It's the weekend before Christmas; I finished my class, my baking business has been closed, work is going great and I'm staring down a four day weekend coming up. I've found a great group of friends and we spend quite a bit of time together building positive relationships and having fun, which we all need to do, right? Really, things couldn't be going better. Yet in the midst of it all I'm struggling. I've been sharp this week, to my family especially. I'm trying to make the best decisions I can but feel like I keep hitting a brick wall. Logically I understand I shouldn't feel this way but it is hanging with me.
Today it finally reached a breaking point, and in the grocery store no less. Yes, I started crying for no apparent physical reason, but inside my heart hurt so badly. But really, how embarrassing! I should have at least pretended to have tripped and fallen so as to warrant such behavior. But no, I just stood there crying (though they did open a lane especially for me...or because it's the Saturday before Christmas and it was busy...who knows). I escaped as quickly as I could and got home, feeling relieved to have gotten the groceries into the kitchen. Having locked the door behind me, I went to the couch and gave myself permission to cry it out for five minutes before getting up and working on the to-do list (have I mentioned it's the weekend before Christmas??).
At the appointed time I got up, put the groceries away and realized I had one package that HAD to be mailed today so off to the post office I went, assuming the waterworks were over. BIG MISTAKE! Standing in line at the post office I could feel this wave of tears coming back toward shore and ready to break. PLEASE, give me a break!! I finally get to the counter and can feel my eyes burning and that horrid lump in my throat. You know the one; the one that will stay put as long as you don't open your mouth to speak, but once you do it's game over. My sweet cashier noticed my red eyes and heard the sniffles as I tried to choke it all back and asked if I was struggling with allergies. Why can't I be coy and play off an answer like that?? I tried to say it had just been a rough morning and well, you guessed it, the lump in my throat escaped and so did the tears. Bless her heart, she was so patient and kind and simply said she'd say a prayer for me. She told me it was all going to be okay and that I was doing fine, words I desperately needed to hear (apparently). Now there's no stopping the tears at this point so I try to quickly gather my things and make it back to my car. The next thing I know she grabs my hand and asks if she can say a prayer with me right there. This is something that has never happened to me before, at least not in this way, but there in the post office this sweet woman took a moment and prayed for me.
She doesn't know my name or the things troubling me. She doesn't know my background, religious affiliation, or anything else. But this wonderful woman, from one Christian woman to another, saw a sister in need and stepped in at the VERY moment it was needed, and boy did I need it!
As I've pondered the events of this day I kept coming back to the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 10:5 which says:
"Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work."
My heart still feels troubled, especially when I stop working and sit idly. But in the midst of it I feel this peace. I know that this trouble comes from many sources, one being exhaustion which always gets me, and the other Satan. While I don't want to offer him any more credit than he's already due, I know that my spiritual defenses are down when I'm tired and I can't turn off the negative thoughts and feelings quite as easily. That is one reason why I believe we are commanded to bear one anothers burdens. Today my burdens were too much for me to carry alone and it took the hands of a caring stranger but fellow sister in Christ to help me remove some of the load and readjust the rest.
We must pray always to not only keep our own lamps burning brightly, but we need to be ready to aid a fellow traveler on our journey Home.
Merry Christmas everyone! I'm so grateful for this time each year to celebrate and remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the gift I need each and every day and I hope I strive to come to discover Him a bit more each and every day.