Last I posted, it was about the field. I wrote about the night I spend laying on my back in that memory-filled, grassy, high school soccer field. I wrote about the night when I needed help to rise and go back home. At the time I thought that was intense. Looking back now, it makes me laugh. I didn’t have a clue what intense was. I still don’t I’m afraid, but my eyes are opened a tab bit more now because the very next day, the very next morning, something crazy and completely unexpected happened.
God told me, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to do something.
Deny, deny, deny. Denial was my first response. I tried convincing myself, convincing others, that I had just ‘made it up’. I tried to pawn it off on the devil. I tried to pawn it off on my grief. I fought it tooth and nail.
I’ve never done that before, I’ve never denied inspiration. I’ve received and followed a bunch of it but I’d never received inspiration that I didn’t understand to this extent. I really didn’t understand this. I didn’t understand it at all. And truthfully I didn’t want it to be true. I really didn’t want it to be true. It couldn’t be true.
By that afternoon I was exhausted. I couldn’t fight it anymore. The spirit wouldn’t stop harassing me and I couldn’t deny it – as much as I still wanted to, I couldn’t. It was too overwhelming, too powerful, too real. I’ve never been screamed at so quietly in all my life. I started to accept the possibility that this command was in fact from above. I prayed for understanding and the signs started coming. I was bombarded with so many signs I can’t even remember them all.
A little boy that turned my heart to mush the moment my eyes laid on him. The second little boy I saw when I turned from the first one in another attempt at denial. The men in beads in the middle of summer. Every. Single. Man. I saw that day had a beard. The signs kept coming fast and furious, too fast. Faster than I could shake them off. The signs helped my acceptance grow and when God told me to go to the temple I said yes.
The temple is a special place. Daniel and I didn’t talk about death much. I would tell him he wasn’t allowed to die without me and especially not before me but that was pretty much it. EXCEPT… he did tell me that if he had no choice and had to die before me, without me, that he would be at the temple.
I was scared to go to the temple. After he died I was terrified that if I went to the temple and he wasn’t there my faith would slip away. I thought it would run away actually. I thought it would run real fast. I knew I couldn’t afford that. But…
This day, the one right after the night in the field, I decided to go to the temple. I was still praying that the command God gave me wasn’t real. I was praying that I would be told in the temple that I misunderstood. But that didn’t happen. In the temple I was only told one thing from my Heavenly Father, he said, “You already know.”. Honestly, it made me a little mad. And the worse part, Daniel wasn’t there – not really. Not the way I wanted him to be. I didn’t see him or hear him. He was barely there. He was stepping back. I tried to reach out, to reach him, and then he filled my heart with words that burned. My late husband told me the exact same thing the spirit told me. He not only told me to do it but he told me that he wanted me to. He wanted me to do it for myself and for our children.
So then I knew. I knew I was suppose to think this way. I didn’t however know what to do with this information, with this command. It involved someone else. Someone with their own free will and choice. Someone who, though always kind, would not understand this. That’s the part I had the most trouble with. My semi-rational mind could not wrap itself around the possibility of this person understanding and feeling the same way.
I cried and prayed and plead and pleaded. I desperately needed to know what I was to do with this information. I needed to know how to accomplish this task. Then out of the blue a date popped into my head. I was told to call this person and tell them all about this inspiration on this specific date. The date would not leave my mind. I tried thinking of other things, other possibilities, and they all got booted out. It was like God was controlling my mind, literally. It was pretty neat and a little scary.
Not nearly as scary as doing as I was told. I had many moments when I almost backed out. Many mini freak outs. It was 11 days that felt like 200. The signs kept coming too; the signs were everywhere. I decided to clean out Dan’s office which I wasn’t planning on doing for months. In his office I found two printed talks. Only two. Both of which applied perfectly to this situation. I found something framed, something important to him which stung my soul like a bee and confirmed for the hundredth time that this was right. I kept being prompted to read 1 Nephi again – do you know how many times the spirit is mentioned in those chapters?
I kept praying, so many times I prayed. I even talked to the bishop. He saw hope in my eyes and a smile on my face. He made me believe that just maybe I wasn’t crazy. I realized I had started to want this. I actually wanted it to be true. The bishop suggested I go to the temple again which I did. In the temple I opened up the scriptures and read a passage that told me my husband would be there. I really thought he would be with us when I made that call. I didn’t admit it at the time but I was expecting a miracle.
The day came. I dropped my mom off at the airport and put my kids to bed. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. All the while I prayed and read scriptures and listened to church music. I was in the zone. I was ready. I couldn’t have been more prepared. I couldn’t have had more faith. The spirit was going to use me as a mouth piece. He was going to put words in my mouth. God was going to help me deliver this message with grace and perfection. He was going to touch the heart of the person on the other line. He was going to send Dan to visit.
None of that happened.
There were no miracles. No understanding. No grace. I stumbled through my words like driving on gravel in a tiny toy tonka truck. I screwed it up. It was about 2am when I got bid sweet dreams and hung up on. I took a warm bath with lots of lavender to try to relax. I wrote in my journal. I cried like a screeching banshee. Why did this have to happen? It didn’t change anything. I didn’t learn anything. I just lost my husband and God gives me a command that I can’t accomplish. Life isn’t suppose to be fair, but this… this was beyond that. For a moment I questioned my faith. I’m not proud of it but I thought that perhaps I was wrong about everything. That maybe Dan really is dead dead. Never to be seen again dead. In the ground forever dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.
I texted Patrick to call me in the morning because I knew he would get the message and do what I asked. In order to sleep I needed to know that someone was going to be there when I woke, that someone would care that I wasn’t dead along with my husband. And then sleep came. I woke up and fed my youngest and slept again. Fed. Slept. Fed. Slept. Then my phone rang. Yay! I made it through the night. Someone cared. Patrick made me smile like he always does. He’s quickly become my best friend and I couldn’t be more grateful to have someone who gets me almost as well as Daniel did.
Life went on. I read my morning scriptures, prayed and started the day. I woke up and all the doubt I had the night before was gone. Nothing had changed. I still have no clue how or if I’ll ever be able to accomplish the task I was assigned. I have no idea why I was told what I was told but my faith is still intact. Despite all the disappointment, struggle and uncertainty and what seemed like unnecessary tears and stress, my faith is still intact. God truly works in mysterious ways. Once day I might understand or maybe I won’t. Either way it’s okay.
I can’t believe I’m saying this after so much drama and soul crushing but it’s how I truly feel. I’m okay. I’m still okay. I think, perhaps, I always will be.