Job’s Job

After some very hard weeks, this weekend was much better!  I was able to participate with family activities on Saturday, even though I modified most everything to be sitting down.  I made it through church on Sunday, for the first time since surgery, and even stayed for Sunday school.  I was not able to make it through third hour for the ladies meeting, but when I heard it was about visiting teaching, then I was really glad I had taken vegetables to my ladies the day before!  That is not the same as visiting teaching, though, and right now the ladies I am supposed to check on keep checking on me.

I took it easy yesterday, but even by evening I was well enough still to sit with the family at the dinner table, and Nathan’s parents came over, and I was able to stay up and chat with them.  It was amazing!  It’s been six weeks at least!  I did make it through both Saturday and Sunday with almost no pain, though I was very, very, very tired very, very, very easily.

Today, though?  Today was AMAZING.  It was absolutely the best I have felt so far since surgery, maybe even since I got sick before, maybe even since before my last miscarriage.  Not only did I remain pain free – despite a tiny and slow one mile walk this morning – but my energy was much more up today!  I was almost peppy!  I danced in the living room and everything!

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I got both kids up and ready for the day, gave them breakfast, cooked my own breakfast, took them both to school, did the dishes, and hung up laundry.  You would think I was almost functioning!  I even took my shower and did my scripture study without needing a nap in between!  I spent most of the day writing, found out a ton of previous articles have been published on other sites, and got on my knees to thank my Father-in-Heaven for such fun provision for my family while I am stuck at home sick.  All our bills are now paid for this month, I have had three good days in a row, and officially go back to work a week from tomorrow (doctor approval still pending).

I really, really do not need more treatments to interrupt this loveliness right now, and will stall as long as I can get away with it.  In the meantime, I am not going to lose this feeling by worrying about treatments right now.  Today is not about recovery; it is about dancing.

Except sometimes you have to dance your way through recovery.

Yesterday’s Sunday School lesson was about Job, the guy who lost everything and loved God still anyway, and that just made me snort as I walked into the classroom.  Naturally, my first day back to sunday school would have a lesson on Job. How could I expect any less?

Nathan says that he learned at BYU that the book of Job is actually a play.  I mean, it is based on real guy, and other scriptures confirm that, but the story that is presented in the Old Testament is actually a play.  It’s a script.  That’s amazing, I think, and so he and I talked with our home teachers yesterday about that a little, and about the truths we gain from literature.

Because we have awesome new home teachers that are math-heads, but let us be writers and love us anyway, that’s why.

Anyway, our Sunday school teacher said that Job’s “trials were to prove his righteousness purely, even outside of being rewarded with and comforted by blessings”.  I had never thought about that!  I knew that trials didn’t always mean we were failing, or being punished, though sometimes my grew-up-Baptist Self has a hard time remembering it.  I knew that all experiences teach me, and so even trials can “prove” me – not because Heavenly Father wants to attack me, but because I get opportunities to make good choices regardless of circumstances.

But I had only thought of those circumstances as being hard or difficult or challenging.

I had not put it in the context of blessings or comfort being withheld for a time.

In fact, I am not sure – even with all I have been through in recent years – that I could say I have ever had it so rough as to have comfort withheld.  I have grieved, and been in great pain, and even lost my hair three times in the last five years.  But there has always been comfort: a well-timed popsicle, a hug from a friend, a visit from a colleague, fish and broccoli just when I wake up hungry, artwork from my children, that dance with my husband in the kitchen.  There is always something.  I am grateful for mercy in this, and pray for strength if I should ever endure less favorable circumstances.

The other point that really got me in Sunday School was a comment someone made.  You know that old adage people say, about God not giving you more than you can handle?  That’s false doctrine, actually, because the whole reason for the atonement is that we cannot handle things.  That being said, someone pointed out that the trials Job experienced “were within his capacity, with his faith and spiritual gifts, even though it was a really hard experience”.  That I loved, a lot.  It is true, that by the power of God we can do hard things we never could endure otherwise.

We watched a 50 second clip of Elder Scott encouraging us to claim that power through trials:

(And hey! I found the clip on the free-for-all-to-use church media library page that Elder Bednar talked about last week!  Check it out HERE if you haven’t yet!  And watch Bednar’s talk about it HERE! You can use the link if you are reading from the Housewifeclass app, since it does not yet support video.)

What I love, is the part were Job shares his testimony, even after all he has been through (Job 19:25-27):

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

We had to listen to the song, then, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, which almost made me cry because it’s one of those hymns that even my Baptist parents knew, and so I always feel them close when I see those songs.

And then, as if it had not been nerd heaven already, we got an Orson Whitney quote, just like that [Orson F. Whitney, in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle(1972), 98.]:

No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. … All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”

While I have homework to do on enduring patiently, I am grateful His great plan of happiness includes a way to make me more tender and charitable.

And I think, just maybe, it’s understanding these experiences as part of my education in this mortal school that makes the enduring part possible.

Even on good days you just want to enjoy before the next hard days come.

That’s my job today: just to enjoy this very good day while it’s here.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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