Tuesday, January 17, 2017

About the Time Sister Reeves Came to Visit

So many tears. So many.
Sister Reeves is the 2nd Counsellor in the General Relief Society Presidency and last weekend she came to speak at a Tri-Stake Conference for Women. And then she popped over to my house. Just to visit. We're tight like that... Okay, usually when our General leaders travel to speak and conduct other business, it's common for them to ask the Stake President who is in need of a visit and they go to counsel those who are sick or otherwise afflicted. My Stake President felt that I should receive one of the visits this time as I have really been struggling with chronic pain associated with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

I struggled with a bit of guilt or more correctly, "Shame," that I was taking up a visit when so many others are fighting through darkness, searching for the light Sister Reeves carries with her. But I was assured by my family and Sister Reeves herself that I was the right person to receive the visit. Isn't that pride hiding under the guise of ill-placed compassion? Instead of trusting in God's revelation to His leaders, I assumed a mistake was made when I was chosen. Of course He has a plan for me and sometimes it even includes a miraculous visit. And of course He knows exactly how to take care of His other children I was worried I was stealing a visit from. Trust in God is humility. And sometimes it's harder to trust in our own miracle gifts than it is in someone else's.

The week before her visit I didn't know what to expect. I was a bit nervous. Would I be able to open up to someone I had never met before? Would she know what to say to me? Her visit was on a Saturday afternoon and that morning she spoke at a large conference I attended. As soon as she stood at the pulpit all my worries vanished and I knew her visit was going to be a sweet mercy from heaven. Her conference was spectacularly full of the spirit and I'm sure anyone else who attended would nod in affirmation. But I spent most of the time anticipating my visit in my home with her.

When Sister Reeves arrived I was so calm and excited to talk to her. She sat right next to me, faced me and told me I was free to tell her my story. And I did. With lots and lots of tears cause that's how I do in these situations. She listened intently and cried with me. Her expressions mirrored my words and I knew she felt charitable empathy toward me. Regardless of how many other visits she had been on in her life and how many stories she's heard that are infinitely sadder than mine, she felt my pain as if I was the one lost sheep.

Sister Reeves waited until I was finished talking and then she suggested a few things for me to help cope with waves of trial. I want to share them here (I got her permission) so anyone else left wanting can try it out too. She suggested I read Ether 3, 4 & 12 and watch for how powerful revelation can be. She also said she listens to a conference talk each day, something that I like to do too! From my experience, the light of our leaders inspired speech is enough to chase away a whole lot of darkness. She said Elder Scott's 1995 talk on Trials, is excellent and since I listened to it, I wholeheartedly agree.

She was inspired to tell me to try something new. To write down in a notebook "Why I know," and "When I know." Then write down my spiritual experiences that answer why I know the gospel is true and when I know the gospel is true. She asked me if that would be a relevant activity for me and I laughed, saying, "Almost all of my priesthood blessings I've received for years have told me to write." I struggle with this one but plan to start right away. I feel like pulling out my journal and a pen shows God I'm ready to learn and I am often gifted with the best inspiration when I do.

The best part about Sister Reeves visit was more than just the advice she had for me, even though it felt so customized for me. The way she made me feel about myself and the gospel was really something I can't explain in words. My home felt lighter. My perspective on eternity became more focused. I saw pure religion right in front of my eyes. She is someone so in tune with Heavenly Father and clearly emulates our Saviour's example. She truly cared for me and I longed to be more like her.

I worship God the Father with my all and His Son, Jesus Christ the same. But I have never seen them walk this earth. I am so grateful that they bestow many of their gifts on their children who choose to turn their way so we have physical examples that help me desire to be better, simply because I want to feel the same light and have the same testimony like they do. I long to make others feel the way she made me feel and I know I have a long way to go but I am so grateful that I was able to witness her example. I'm still not sure why I was chosen to receive such a brightening experience but it is high priority amongst my memories. I am simply grateful for the experience and hope to glorify God by strengthening my ability to love others purely, with a greater capacity. I think He sent me one of His servants to show me the way.


8 comments:

  1. What an amazing experience. Just a thought--Perhaps part of why you were chosen is because the Lord knew you would share what you learned, thus helping many through your ability to put into words spiritual lessons so those of us who would read it could benefit from Sister Reeves wisdom and spirit as well:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's the best thought! I love it:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loved this Audi, she is an amazing woman of God, so glad you got to have this amazing one on one time with her! Thank you so much for sharing your light and this experience!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Emily! It was great seeing you that day:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a wonderful experience Audy! Thankyou for sharing that. I have loved being able to read this blog and gain insight and strength through you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hailey Hamilton? Thank you!! It's time for a visit next time you're in town:)

      Delete
  6. My daughter has EDS type 3. She is 21. Her pain is severe. The last several years have been difficult with 2016 being the most difficult yet. Thank you for writing about your experience with Sister Reeves. I passed your blog link along to my daughter and encouraged her to read it. ❤

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so sorry to hear that. So sorry. One thing Sister Reeves talked about is hope for all the incredible medical advances to come. And I agree. Cautiously hopeful. My 2016 was the hardest of my life so I definitely get what trials this disease brings. Send her toward my blog. I'll talk about it lots.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave me your thoughts. It's so much better than talking to myself:)