Here’s my lovely momma getting some kisses from me and one of my three younger sisters, when we were together at the Calgary Temple one day a few years ago. Isn’t she adorable?
She has more energy than most people I know. She works harder than most of us. And she has a great sense of humour. She cooks, gardens, and organizes like a queen. She’s super smart, endlessly generous, and amazingly fun with little children. She’s educated, and smart; and she loves animals.
Her faith has informed and inspired my own, and if that’s all she ever did for me or gave to me, it would be enough.
But that’s not all. She cares so much for me, and for my family. She’s forgiving and nothing can take her down for long. Her life hasn’t been an easy one; I wouldn’t want to trade. But mine has been sweeter and more gentle and beautiful because of her, turning herself inside out time after time after time to create for us something better than what she started with. I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of giants in my own life, and she’s definitely one of them.
Do you know how encouraging her example it to me? I believe I can do hard things.
This is how I feel about Jesus Christ. Like he loves me, and I can trust him to always care for me. I’ve felt his love too many times, in too many ways, to ever doubt it. And I love him with all my heart. I feel safe and secure in his amazing love; he knows me better than I know myself, sees all my flaws, and only wants to help me. I am grateful for many blessings, every day, but he is everything to me.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
I can’t imagine my life without him in it, and thankfully, I’ll never have to experience that. Because no matter what life throws at me, I can always count on Jesus to be with me, as long as I’ll be with him. This changes everything, in the best possible ways.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come…. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Bible, New Testament, Romans 8:38-39~
The most beautiful thing about all of this is that it’s just as true for everyone else as it is for me. He loves us all with a pure and perfect love. He fills me to overflowing with the feeling of it, and it changes me; I want to share it with everyone I can. I try.
I love Jesus. I can’t comprehend how his sacrifice can heal and save me, but I know it’s true. I believe it in my mind and heart because of the warm, peaceful feelings that assure me my faith isn’t a fallacy.
On a Sunday afternoon in early February, our adorable 18-year old niece, Hope, was driving to join her family at a birthday dinner for her littlest sister. Due to changing winter road conditions, her truck suddenly crashed with an oncoming semi-truck, instantly ending her sweet life here on earth.
The anguish losing her has brought to our heartbroken family and her many other loved ones is stunning in its intensity. She lived her life as an angel on earth, so we have no doubt that the next place we’ll see her will be in heaven. What comforts my heart in this aching grief is knowing she is ok and loved where she is… and that because Christ rose again after he gave His life for us, we all will, too. That means after this life, I know we’ll all be able to put our arms around Hope and feel her sweet hugs again.
It’s a long wait, but because He lives, Hope isn’t really lost to us. I love her and miss her.