Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Be Comforted

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Aaron Jr. has been obsessed with SpiderMan lately. It has been fun to see him get excited about so many new things. His cousin, Joe, has a spiderman hat and gloves and Aaron Jr. was always wanting to wear them at their house... so I finally got these ones for him. He has been having a blast with them. He points his finger and pretends he is shooting web and everything. It is so sweet. He is developing a really fun personality. He has pulled some faces lately that remind me SO much of Aaron as well. Seriously, there have been a few faces that he has pulled that were TOTALLY Aaron. It really takes me back when he does that and it brings back some great memories. It also makes me realize how much Aaron Jr. is growing up to be like his Daddy in many ways.


Aaron Jr. just lounging on Mommy and Daddy's bed watching some TV. SO cute.


I was chasing Aaron Jr. and he ran downstairs and hid in this little cubby hole behind his toy octopus. He thought he was so clever. I had to take a photo. I LOVE him.


Here are a few photos of us at the cemetery. We love to go and visit Daddy there. It is really peaceful. Aaron Jr. knows we are visiting Daddy there. I am sure he doesn't understand yet that Aaron is buried there, but each time we go, we talk about Daddy and we talk to Daddy, then before we leave, we always kneel down and have a family prayer there. It always brings a nice feeling for us.


Aaron Jr. and Mommy.


Aaron Jr.

I have been having a tough time lately. I am still trying to be strong and figure out life again, but lately, the tears are streaming more freely again. In the first year after Aaron passed away, I looked at photos of our life together so often and it seemed to help. The past few months, I haven't been looking at photos as often because it has become more difficult to look at photos without completely breaking down. Last night, I was going through Aaron's mission photos and it was very difficult for me. Aaron loved Brazil and he was so happy in the service of the Lord. Those two years were the years that we wrote to each other from our missions and got to know each other. Those photos represent the man that I first got to know and fell in love with through letters. So, looking through those photos brings a lot of sorrow right now.


Aaron Jr. & Me. We miss you SO much, Aaron.

Over the years, when I heard a quote that seemed to have significance, I would type it up, print it out and hang it in our kitchen on our magnet board. I believe this quote is the one that was hanging there before Aaron passed away and has been there ever since:

"Commune with the Lord, He is your best friend! He knows your pain because He has felt it for you already. He is ready to carry that burden. Trust Him enough to place it at His feet and allow Him to carry it for you. Then you can have your anguish replaced with His peace, in the very depths of your soul." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

A scripture that meant a lot to me when I was serving my mission in England was Alma 17:10.
This is where Alma and the sons of Mosiah are in the midst of years and years of preaching the word of God. It says in the verses prior to this one that they had many afflictions and had suffered much. Then it says that they were preparing to depart again to preach the word of God. Then it comes to this verse:
'And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit,
and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.'

The reason this verse had significance to me at that time was that I had been praying for comfort at a difficult time of my mission and I didn't feel like I was receiving the comfort that I was hoping for. But at the time when I read that verse, the wording of it struck me a different way than it ever had before. Then, in my scripture study recently, I read this verse again and it struck me again. Here is why... I find it interesting that once they heard the words 'be comforted', they ALLOWED themselves to be comforted. At times in my life, there have been experiences I have gone through that were SO painful I didn't want to be comforted. Since Aaron passed away, there have been many times when I was so attached to the pain of it all, receiving comfort was the last thing I wanted. Even when I have prayed for comfort, I wasn't allowing the comfort from the Lord to help take away the pain. It is almost like pain becomes a friend to us. It is familiar, so we keep it around. There have been times when I have felt completely numb since Aaron passed away, so at least feeling the pain makes it so you can feel SOMETHING.
Anyhow, when I read this verse recently, it made me realize what I need to do. When the Lord is trying to comfort me and give me peace, I need to ALLOW Him to comfort me instead of selfishly disregarding it and ungratefully pushing it away. Like it says in the quote I typed above... the Lord has already felt this pain for me... I need to 'trust Him enough to place it at His feet and allow Him to carry it for' me. No matter how used to the pain we get... the longer we hold on to it, the longer it will take for us to reach our potential and become more like our Savior.

So, when the Spirit of the Lord is there to comfort us in our pain, heartache, sorrow, grief, struggles, or dark times... then let us all allow ourselves to BE COMFORTED. The Lord is there... always. We are blessed.

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16 comments:

Lesley said...

