I WROTE, BUT I THOUGHT I SHOULD SHARE MY RESPONSE (IN ITALICS–KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS WAS WRITTEN W/A LDS “MORMON” PERSPECTIVE):

OVERALL I GUESS YES, I FEEL LUCKY, THOUGH LUCK IS NOT THE WORD I’D USE. WITHOUT MY STROKE, MY TESTIMONY PROBABLY WOULDN’T HAVE GROWN NEAR WHAT IT HAS, & I WOULDN’T HAVE NEARLY THE SAME RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. I HAVE MY SHARE OF ROUGH DAYS, BUT SO MUCH CHANGES WHEN U FIND YOURSELF RELYING ON THE SPIRIT 2 TELL OTHERS ABOUT YOUR BASIC NEEDS & WHEN U SPEND HOURS EACH MORNING LAYING IN BED, PRAYING, PONDERING, & SEEKING INSPIRATION. I GAURANTEE THESE WOULD BE DIFFERENT IF I COULD WALK & TALK!

A GOSPEL PERSPECTIVE MAKES ME REALLY LUCKY. IT CHANGES SO MUCH, & STRENGTHENS ME. I WAS SEVERELY CHALLENGED THAT 1ST YEAR, & I COULDN’T HAVE PULLED THROUGH W/O MK. I NEEDED 2 HEAR WHAT HE SAID. (U KNOW, “BEHIND EVERY GREAT (WOMAN) IS A GREATER (MAN).) 2 THIS DAY, HE HELPS ME KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE. I’M LUCKY 2 HAVE THAT.

I WAS PREPARED 4 THIS IN SO MANY WAYS. I HAD “SPIRITUAL FUEL” BUILT UP, LIKE THE FIVE WISE VIRGINS WHO HAD SUFFICIENT SPIRITUAL FUEL WHEN THEY NEEDED IT AND THE BRIDEGROOM CAME. (THERE IS A PARABLE IN THE BIBLE THAT MOST OF YOU ARE PROBABLY FAMILIAR WITH WHERE 10 VIRGINS ARE GIVEN THE HONOR TO ATTEND A WEDDING & ARE TOLD TO KEEP THEIR LAMPS FULL OF OIL SO THEY WILL BE PREPARED WHEN THE BRIDEGROOM COMES. SOME OF THEM ARE FOOLISH AND DON’T HAVE ENOUGH OIL & MISS OUT ON THE OPPORTUNITY. SOME ARE WISE AND HAVE ENOUGH OIL)

WHEN I HAD MY STROKE, I NEEDED ENOUGH SPIRITUAL FUEL TO GET THROUGH IT. I COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT ALONE THESE LAST 6 YEARS. THERE WERE DAYS IT FELT WAY TO HEAVY TO BEAR THINGS ALONE. LUCKILY, I WASN’T EMPTY-HANDED AND HAD “SPIRITUAL FUEL.” THERE WERE MANY WAYS THAT MY “LAMP WAS FILLED:”

THROUGH MY PREVIOUS CALLING AS PRIMARY CHORISTER, I HAD REALLY BUILT UP MY TESTIMONY. IN A WAY, IT WAS A “SPIRITUAL HIGH,” SO WHEN MY STROKE HIT SO SUDDENLY, WITHOUT ANY REASON OR WARNING, I WONDERED WHY BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN WHEN WE FEEL WE ARE DOING SO WELL.

BUT NOW I UNDERSTAND THAT I NEEDED A “FULL LAMP OF OIL,” AND SINCE I WAS OBEDIENT TO THE CALLING I HAD (JUST PRIOR TO MY STROKE), MY “LAMP” WAS OVERFLOWING WITH SPIRITUAL FUEL. IF IT EVER RAN LOW, I COULD JUST LISTEN TO MY KIDS SING THE TESTIMONY WE SHARED AND THAT I HAD TAUGHT THEM AND THAT WOULD REFILL MY LAMP.

• JUST TWO DAYS BEFORE MY STROKE, I HAD ACCEPTED AN ADDITIONAL CALLING TO BE THE GIRLS’ CAMP DIRECTOR. I WAS ALSO PREPARING AN EASTER SOLO FOR THE WARD CHOIR. AT THE TIME, I QUESTIONED WHY I NEEDED TO DO THESE THINGS IF THE LORD HAD KNOWN WHAT WAS IN STORE FOR ME. BUT THE STRENGTH I RECEIVED FROM MY TWO CALLINGS AND MY PARTICIPATION IN THE CHOIR WAS AMAZING. IT GAVE ME A WILL TO LIVE AND STRENGTH TO GET BETTER FOR ALL WHO COUNTED ON ME.

• IN ADDITION, MY FAMILY HAS ALWAYS DONE WELL TO IMPLEMENT FHE’S (FAMILY HOME EVENINGS–SOMETHING THAT WE DO EVERY MONDAY NIGHT AS A FAMILY WHERE WE HAVE A LESSON, SING SONGS & PRAY TOGETHER, HAVE AN ACTIVITY, ETC. IT ALLOWS US TO SHARE GOSPEL PRINCIPLES WE FEEL ARE IMPORTANT TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN IN A MORE CASUAL SETTING THAN CHURCH OR SUNDAY SCHOOL) AND WITH ME FEELING WELL OR NOT, THEY CARRIED ON. HOW MY LAMP WAS FILLED WHEN THE GOSPEL WAS BROUGHT TO ME IN THE HOSPITAL WHILE I WASN’T ABLE TO ATTEND CHURCH MYSELF. IT WAS AN ADDITIONAL STRENGTH TO HEAR OTHERS TESTIMONIES (WE SHARE OUR TESTIMONIES ON THE FIRST MONDAY OF THE MONTH IN OUR FHE) AND TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING BESIDE MYSELF.

