Gratitude and Thanks

In case you were wondering, I generally try to keep my posts light and humorous so as to keep from driving people away with all of the heavy emotion. This post, however, will not be that way. I'm sorry, I tried to hold back, but I have no choice. I'm bursting at the seams with gratitude and awe and I've got to get it out in some way. I tried my journal, but the emotion was all still pent up inside. I felt a need to have human interaction. However, something tells me that my husband wouldn't necessarily love it if I were on the phone for the next 24 hours, making mandatory phone calls to every person who ever had an impact on my life...  This being said, I found myself here.

Lately I have been very contemplative.
I know, I know, you're laughing as you say to yourself "what's new?"
But really...if possible, the last couple of weeks have been even more thought-provoking than the previous 22 years and some odd days of my life.
Why you ask?
Well The answer is: I don't know. 
But I think part of it has something to do with this:

I have felt completely overcome with gratitude.
Gratitude toward God.
Gratitude toward my husband.
Gratitude toward my parents.
Gratitude toward my in-laws.
Gratitude toward my other family members,
And gratitude toward my friends.

Mushy gushy, I know, but just hang in there...if you're into that "good message at the end" sort of thing...

It seems that constantly I am asking myself (and God), "Why me?"

Why did my birth mother give me up so that I could be with a mom AND a dad?
Why was I blessed with such incredible parents who would give anything at the drop of a dime to rearrange their lives in my favor?
Why was I blessed with a brother who, through just being himself, teaches me Christ-like principles every single day?
Why was I given the opportunity to be a member of the true church from day one?
Why was I privileged to marry a man of such goodness?
Why was I blessed not only with a husband whom I love, but in-laws who are wonderful, too?
Why have I been blessed to still live each day with all of my family members only a phone call away?

Why me?
Why me?
Why me?

This question has been stuck in my mind with unrelenting steam, moseying about like it owns the place, insisting on an answer. And the only explanation I can furnish to quiet the insistent questioning comes in an unlikely form. To simply be grateful, while doing what I can to give back.

I have seen so much pain and anguish lately and it hurts me to watch the ones I love struggle through such emotionally trying and mentally exhausting times. Believe me when I say that if I could, I would take all of the pain away. But don't worry... I'd leave you with the refined person who you will have become once you make it through.

“Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner's fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong.”
—James E. Faust
I am spilling over with gratitude for all that I have been given. And I don't mean this in a boastful way, rather as a way of thanking you all for contributing to those blessings.

I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for the lessons I've learned through intentional and unintentional interactions with all of you. Whether you were meaning to or not, your words have been a guiding star in my life on more occasions than one.

I guess what I am here to say is thanks. To all of you.

And for those of you who may (and those of you who may not) be going through a tough time, here is one of my favorite mormon messages of all times:

Good Things to Come
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And a link to a blog written by a woman that I envy, because of her beautiful execution of grammatical composition... and other reasons which are unnecessary to name. 
This woman is my idol in every way!
Thanks Torrey and Jayne for introducing me! I will now make it my prerogative to introduce my mom (and anyone else who reads this), because every person needs to experience this level of literature at least once in their lives!


Coupleena said...

Thanks Steph. Beautiful post and message. You gave me the chills, and I may have cried a little. You're an amazing person and even better friend.

Sadey said...

you are such an amazing writer..and I definitely teared up reading this. I love you!

Trisha said...

Steph ... I love you! And I know that's weird cos I spent only about 4 days of my life with you, but I really do! You are amazing. :)