The Family

The Family
For Christmas 2010

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Sunday, August 15, 2010


Even though I had found a measure of peace and comfort, I was still feeling a little unsettled.  I had gone through the anger.  I had gone through the complete despair.  And I didn't want to go through any of that again.  So the thing that was still so disconcerting to me was that I still felt that so many of my prayers had gone unanswered.  Specifically, the ones where I prayed so hard to have a friend, to have someone just want to come over talk and listen and help share the burden.

Having a child who is constantly sick and in the hospital is very tiring -- physically tiring, emotionally tiring, spiritually tiring.  In fact, it's down right exhausting at times.  And not having more of a resolution was leaving me feeling a little vulnerable to a possible relapse.  Not that I wanted to be angry or sad all over again, but I felt that if I wasn't careful that I would be susceptible to a setback.

So instead of praying for "someone," I tried to rely on the Lord, to trust in Him, and to pray for strength and understanding.  Fortunately for me, my Heavenly Father was merciful to me and gave me the understanding I sought quicker than I expected.  It wasn't but a few days after I had been partly comforted that I was blessed with what I consider to be wonderful understanding and insight.

I was just getting home from work.  I happened to be on the phone with my mother.  She worried a lot about Nathan and wanted updates on him almost daily.  So as a good son I would always try to comply.  I would usually wait until I got home, though, so that I could get an update on the day from Bekah before calling her.  If I happened to miss a day or two, she would always become anxious.  And when she could no longer wait, she would call me.

On this particular day, she happened to call before I had gotten home from work.  I was just pulling into the driveway when I answered her call.  She asked how her grandson was doing, but I was having a hard time hearing what she was saying.  Between all of the cars passing on the street, the people playing outside, the music from the ice cream truck, and me being distracted getting the mail from the mailbox, I had a hard time giving her the attention that she deserved.

And that's when the inspiration struck me: Noise.

I had previously spent many an evening, pouring out my soul to my Heavenly Father.  Asking...pleading with Him to inspire someone to come over, to come spend a few minutes visiting with me.  And after every single prayer, I always expected a knock on the door or the phone to ring.  I really, truly believed that it would work that way.  That's how I had been taught.  That's what I believed.  That's what I expected. 

But when there was repeatedly no one at the door and when the phone was repeatedly silent, I began to question if my expectations were too high, or if my beliefs in such miraculous promptings were erroneous, or if maybe I was unworthy of such a blessing.

I've mentioned before that we believe in a very real and a very personal God.  One who cares about each of us.  One who hears and listens to our prayers.  One who wants to bless us.  One who wants to answer our prayers.  I also believe that very, very frequently Heavenly Father uses others to answer our prayers.  And therein lies the potential to have a breakdown in communications.

If God is going to use us as a means of answering the prayers of others, we have to put ourselves in a position to "hear" Him when He communicates with us.  But unfortunately, each of us has personal "noise" that either distracts us from giving God the full attention that He deserves; or the noise is too "loud" and makes it hard to hear Him.  Both can prevent us from properly listening to the inspiration or promptings that the Lord is trying to give us so that we can be a help or benefit to someone in need.

The "noise" of which I speak can be a variety of things, some of which may include (in no particular order):
  • our own problems and concerns
  • we think we are too busy
  • we think someone else will take care of it for us
  • someone talks us out of it
  • laziness
  • pride
  • anger
  • not recognizing the inspiration when it comes
  • many other things
I came to understand that evening that my Heavenly Father really was desirous to answer my prayers.  He was trying to let people know of our needs, but that those he was trying to inspire were distracted by various incarnations of "noise."

I also felt more than a little admonished myself.  How often over the last couple of weeks had He been trying to communicate with me and His voice had been drowned out by the noise of my anger?  It wasn't until I had rid myself of anger and humbled myself more and remembered in Whom I should trust, that I was ready to receive this glorious inspiration.  So I couldn't hold it against anyone else that they had succumbed to noise.

For me, once I had this understanding, I was good.  For the first time in a long, long time, I was good inside.  My heart and soul felt healed.  I understood that my Heavenly Father still loved me.  That He wouldn't let me down.  That it was on Him that I should rely and put my trust and not anyone else.  Everyone else can get distracted by noise.  But Heavenly Father is always there, always listening, never distracted.

So that day I made the conscious choice to rely more on my Heavenly Father.  To trust Him more.  To look to Him more for strength, for hope.  And to rely less on those who are so easily distracted by noise, myself included.

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