• THE HABITS WE FORM ARE ALSO IMPORTANT. WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS UNEXPECTEDLY, WE SORT OF KICK INTO “AUTOMATIC MODE.” FHE WAS THAT WAY: IT WASN’T SOMETHING TO REMEMBER TO DO – WE JUST DID IT! ALSO, I DID ALL IN MY POWER TO RETURN TO CHURCH BECAUSE I HAD FAITHFULLY ATTENDED BEFORE, SO I JUST BELONGED THERE! SO DURING TIMES OF TRIAL, WHAT CAN WE DO TO SHOW THAT WE HAVE FAITH IN GOD?” KEEP OUR “LAMPS FILLED WITH OIL” BY CONTINUING TO PRAY, KEEP READING OUR SCRIPTURES, FAST, ATTEND THE TEMPLE, ETC. WE NEED TO BE LIKE THE FIVE WISE VIRGINS AND HAVE SUFFICIENT SPIRITUAL FUEL WHEN WE NEED IT BY “FILLING OUR LAMPS” NOW.

• I WAS ALSO FORTUNATE TO HAVE MY “LAMP FILLED” TIME AND TIME AGAIN BY MY ETERNAL COMPANION, MARK, AND BY THE PROMPTINGS OF THE HOLY GHOST. THERE WERE TIMES IT WAS DANGEROUSLY LOW AND MY “LAMP” WAS FILLED FOR ME. WHETHER MARRIED OR SINGLE, NO ONE IS EVER FORGOTTEN! EVEN IF THE PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH MESS UP, THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT GOD PERSONALLY KNOW US AND OUR TRIALS AND LEADS, PROTECTS, AND WATCHES OVER US.

ALSO, SEVERAL YEARS PRIOR 2 MY STROKE (SINCE I COULDN’T SIT STILL & JUST WATCH TV), DURING GENERAL CONFERENCE, I WOULD COLOR, CUT, & LAMINATE THINGS 4 MY PRIMARY CHORISTER CALLING, & 4 ME, AS A MOTHER. 1 THING WAS 4 “THE TEACHER IN ME”: I MADE TONS OF FILE FOLDER ACTIVTIES. SOME I KNEW WERE 2 TOUGH 4 THEM, BUT I HAD THE TIME THEN 2 MAKE THEM, & KNEW THEY’D GROW INTO THEM…THEY STILL HAVE THOSE FILES 2DAY! HOW FUN IT IS 2 POINT 2 MYSELF, WHEN FIA ASKS WHO MADE IT! I AM LUCKY THAT I WAS PROMPTED 2 DO MANY SMALL THINGS LIKE THAT!

LAST CHRISTMAS, MK MADE ME A “GREATEST HITS” CD OF SOLOS, PERFORMANCES, ETC. EVEN W/MISSING A FEW THINGS, I COULDN’T HELP BUT NOTICE HOW FULL MY LIFE WAS IN JUST A FEW SHORT YEARS…MOST PEOPLE COULDN’T ACCOMPLISH THAT MUCH IN ALIFETIME! SO, I WASN’T “SHAFTED.”

BASICALLY, I FEEL “LUCKY” ENOUGH TO HAVE HAD MY LAMP FULL BY THE EXPERIENCES THAT I HAD PRIOR 2 MY STROKE – AND THAT BY DOING MY WORK IN MY CALLINGS AND BY PREPARING THINGS AHEAD OF TIME FOR MY CHILDREN, I HAD BOTH THE SPIRITUAL STAMINA 2 GET THROUGH THAT DIFFICULT TIME AS WELL AS BE ABLE 2 ENJOY SEEING MY CHILDREN NOW USE THINGS THAT I CREATED FOR THEM (LIKE THE FILE FOLDERS).

AFTER THEN READING SOMETHING JACK RUSHTON (AN LDS MAN, PARALYZED FROM THE NECK DOWN) TYPED. AFTER I READ IT, THE COMMENT I MOST APPRECIATED WAS, “Lying in bed I truly feel handicapped, but in my chair, sitting upright, just think of what I can do. “ HOW TRUE THAT STATEMENT IS! IF U LOOK AT ME, I’M EXTREMELY INCAPABLE OF SO MUCH, BUT THOSE WHO KNOW ME ARE SHOCKED BY ALL THE “I CAN’S.” MANY OF THOSE IN MY CONDITION ARE LIMITED 2 A LIFETIME OF BLINKING, YET THEY “WRITE” BOOKS & DO OTHER FEATS THAT SEEM ALARMING. I AM INDEED LUCKY, BECUZ ALL I HAVE WAS GOD’S 2 TAKE AWAY, YET I WAS CHOSEN 2 HAVE JUST ENOUGH GIVEN BACK 2 DO SO MUCH MORE!

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