Sunday, June 16, 2013
For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you knew that about 3 weeks ago Dave and I were asked to speak today, which just so happened to be Father's Day. We were asked to speak on "The Blessings of the Priesthood."
As I prepared my talk I knew exactly what I was going to talk about. I was going to talk about a time when I was very ill and had to go in for ER surgery in the middle of the night, and Dave gave me a blessing that saved my life. To read the detailed story click here.
It's a story I have shared many times during public speaking engagements across the country. I have never spoke about it in Sacrament before. I have never spoken in sacrament period, but I knew only a few minor changes would need to be made to accomadate church settings. As I prepared and went over my talk, I thought it was perfect. I had 10 minutes to speak, and I knew it would be just like I had hoped. I felt ready as this Sunday approached.
As I sat in sacrament and looked over my notes, I had a very strong feeling that I needed to leave my notes down and that my Heavenly Father was going to guide me in what to say through the spirit. I was a little hesitant, so I pushed the thought away. It came back so strongly that I knew it was what I was supposed to do. As I got ready to stand up, I really wasn't nervous because I knew this story. This was my story, and I had told it hundreds of times to huge groups of people. This was going to be easy.
As I started I introduced Dave and I very briefly. I talked about how we met, starting dating while I was not active, and when we became serious he was very straight with me and let me know that he would not be getting married anywhere but the temple. He hoped I would join him on this journey, but it was completely up to me. What Dave didn't know at the time is that when I was 14 years of age I had 3 different dreams all about the same man. His name was Dave, with blond hair, and he drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I remember writing in my journal after one of these dreams, "Wouldn't it be awesome if I really married this guy one day?" So as I thought about if I was ready to come back to the church, I knew without to much hesitation that of course I would. Dave was who I was supposed to be with. God had told me that when I was a little girl. So I jumped in with both feet.
The crowd chuckled at this part of my talk, and then the next part they became very quiet. I spoke about how a month after we were married I became deathly sick. I talked about how Dave would wake up at 6am, go to school until 4pm, and then come and be with me at the hospital until 10pm, when he would then drive home and do it all over again. During those 6 hours though Dave would wrap me in his arms and walk me around the floor because I was to weak to walk alone. He would wash my hair, bathe me, paint my nails, just be with me every second that he could. It was true love.
During the weekends we would sleep at the hospital with me. Well on this one Friday night I became very ill and had to get ER surgery. We had about 30 minutes to prepare before we had to go. Dave asked if he could give me a blessing which I accepted. After the blessing we sat and held each other and cried. I was so weak, and we knew the chances of me surviving this surgery were slim to none. I remember Dave saying, "What if this is the last time I see you?" He was crying, and I knew I had to be strong.
Before we were ever ready, we were walking down to surgery. When it came to the doors where we had to say goodbye, we kissed each other through our tears and I said, "I'll see you in a few hours," completely knowing that, that wasn't true.
In the surgery room I was to weak to move from one bed to the other so the nurses picked me up and moved me. I asked to meet the doctor, and they said that he was in his office. I started to cry. A nurse came up and squeezed my hand and said, "Don't worry. He's saying a prayer. He always prays before his surgeries." Then I was out.
The next thing I remember I was in the recovery room with nurses frantically working on me, but I wouldn't open my eyes. Then I heard them yell, "We're losing her, we're losing her." And then I was gone. I was looking down at my body and was completely calm and at peace. The spirit confirmed to me that my Heavenly Father loved me, and was proud of me, but he was giving me a choice. I could choose to return to live with him, or I could choose to stay. He allowed me to know that either one was perfectly fine with him, but if I chose to stay it was not going to be easy. I would have many other trials, it would be painful, and difficult, and hard, but I would make it. At that moment, as clear as day, Dave's beautiful face appeared in front of me, and I knew that I wanted to go back. If God would even give me 24 more hours with this beautiful man that I loved then all the pain in the world was worth it.
Right then I opened my eyes and screamed out in the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. I heard the nurses say, "She's BACK!" Over the next 4 hours they worked on me to get me stable enough to go to see Dave, and finally I got the chance.
As they wheeled me into my room Dave jumped up with his tear stained cheeks and come and grabbed my hand, and kissed my forehead. He said, "Thank you for coming back to me." All I could do was cry.
Dave and I both know that I was saved that day because of the power of the priesthood. That blessing that Dave gave me before surgery and the prayer that my surgeon asked, saved my life and are the reasons that I am still standing and living today.
God was right, it hasn't been easy. Life is hard, and my health problems haven't stopped. Even as we speak I have to go to the hospital twice a week and get IV therapy to keep me alive. I'm nauseated and vomit every single day of my life, but all of that doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that I am grateful every morning when I wake up and see my husbands beautiful face lying next to me. I'm thankful every morning when I kiss him goodbye on his way to work. Like I said to God, if you will give me even 24 hours more with Dave then I want to go back.
Dave is my reason for living. He is my entire world, and I love him more than he will ever understand. A man approached Dave and I after our talks and said, "You 2 are special. I saw a light surrounding you as you spoke. You don't have what normal couples have." I was touched, but I knew it was true. I know the relationship and the love that Dave and I share is very rare. I know we were put together for a reason, and I know that together we will accomplish all that our Father in Heaven has in store for us.
I'm thankful for the Priesthood. I'm thankful that my husband stays worth to his, and can offer me protection and guidance. I know my father in heaven has a plan for me and for you. I know he loves us more than we can ever imagine, no matter who we are or what we are doing. His love is perfect and unconditional. I'm grateful for my life and the things I know to be true.
I hope all you Dads had a wonderful Father's Day. I have an amazing father and I'm so lucky to be his baby girl. He is an amazing man that has taught me more than I could ever have hoped to learn. He taught me what I was worth, and because of that I have my sweetheart. Happy Father's Day Papa Kirk. Thank you for raising me into the woman I have become, because I'm proud of her.