Monday, April 3, 2017

Move Forward With Faith #PrinceOfPeace

Easter is upcoming and it is the second most popular religious season in the U.S., Christmas being the first. I love Easter because it gives me a chance to pause and think about why we celebrate it! This video is so moving to me and hopefully to you as well!

In addition to this video, the Easter Campaign called #PrinceOfPeace has identified 8 spiritual gifts that belief in Him, Jesus Christ, can give to us. The first one is Faith and I'd like to share a story about my friend Jen. Her simple faith in the Savior and His ability to heal us today, just like when He was on the earth, gave her a miracle that made her faith even stronger and set a great example for me.

It started on Christmas Day. Jen lives alone--an Aussie who became a U.S. Citizen some years ago. Her family lives far away in Australia. I just love listening to her accent! 

Although it was very cold and the roads were covered with snow and ice, she decided to walk to church to celebrate Christmas there. Halfway through her trip, she saw that it was more icy than she previously thought. But she decided to continue on. Unfortunately, she fell and broke her hand in 2 places. It was excruciatingly painful but she had to wait until the next day to receive medical care because it was Christmas.
She requested a priesthood blessing from a member of the clergy in her church group (known as a ward). In the blessing, she was counseled to be patient in her recovery. From that blessing she got two things. 1) That she would eventually be healed and 2) She needed to practice patience.
She had two different injuries. One was the bony side of her hand where the little finger adjoins to the hand. It had been shattered into 5 different pieces and the doctor said they wouldn't even try to repair that. It would not heal, but it also wouldn't be too critical (his way of reassuring her, nothing else to do!), with arthritis probably occurring later in life. The 2nd  part was the thumb. It came off of its "shelf" and also had a very bad break. That was set while she was in the hospital by a surgeon from Arizona. It was still severely injured and broken.
She went back every 10 days, 2 or 3 times, each time with the doctors not being sure whether or not surgery was the route to go.
Her cast became painful and made her hand swell and was in danger of infection. She had to take it off, but since it wasn't healed, her doctor left it up to her whether she wanted to opt for the surgery or if she wanted to try her luck and let it heal on its own.
She thought about her blessing and thought about what option would require "patience". If she opted to not have the surgery, she would need to hold her arm and hand completely still until it hopefully healed, with no guarantees. Could she even do that? Having the surgery would also require patience and risks, including an incision and extra cost. also with no guarantees. She opted to NOT have the surgery.
To ensure that optimal healing take place, she had to keep her hand still for 4 weeks. But she found that the patience that she needed was readily available. She found that, amazingly, it was even a pleasant experience. She felt that she couldn't have had that kind of patience on her own, but that she had been given the gift of patience in order to bear the burden.
Finally, her hand completely knit itself together on its own, even the part that they said wouldn't heal. All 5 shattered pieces came together and became whole.  She still needs to practice patience, however. Because of the length of time she had to hold her hand still, she has atrophy and needs extensive physical therapy. But it is a small price to pay in exchange for her hand being eventually completely healed!
I feel that this was a miracle that occurred because she practiced faith. First, by going to church even though it was hard. Second, by requesting a priesthood blessing. Third, by being mindful of what was said in the blessing and following the instructions given in that blessing. Because of her faith and obedience, she was blessed with a hand that is whole and a stronger testimony of the power of the priesthood and the blessings of being faithful! 

I'm so grateful to know women of faith like Jen! I need examples like her in order to strengthen my own faith! And I'm grateful for the blessings that our Savior, Jesus Christ, gives to each of us as we reach out in faith to Him. It doesn't matter that we just have a little bit. It just matters that we practice it. And once we practice it, we can see it grow! 

Sometimes the outcome of faith doesn't look like a miracle to other people. In fact, it could look tragic. But it is how we rely on our faith in Christ that is personal to us and not to anyone else. Consider the video below, where the family had every right to become bitter but didn't and continues to have faith!

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