~by Peggy Green
I am no longer young, though I am not old, either. I am in that great middle group, on the older side of that group, but still in the middle. I was raised in an active, happy, Latter-day Saint home, the second girl in a family of seven girls and one brother. I am now the mother of six, five boys and one daughter, the grandmother of two granddaughters, with my first grandson on the way. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world. After 35 years, my heart still beats a little faster when he walks in the door and I still stare at him and think how handsome he is. I am extremely grateful for the blessings in my life but I have been most grateful recently for the greatest challenge I have had in my life so far. A few years ago I never would have thought I could be grateful for the challenges ahead of our family; sometimes I am still not sure how grateful I am.
Raising my children, I would read the scriptures to them every morning. I remember telling them more than once that, some day, if they stayed faithful, they would find themselves on their knees before their Savior thanking Him for the very trial that, in this life, would be their greatest challenge. He will do whatever it takes to bring them home, I would tell them. I believe this.
Three and a half years ago, my first grandchild, Samantha, was born with a rare condition called microcephaly. It means her brain and head are very small. It also brings a host of unknown medical problems with it and a 25% chance that my son and his wife would have a child with microcephaly with each pregnancy. This situation forced me to spend a lot of time figuring out what I knew about prayer, about Priesthood blessings, about God’s love for us–about my relationship with God.
My learning is not done but this is what I have learned so far. God loves me, he loves my son and daughter-in-law, and oh, how he loves our little Samantha! He does hear our prayers but sometimes, in order to answer us, we have to begin a journey where we will be in a condition to hear and receive answers. Sometimes, that takes awhile. I have learned that we are eternal beings, so much more than the physical beings we see on earth. I have learned that instead of sitting back and watching a lot and only stepping in when He absolutely has to, our Father in Heaven is involved in so much more than we can comprehend. He is everywhere, always there, always working on and with us, and that everything good in heaven and earth proclaims of Him and His Son. Pres Ezra Taft Benson [13th President of the Church] once said “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes a quest, in that moment we are endowed with power.” I am beginning to learn about that quest and I have experienced some of that power.
I am not completely there yet but I am much closer to that place I taught my children about, being on my knees in gratitude for the trial that brings me closer to my Savior. I think, I hope, I will be there soon.
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Oh Peggy! I am not there yet either. But I do wish to be obedient like your quote from President Benson. In all actuality I asked in prayer for experiences that would bring me closer to Christ. Now, in the midst of them I find that, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Chronic illness is a bummer.
I am thankful for the poem yesterday and this post today. I hope that you and I both enjoy a new season of growth where we can be warmed by The Son.
Thanks for writing this, and I loved the post your daughter wrote as well.
Thank you so much for your sharing, and especially the quote from Pres. Benson! I’m going to find a way to make that my new mortality mantra! 🙂
If you are the same Peggy Green I knew 30+ years ago, I am happy to find you! 🙂
You knew me as Wendy Buerger and a group of us ladies used to meet once a month for book reviews, etc. I remember we all read the Chronicles of Narnia and it was my introduction to them! I also remember you had a son that wanted to know where he would sit on the airplane when he went on his mission! I live in SC now and our youngest is a junior in college. Our very youngest died 12 years ago of nueroblastoma cancer…so I understand trials. You’re a good writer! Wendy Naselli