Mid-July Trevor’s mission call came. He would be serving in the Russia Samara mission and was scheduled to enter the Mission Training Center in October. The timing was perfect – he would be able to finish out tour season as a kayaking guide and save enough money to support himself for the next two years.
Brad was away on a boat delivery on July 24th. That morning a friend was over and her 2-year-old little girl started following after a dog near our yard. I stood up from the lawn chair to run after her and my legs refused my orders. They wouldn’t run. That night there was a big potluck party at our church. Always the kid, I climbed into a potato sack with the intent of showing those kids a thing or two. Again, my legs refused my orders and as the crowd cheered and kids hopped along, I climbed out of the sack, now truly concerned.
I believe in the power of prayer. I also believe in Priesthood blessings. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (you might better know us as “Mormons”) We believe the Priesthood is the power to act in the name of God, and that holders of the Priesthood can bestow blessings of healing from God on anyone who requests this – members and non-members alike. I asked my son and the local missionaries if they would give me a blessing while we were at the church. We entered a classroom, which became a sacred place as hands were placed on my head and the blessing pronounced. The blessing offered comfort as well as advice. Among other things, I was told that this illness was temporary; that through this experience of mine, other people’s faith would grow; that I would be able to know that Heavenly Father is in charge; that I should share my experience and through sharing it, faith would grow; that I would be able to see this not as a stumbling block, but as an opportunity for growth and learning. One thing that really stood out was that even though I was suffering, this was not all about me. In retrospect, I cannot tell you how many times I reflected on those words and found comfort in them, as well as the ability to be joyful through the experience. For some reason, it seems that the things life throws us are easier to deal with when we know we’re doing it for someone else. It was this Priesthood blessing that sustained me through the next few days of diagnosis, the next few weeks of increasing symptoms, and the next three years of pain and hardship.
I arranged for rides home for the kids and drove myself over to the community hospital. I love Sitka. It’s a town of just under 9,000 and is just like a gigantic family.
... to be continued ~ part 3 tomorrow ...