I woke up this morning, and decided waking up was a personal miracle from the Lord. I breathed in, slowly allowing the breeze from the window to fill up my lungs. My eyes looked over the bedroom — another miracle. I could see the dim outline of the bed, the closet, the desk. Another breath brought me sitting slowly up. Another miracle.
In a small hand-held mirror, I looked at my face. Wrinkles have started their slow, still subtle appearance, but they make me smile. I’ve lived long enough to watch my face change…how cool. I felt my head — my smooth, bald head — and marveled at what it held inside. My hands ran to the back of my head, the staples and rough scars still intact. The Lord’s tender mercies overwhelmed me.
Back in the hospital, lying in bed last Sunday morning, I was surprised by three unknown visitors. “We were informed that you are LDS,” one woman said softly, “May we bring you the sacrament?”
My face went flush. The Lord knew. He knew I needed those strangers. As one gentleman knelt to bless a single piece of bread for me, to offer the sacramental prayer entirely on my behalf, I knew just how blessed I was. The covenants I was renewing, the blessings promised that day, were more for me than they ever had been on any Sunday previous. The Lord’s promises are sure. I was once again reminded that I knew. Another miracle.
Sentimentality took hold, and I wept my way through the next day. My children were nothing but darling. Toast and jam was elixir from Heaven. Crying babies were to cherish. They let me leave the hospital; what an amazing smell the outdoors held. The sun! The sweet nurse intern! My beautiful driveway! Everything made me teary with joy.
Over the next several days, my blessings magnified themselves. Or did I perhaps just take more care to notice the Lord in my life? Home seemed more precious. I could almost walk. I could almost read. I could laugh. I could hug.
Reality tried really hard to shake me away, crying turned into a screaming baby. A screaming baby turned into a chorus of crying and whining children. Messes abounded, spills, accidents and mishaps appeared. Someone developed croup. Someone stuck an entire book through the shredder. Healing was slow. Pain still lingered.
Something settled over me at the moment of critical mass, though. Just as I lay there, unable to move or attend to any of the problems, feeling my most vulnerable and weak, medicated and unable, something calm and reassuring came, something not sentimental or unsustainable, but something that came and unpacked itself, moving into my insides to take up residence.
Count your blessings.
And they’re all blessings.
The crying, the messes, the sickness, the stress, the surgery, the laughing, the good food, the jokes, the chores, the arguments, the cold cereal mornings, the private moments of testimony. They’re all blessings. Take it all and learn something. Whatever it is I’ve got to figure out, take it all in and learn from it. “…That they may always have His Spirit to be with them.”
So I think I will.
What are you determined to learn today?