Tender Mercies And Then More Tender Mercies
I have dreaded the approach of this last week since we came to New Zealand. I knew that the first week of August, I would miss the birth of two grandchildren and the marriage of two others, and it seemed more than I could take. Consequently I kept bracing myself and trying to prepare for the tidal wave of homesickness that I was afraid would sink me. I prayed it wouldn’t inhibit our work and that I would be all right. Well, I’m here to report that I am more than all right. Yes, it was a little sad not to be there for all the happy events, but at the same time my wonderful Father in Heaven compensated me far more than I expected. I was able to watch my grandchildren come out of the temple and heard the laughter and applause—the happiness! I saw the joy and love as all my children gathered to support and help each other.
It wasn’t a “down” week at all. Instead it was an amazing “upper!” I’ve treasured the pictures of the babies. I’ve laughed and rejoiced along with the rest of my family at the fun times. I “attended” the receptions and wished the brides and grooms well. Oh, how thankful I am for Facetime!!! Technology is a great gift, and I am singing its praises and thanking God for my IPhone.
The whole week was wonderful even when we had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to be included because of the time differences.
But there is more! Besides all the festivities over births and marriages the highlight came yesterday. All eight of my living daughters were together for breakfast. As many of you know, our daughter, Talena, has passed through a trial with cancer this past year, and yesterday she put on a fantastic breakfast to honor all her sisters who had helped her through the battle. A victory party, and we were included via Facetime.
Oh, the joy to see all my girls together (since they live all over the USA that doesn’t happen often!). And to hear the words of love and encouragement and to see them dancing and singing together again! Instead of being filled with sadness, my heart is overflowing with incredible joy. I remember reading in the Book of Mormon about how the Lord made raw meat sweet to Lehi’s family while in the wilderness and thinking, “No way!” But I understand now. When you are doing the Lord’s work and striving to stay close to Him miracles happen that can’t be explained. I don’t think I could possibly have felt this much joy and love and happiness if I had been at home participating. Somehow the Lord intensified all the positives of the experiences for me so that my heart is about to burst. The negative aspects were far over-shadowed by the positives. I am so grateful! I am so filled with love and gratitude. I am so thankful for my family!