Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Piecing Life Together

Salu! Yes, I know, it has been a long time since I’ve attempted to compose a blog post. Life happened, and then happened some more. Part of the adventures were wonderful, like the birth of our youngest grandson 3 months ago. Some of the adventures were not so wonderful, and others tore at our hearts. In short—life picked up speed and dragged me along for the ride.

I did learn some things along the way: for example, it’s never good to tuck things away and tamp it all down inside. Yep, I’m one of those kind of people. Something happens, it rips my heart out, and I tend to tamp down the pain and move on. I’ve done this so often, you would think that I would realize that this is a really, really bad plan.

This tendency always ends in disaster. Instead of sorting through and dealing with a painful situation, I tuck things away until the dam finally bursts, and all of those emotions come pouring out despite a valiant effort to stifle the flood.  Good times.

Actually, it’s not . . . and it has taken me months to clean up the mess. Thankfully with our Father in heaven’s help, and the patient encouragement of a close friend, I was able to do just that. I will be eternally grateful for her willingness to wade in after me.

I tend to be quite independent. My parents told me that I came that way. I suspect that many of us are the same way. We do our best to tackle extremely difficult challenges on our own. It’s kind of a pride thing, which I understand isn’t a great attribute to have. Despite our stubbornness and determination to handle trials as best we can, the truth is, we were never meant to walk those difficult pathways alone. We have to learn that there are times when we need help—whether it’s as simple as praying for guidance, or accepting a hand that reaches down to pull us back onto the path.

I’ve looked back over the past few months and it has been a journey of healing. I think Someone decided that I had tamped down the emotions from a particular trial for far too long, and it was time to lance the wound. That pain came pouring out like puzzle pieces. I examined each one and with a friend’s help, was able to piece that picture back together.

The upside is that I’m feeling peace (for the most part—this is latter-day mode, after all. There are still a plethora of adventures taking place everywhere . . . but I digress) and I’m no longer feeling numb. I’m sure it’s all part of the grieving process we go through when facing a traumatic challenge. And because we’re all different, we heal at different times and in different ways.

For me, I had reached a point where I needed to clean up my “inner house.” Sadly, it took a tragic loss to break through the brick wall I had carefully constructed around my heart. But it needed to happen, and now I feel an inner strength that wasn’t there before. The scripture: “ . . . because thou has seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong . . .” (Ether 12:37) has taken on a whole new meaning for me. So has the following poem that I composed in 1992:

Pieces of Life

Carefully the pieces are sorted

Some have edges that are easy to fit

Others seem cut


  a         z a r

    p h a         d



Making it difficult to discover their destination

And yet . . .

They are all a part of the final picture

There is a purpose for the design

Patiently you continue

Until it becomes obvious

Why the pieces

Were given their assigned shapes

The completed picture testifies of their importance

Their absence leaves a void unfilled

Their presence lends a sense of unity

Stepping back . . .

We realize we’re ready

For the next challenge—

May we remember the lessons of the one before.

Cheri J. Crane

So the good news is, I’m back. (I guess we consider that good news.) ;) I’ve learned a lot the past few months and while it was not my idea of a fun time, I do see the wisdom in taking time to sort through the pieces of our lives when our mortal journey hits the fan. Life is so crazy/busy these days that sometimes we don’t realize how important that process is, especially when we’re dealing with heart wounds.

One last thought: our Savior truly does understand the pain we endure in this life. He knows what is the best thing to help us heal if we will only swallow our pride, and turn to Him. This holiday season, we tend to reflect more upon His life and all that He willingly did for us. We give gifts to each other to emulate the gifts given to the Savior upon His birth. What a wonderful thing if we will strive to give a gift to the Savior during this Christmas season. Whatever we give is strictly up to us—whether it’s a pledge to do better—be kinder—more forgiving—etc. I don’t think it matters as long we do so with real intent and do our best to pay tribute to His life and His willingness to sacrifice all things on our behalf.