Leslie,

I can't imagine for one second what you are going through so I won't try and offer any advice. I have been reading your blog for a while now and it is obvious what a wonderful mother you are. Your story has touched me deeply and makes me appreciate people in my life so much more. Aaron Jr. is such a little cuttie and it looks like you are doing a great job. Hang in there and be strong. I will keep you and all of your family in my prayers.

♥ Lesley

Vicki said...

Thank you for this post, Leslie! I loved it when you talked about Alma 17:10... that verse has special meaning for me, too. I was also on my mission. I was fairly new in the mission when my grandpa (on my mom's side) passed away and I had a couple really hard days, but then I was reading my scriptures and came across that verse and I just felt this overwhelming comfort. Again, thank you for this post. I love your pictures. Love you!!

Mindy said...

I love that quote! Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful words of comfort today. Aaron Jr. is such a beautiful boy! I am so glad you have that little light in your life every day!

Joann said...

Beuatiful words, Leslie. Thank you so much for sharing. I also have to say that the picture of Aaron Jr. lounging on your bed reminds me a TON of his daddy! What a handsome kid!

Kristi said...

Great quote. Great scripture. Great pictures of you guys. I like that I can read your blog and get an idea of how things are going for you. I wish we could be there with you guys and spend more time with you, but at least we have this. I enjoyed your words and I hope you take them to heart. Please don't make our prayers for you two be in vain.

Rebecca_Adams said...

More words I needed to hear! I read Tawnie's blog and read some things there that were really good, and then I read your blog. Thank you! You have such a sweet spirit! We all have our different trials we go through, but like you said, we need to ALLOW the Lord to comfort us. That's something I need to work on.

k+m said...

Your little boy isn't so little anymore! He's looking so grown up in these pictures!!!
I think of you often and hope you continue to have more good days than bad. You are amazing and truly inspired in your words.

Tabitha said...

I love the pictures of Aaron Jnr ~ he is so sweet hiding behind his cuddly toy!!
Thinking of you and sending love and big hugs XXXX

Anonymous said...

I think the Spiderman fascination is universal. Thomas used to dress up as Spiderman or Buzz or Superman or Batman. We would go shopping and people would call out "Hi Spiderman!" and he would turn around to them and say "I am not Spiderman. I am Thomas", and be quite indignant about it. Funny boys.

Love to you,

Jane

jensenfamily said...

thinking of you today! erin

Brandy said...

I know you don't think this of yourself, but you are amazing. How can you possibly teach so much from so much heartache and still be so positive. The Lord walks with you every single moment in order to allow you to teach all of us. Wow. Thanks. I have a quote for you that I need to send you. It's way to late (early) for me to quote it correctly, even though it is short. I'll find it and send it. You are so right about hanging on to sorrow. Let the Lord take it away only hold on to the good. Ü

Brandy said...

By the way, do you know that I have to take an extra breath every time I get ready to read your blog? I know that there is a chance that I will cry (which I hate to do) and yet, I want to know how YOU are. I can't selfishly not check on you to save my own heartache for you. I just prepare myself a little more when I read your blog than others. I also find it refreshing to be a little calmer and focused for you and your family. You matter, Leslie, to a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

Leslie,

I understand what you say about holding onto the pain. At times, it is all you have left to hold onto. My fiance was killed in a car accident when I was 21. I was in the passenger seat. I couldn't let go of the pain for years b/c (1) it felt like a betrayal and (2) holding onto the pain felt like I was also holding onto a little piece of him. I know it is different with you -- you had a life together and a child -- but I understand not wanting to allow comfort. I was afraid that in allowing comfort, I would lose him completely. For me, the second worst day in my life was a few years later when I was doing something random in my apartment and I came across something of Sam's and I realized I hadn't thought about him in a couple of days. I felt like I lost him all over. Upon reflection, though, it was a moment of great healing. I know you won't have the same experience -- you have a miniature Aaron staring up at you every day -- but I pray you will have the moment of great healing and comfort.

Please know I am thinking of you and praying for you.

Leslie said...

thank you, Anonymous. i believe that losing a fiance would be terribly difficult because you chose the one you wanted to marry and then you never had a chance to make those covenants and promises to each other. i feel so blessed to have been able to do that with aaron.
i truly hope you have continued to heal and that you have found SO much happiness in your life.
thank you again for your words.

jensenfamily said...

yes, we are around most of march, we would love to see you if you come out here - my sister is coming the last week to visit from minnesota - I love visitors! anyway, let us know as it gets closer....and of course, there's always a place to stay if you need one~ erin

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, I just came back to say how much I love Aaron's headstone. I know I have said it before, but it truly is remarkable. You should be so very proud of it. Very fitting and very beautiful.

Love

Jane