Life Sucks.

After five to six years of trying to get pregnant, a couple lost one of their twins conceived by in-vitro fertilization today. The twins are due in March. The chance of survival of the other twin is severely compromised.

A woman's husband died in his early fifties three months ago due to a freak blood clot that went unnoticed after a trip to the E.R. The woman's youngest son is in High School, and he is really struggling with his father's death. A bright spot in his life is that he got his driver's license. But today he totaled the car and got severe burns from the deployed air bag. This terrified his already grieving mother.

A woman's husband repeatedly viewed pornography, refused to get help, and eventually filed for a divorce from his sweet wife. She has two beautiful daughters and is pregnant with their third child.

These are real life situations that people around me have encountered recently. When I think about these very, very sad and tragic situations, I just want to curl up under the covers of my bed and cry.

I am reminded of a recent temple trip I went on with Danny. When you go to the Temple, it's a place where you can pray to receive guidance for big decisions in your life. At the time, I was trying very hard to decide what to do about my job: should I quit in December? Should Danny and I get a babysitter for those few hours that I would be teaching, just until the end of the year? Should I quit now? What would be the best for our family?

That particular night, the Temple was very, very crowded. When you "do a session" at the Temple, it means that you do ordinance work for yourself and proxy ordinance work for those people who have already died without the chance to do it while alive. A "session" is short for an Endowment session. The Endowment is a ceremony that can be compared to Baptism. They are both steps that you have to take in order to receive Eternal Life and Exaltation. It's a very comforting ceremony. At the end, you get to go to a room called the Celestial Room which symbolizes Heavenly Father's home. It looks like a very clean, very beautiful living room. There are lots of couches, flowers, tables, and mirrors.

The Provo Temple is the busiest Temple in the entire world. That night a few weeks ago, the Celestial Room was absolutely packed. It was somewhat frustrating to me because I wanted to sit down next to Danny so we could pray for guidance about what we should do regarding my job. All the seats were taken, except a few single chairs against the wall. One of us had to stand. Frustrating.

I remember feeling even more frustrated the more I looked around. There were many, many couples in there. One husband was bawling quite audibly on his wife's shoulder. I felt a strong impression that my worries were really REALLY insignificant. I wondered what the guy was crying about - possibly he was asking his wife for forgiveness for something horrible that he had done, possibly he was grieving the loss of a child, or a parent, or a sibling - or maybe etc. etc. I felt annoyed at myself for feeling anxious about our comparatively easy career choice for me. I mean, after all, it's JUST a job. It's totally not something as serious as what I imagined that couple might have been dealing with.

Then, the already crowded room got even more crowded. A young girl walked in, surrounded by family members. She had just gone though the Endowment ceremony for herself for the first time, and her previously endowed family members and friends were all there to support and congratulate her. She was crying tears of joy, and her parents, siblings, grandparents, possibly a fiance - just TONS of people - were all equally as happy. I couldn't help but be reminded of the insignificance of my choice. Again, this annoyed me, and frustrated me. At the time, my career choice seemed like such a huge deal - but put against the backdrop of the Eternal perspective, it really disappeared and became unimportant. Of course this annoyed me because I really wanted my career choice to be IMPORTANT, and admitting that it really wasn't was SO hard.

The truth is, when I decided to quit working really wasn't as important as I thought it was.

I feel sad that I wasn't able to say goodbye to my students. I felt extremely angry when I heard what the administrators at my school wrote to the parents of my students. As I processed it over a few days, I finally realized that it was stupid of me to feel angry, because I had been expecting them to lie. So when they actually did, it shouldn't have been such a shock.

The real truth is, compared to many hundreds and thousands of people, my choice to quit my job early was not at all a "big deal". And so far, it really hasn't been bad. In fact, it's been very relaxing. I really like being at home, and like my husband has said over and over, "I'm not worried about you finding something to do to keep busy." I'm just not like that. I always have some kind of project going on.

So before, when I thought about quitting my job as being some huge gigantic tragedy, that was really quite immature and nearsighted. Lots of people around me are going through much worse things than I am, and in the first place, my decision has let me do something even BETTER than my old job. The experience I had in the Temple really helped me understand that in a deeper way. Also, just thinking about the real lives of some people around me. The truth is that life is good, and God has a plan for me, and just because I have no freaking clue what that plan is does NOT give me the right to complain about it, even if the complaining is just in my head. I have a great life, and my recent career change really is for the best of everyone in my family, especially me. My sister Becky is right when she says that staying home with a little baby is not just for her benefit; it may even be more for MY benefit. The more I've thought about that, the more I understand the truth of that statement.

1 comment:

  1. You're amazing Kate. This is really cool. I especially, like the "I need to get over myself" vibe, even though that school board was totally screwy, and these other experiences are pretty crazy, too.
    But you come out on top, mostly because you listened to the spirit.


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