Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mine Angels Round About You


This is how we normally think of a priesthood blessing, at least I do.
Men in white shirts and ties or a suit, hands folded reverently,
eyes closed, calmly listening to the word of the Lord.

This week, my experience was much different.

I'm a little nervous to go into too much detail, because I don't want to distract from the message, but I feel like the full impact of the story is lost without some background. I feel like there's a good lesson here that needs to be heard. It's a little more personal, but here's the basic story:

I decided to visit Provo for Fast Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, because I a)missed everyone, 2)had some errands to run on campus, and C) I had no previous obligations.
After a thoroughly enjoyable Sabbath and a nice rest, I awoke Monday morning and prepared to go to the HBLL to pick up a book I've been waiting to read for MONTHS (you know how that goes). The Really Good Book that Started All This---->



On the way up Maeser Hill (south of the Benson) I suddenly had severe cramping in the left side of my chest. Now, before anybody panics, 1)I'm not dead, and b)these happen sometimes as a result of a different medical problem.
I was with my roommate. She helped me over to the grass, where I immediately sank to my knees. This cramp was worse than I'd ever had before, but I still assumed in would pass in a matter of seconds, as they usually do. I motioned my roommate to wave people on, as many had stopped to ask what was wrong. I assumed I would be fine, and I was extremely embarrassed to be causing such a scene.

After about a minute of extreme pain and next to no oxygen, I began to be concerned (and more than a little light-headed). These cramps had never lasted longer than 40 seconds, and usually only 10-15. This one had not only continued, but had become more and more painful (like, the worst Charlie Horse of your life, in your chest). I was not totally aware of what was happening outside the pain and trying to calm my muscles down, but I heard my roommate say "blessing."

I nodded, and probably babbled something or other.

She immediately looked to the paved path up the hill and saw two male students walking, presumably to class or work. I didn't see their faces. She asked if they held the priesthood, and attempted to explain the situation. I think they misunderstood at first (she first tried to explain with "muscle cramps" and they laughed, a little embarrassed. BOYS: "Muscle cramp" does not always equal "menstrual." Bah.)

She explained that it was the entire left side of my chest wall that was cramping, and that I could not breathe. I was aware enough to think "Wow, she's keeping it together really well....stupid boys."

They came quickly, and gave me a blessing. I felt bad for thinking they were "stupid boys," as I was suddenly aware that they were indeed righteous holders of the priesthood. Ruefulness at immaturity was replaced with gratitude that they were worthy, capable, and willing to give such service when I needed it.

I do not remember everything they said, as I was collapsed in on myself and trying so hard to regulate internally with an extreme lack of oxygen. But when they placed their hands on my head--me, a girl they did not know and may never see again--I felt the tightness on my lungs loosen. The pain was still there; the muscles still in tight knots that rendered me unable to move or stand--but I had air.

I felt the power of the Lord, and became aware of the things being said in the blessing. They did not know me, but the Lord does. He comforted me, both for physical pain and for other problems in my life (we all have them). I knew I would be Okay, and calm was re-affirmed in my mind and heart. It was a brief blessing, and the two students went on their way.

The pain did not subside immediately--it was many minutes before it even lessened-- but I had just enough of what I needed (calm, and air, and assistance) to get me through.

And that, wonderful friends, is the moral of the story. In my time of unanticipated, unsolvable pain, the Lord knew exactly what I needed. He sent His angels, in the form of my roommate, police and medical officers, a randomly-passing-by nursing student, and two worthy priesthood holders that I'd never seen before.

After the first crisis had passed, He knew I needed more help. Those angels came in the form of roommates and friends that assisted in transportation, came to visit, sent notes/phone calls/text messages, and provided the care I needed during my unexpectedly extended stay in Provo. I was physically incapacitated, and He not only sent me the "bare necessities" of survival, but sent friends to help comfort me and make my life so much happier during the last few days until I was able to return to Lehi.

The Lord will send us that comfort, and those tender mercies that improve our lives. The testimony was re-affirmed to me in a very physical, very see-able way. He knew I needed a re-confirmation of that testimony, and now I pass it on to you: That even when we experience trials, pain, and heartache, whether from something completely out of our control or brought upon ourselves, the Lord will give us what we need in our time of crisis. He will also send us tender mercies; little things to remind us of His love for us, and tokens of brighter days ahead.

He loves us, and He will never abandon us. He gave us access to His priesthood, and I have been so blessed to be in an area where so many worthy young men hold that priesthood and are willing to use it to help bless so many lives.

Never forget that. Never forget that He loves you.


Epilogue:To assuage any well-intentioned worries

I'm okay now; I have a really great doctor on the case with lab work and some meds. Physical therapist said life is to proceed as normal, which means I'm not an invalid, I'm just required to do some workouts and yoga-type stuff (oh, DANG ;-) ) Love you all!

4 comments:

Katie said...

Wow. I am so glad that you are ok. I wish I would have known, we are just down the street! Camilla and I would have come to visit you.

I needed to hear that message. Summer practicum starts on Monday and I am so scared. I needed to be reminded that we are not alone!

PS can't wait for your dance!

Andon Carling said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I am glad you are okay and can resume a normal life. I'm also glad you're able to see the hand of God during your trials, and are willing to share it with us. Any experience in life is faith-promoting if you open your eyes and look at the blessings. Thanks again; that was a good way to end my day.

The Aikele's said...

Wow. I agree with Katie and Andon. Great way to end my day. Very thoughtful and true. And also, please, pleeeaaaase tell me next time...I even called you and you didn't mention it! I am your sister who loves you... :)

Caitlin said...

I'm glad to hear that things are better now.

You know, it's interesting. I've been thinking a lot about tender mercies recently and how they affect my life. Thanks for giving me another reminder that the Lord loves us and cares for our well-being.

Love you!