Sunday, November 06, 2011

If I Never Wrote Again

Brandon is sleeping soundly near me and the children are downstairs building forts. I'm listening to soft, peaceful music. My heart wants to write something beautiful, but I can't find the words --they are escaping before they reach my mind...

I miss the fire I used to have just a few short years ago. I was going to be a writer. I've written several stories and even a few novels --but nothing that has been sustainable; life has always seemed to get in the way. The poetry I would write at the drop of a hat eludes me now; I'm not sure where the ability to describe my soul has gone.

Well, I do know. But it's frustrating. Add it to the list of the things I have given up in order to bring my children into the world (you know, my figure, the shape of my ribs, my skin, my sanity, and now, my brain cells).

"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. All these things will be for thy learning and thy good. Be patient in thy afflictions. Fight the good fight. That which is sacrificed now will be returned unto you tenfold."


What is your sacrifice? We all have them. And is it truly a sacrifice? It probably feels like it right now, or else why would you refer to it as a sacrifice? But is it? Really?

I wrote a post (last week?) about having to give up my busy life for simplicity. What I sacrificed for that simplicity was hard to give up. It was, truly, in every sense of the word, a sacrifice. But what is it now? Predictably, it's an overwhelming, peace-sustaining blessing. A relief. This has made me ponder what I would do if everything was taken from me --if I had to truly sacrifice the things in my life that seem impossible to live without. For example, what if I was FORCED to sacrifice everything?

If I could never again write publicly, if nobody ever read another word I wrote, I'm pretty sure I would still write for me. I would find comfort in the flowing art of written language. I would use a pencil. Maybe be bold and use a pen.

If I could never play the piano again; if my hands were damaged or my voice was ruined and I could never sing, I would still find a way to fill my life with music. I would listen. I would see. I would remember. Maybe like Beethoven, I would still create.

If I could never bear children again, if I lost all six of them in a tragic way (similar to this story), if I was left alone by husband and family, I would still know of my covenants. I would see that the sealing power reaches beyond death; I would still be a part of a family. I will always be a wife, mother, sister, daughter. I would be grateful for the mortal time I did have and look forward to the eternal time.

If I lost the use of my body and mind, I would know that my God would be with me. I know that even if I could no longer pray or understand or was trapped in a broken body that could not communicate with Heaven or with Earth, I would not be alone.

If I lost my life, I know what is waiting for me.

Would I be able to follow through on my what-if's IF IT REALLY HAPPENS? I don't know. I know it would be hard. It would be overwhelming. It would be devastating. It would take time and change and prayer and a lot of strength to stand up and do what I just wrote I would do. But I think I could do it. Because I know I would not be completely alone.

And then, one day, I would be grateful for the experiences I was given. Much like the ones I have already been given. The ones I face now. Today. Tomorrow.

So, my questions to you, dear reader --What is sacrifice? What do we give up? And is it really giving up? Or is it trading in for something better? And what is the difference, to you, between forced sacrifice and volunteerable sacrifice? Is there a difference? How?


Michelle said...

" And what is the difference, to you, between forced sacrifice and volunteerable sacrifice? Is there a difference? How?"

This is a lovely and timely post for me. I've been experiencing some powerful breakthroughs as of late, and this question resonated with an aha I had tonite. To me, the difference between voluntary and forced sacrifice is like the difference between drawing a straight line between two points and a crazy, curvy, all-over-the-place line that connects them. It's a whole lot easier, less energy-consuming, more freeing, to realize that God's way is always the better way, the peace-filled way, the way that leads to what is "sweet above all that is sweet." (I felt like the picture you painted at the very beginning of the post captures that sweetness.)

That said, being mortal means that it often takes learning by experience, which is more crazy, curvy, and all-over-the-place. And that's what the Atonement is all about. He makes it all straight, if we keep having faith in Him.

When I taste the sweetness of that truth, experience the power that comes of His way, then sacrifice as a painful concept isn't so much how I see it. The challenge is that I so easily forget.

That mortal thing again. But times like these strengthen my resolve to be better about always remembering, and really trying to trust.

p.s. If this is what happens when words fail you.... (in other words, they are not failing.) ;)

Becca said...


Between you and Michelle I think it all got said.

Your question about sacrifice reminded me of President Uchtdorf's talk from the General Relief Society meeting - the part where he talked aboutgood sacrifices and foolish sacrifices. Perhaps every decision we make is a sacrifice - whenever we do something, we are always (consciously or unconsciously) deciding not to do something else (making a sacrifice?) So every day with every decision, perhaps we just have to make sure that we are making good sacrifices rather than foolish ones.

Michelle said...

Awesome thought, Becca. I love that connection you made with his talk. hm.....