In all of our lives, there are times when it feels like a battle just to keep our head above water because of a situation that we are in. I have found myself feeling that many times in my new situation as a single mom. The first several months after finding out my temple marriage of almost 18 years was over, I was an absolute walking zombie. Throughout this past year (the one year mark of that horrible day recently past), it has been a roller coaster ride, sometimes feeling such peace and faith that all will be right in the end and I can be happy, and other times falling so low and wondering if I can ever ride back up.
Many of you know the story of the brother of Jared from the The Book of Mormon. I have identified with being in one of the Jaredites’ barges, down under the depths of the sea, down so long with both holes stopped up, almost gasping for air at times. But every time, if I look to my Father in Heaven, when I need it most, He “will bring [me] up out of the depths of the sea.”
For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.
A few years ago, my parents gave me the book Better Than You Think You Are by Ardeth G. Kapp as a gift. It is a wonderful book with so many truths. You may have heard this story that is in the book.
“I am impressed with the story of Florence Chadwick, who determined at thirty-four years of age that she would be the first woman to swim the twenty-two miles from Catalina Island to the California coast. She had already been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.
“One writer reported the experience: ‘The water was cold that July morning, she could hardly see the
boats in her own party. Millions were watching on national television. Several times sharks, which had gotten too close, had to be driven away with rifles to protect the lone figure in the water. As the hours ticked off, she swam on. Fatigue had never been her big problem in these swims – it was the bone-chilling cold of the water. More than 15 hours later, numbed with the cold, she asked to be taken out. She couldn't go on. Her mother and her trainer alongside in the boat told her that they were near land. They urged her not to quit. But when she looked at the California coast, all she could see was dense fog.’
“A few minutes later, at fifteen hours and fifty-five minutes, she was taken out of the water. It was not until hours later, when her body began to warm up again, that she felt the shock of failure. To a reporter she blurted out, ‘Look, I’m not excusing myself, but if I cold have just seen land I might have made it.’ She had been pulled out only one-half mile from the California coast. Later she reflected that she had been defeated not by fatigue, not even by the cold, but by the fog. It had defeated her because it had obscured her goal and blinded her reason, her eyes, her heart.”
Ardeth G. Kapp, Better Than You Think You Are, p. 102-103
patriarchal blessing. We have to trust that what our Father tells us is true, that we can make it to the coast, no matter how cold or tired we get. We cannot pull out when we are so close to the goal. We need to keep our eternal perspective to remember that all of our sacrifices and hard work will be worth it when we can be reunited with our Father and with our families.
I gotta send all of you over to Laura's blog Living a Big Story (which I recently mentioned in a post) because she has a great giveaway going on and a Mother's Day guest blog series all month with guest blog posts, including one from me sometime this month.