Last night, I got to accompany some ladies in our ward for Enrichment Meeting. They sang this song. It went really well, but it was inconvenient, because they had planned a combined Young Women/Relief Society Enrichment Meeting on YM/YW night, and Brandon had to be at YM's, and because the YW were joining us, there was no children's class, and so what the heck was I supposed to do with the kiddies?
Well, we worked it out [Brandon came home early (although, technically, he was late, and I left my children alone, supervised by #1 for approximately 3 minutes) so I could rehearse at 6:30, and then he took the kids to Young Men's with him, and I was going to pick them up after the song (which was at the beginning of the meeting)]. As you know, I have been have a lousy life lately, and yesterday was no different. I really didn't want to be at Enrichment, and have women coming up to me, asking me why I looked so sad or tired (thanks a lot, ladies), nor did I want them to ask me what was wrong. How could I answer that? As if they really want me to dive into a conversation about my depression? Nobody really wants that when they ask "How are you?" in a public setting. It's just courtesy. So, I answered, "Oh, you know. Just really tired," and then they would smile that knowing smile and I would think "You have no idea, so please stop pretending you understand me."
Yeah, I was a wreck.
But I had to be there, and I had to be there early. So, after our quick rehearsal, I sat and listened as another sister play some prelude music, avoided all eye contact, and sat close to the piano up front and to the side. I was pondering my self-pity and my frustrating situation (and how tired I am of feeling so pitiful) when suddenly, I heard a melody. It's a common hymn, but the words pricked my heart and tears stung my eyes:
Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day
So, when life gets dark and dreary
Don't forget to pray.
I had forgotten to pray yesterday.
After the opening prayer, it was our turn for the musical number. Except for a few glaring mistakes on my part (nobody noticed but my singers), it went really, really well. Afterwards, I was going to take my leave, but I was at the front of the room, and so instead of walking out in front of everybody, I sat down and listened to the Spiritual Thought. The entire theme that night was on Beauty --modesty, divine worth, fun hairstyles, pedicures, manicures, hair products, a fashion show, etc. --so the speaker's thought focused on Elder Holland's talk, which was entitled To Young Women.
It was your typical spiritual thought on divine worth --nothing I hadn't heard before. But then the sister quoted part of Elder Holland's talk, and again, my heart was pricked, and my soul felt realization and hope:
Be a woman of Christ. Cherish your esteemed place in the sight of God. He needs you. This Church needs you. The world needs you. A woman’s abiding trust in God and unfailing devotion to things of the Spirit have always been an anchor when the wind and the waves of life were fiercest. I say to you what the Prophet Joseph said more than 150 years ago: “If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”
Am I living up to my privileges?
It's always interesting to me how the cycle of depression comes in waves. I wrote about it once, here. I mentioned how I always start with the awful depression, then the pity parties, then the small tender mercies of God, and then guilt and gratitude. (Heck! I even talked about the shards of happiness last week). But I think even more than that, I find myself forgetting to do the small things that help keep the depression at bay. Not completely gone, but at least controllable. When I am doing the things I've been told will help --you know, all the Sunday School answers, such as pray, read scriptures, go to meetings, attend the Temple, fasting, etc. --they actually help. Always.
So, even though I left Enrichment after the spiritual thought, and even though my bad mood wasn't completely abated by the time I had put the kids in bed, I still felt better. I realized that I was supposed to be there early for prelude, and I was supposed to stay for the Spiritual Thought. I felt hope, I felt loved, and I felt heard.
God is so kind, dear reader. Man, how I love Him.