November 7, 2010

The Sunday Post

I've spent many hours with dear Heather watching Lord of the Rings. You could say we're fans. We even caught ourselves once speculating on whether dwarfs, elves or men are the most powerful. When we became aware of our nerdy discussion we laughed pretty hard, jokingly talked about finding ourselves at an LOTR convention someday and then kept right on discussing the question.

The scene I've linked to above is one of my favorites from the film. But it's also honestly a little bit difficult for me to watch. Arwen sees the ghost of her future child while on a journey. The child that will someday be. She's waited many long years (like hundreds) for family. Aragorn, the man she is in love with, has ended their relationship. She has many reasons to despair. (My apologies if you're not a Lord of the Rings fan and lose a little context here.)

Much of my personal journey is spent looking on the brighter side of things. But there are very real times also when the ghost of my child runs across my path, times when I need to face questions about my role and future. If I don't deal honestly with the feelings that sometimes come, I start to lose happiness. I love this quote on the subject from Kristen Oaks's book, A Single Voice, (she is actually quoting a friend of hers here):

'Though the loss feels very real, it's never clear if it actually is real' because it is 'the slipping away of a dream'. If we compare our milestones in life to those of married couples, we will always come up short. . . 'Rather than the continuous loss experienced after a death, the hurt of singleness may ebb and flow over time and be triggered by circumstances like weddings, births, weekends, holidays, or family celebrations. Because of this noncontinuous process, it never feels quite legitimate to grieve. Confusion, loneliness, sadness, hurt and hopelessness are grief feelings' . . . It took me many years to accurately begin to evaluate the life Heavenly Father had given me. I realized I had not been evaluating myself by any celestial standard because I had an eternity to accomplish these things.

We must grieve, all of us. We will incur losses in this life and we must grieve at appropriate times (if we are grieving every day for a long time we are likely stuck in the process and should receive the blessing of getting the needed help). If we do not let ourselves feel and express our feelings, talk with Heavenly Father openly, then we are choosing the only other option, to repress them. If we deny our legitimate feelings and push them down inside, life will become less interesting, less colorful and happy. We lose our quality of life. In very difficult times, especially those with no end in site, it is tempting to choose to ignore our feelings rather than gather the energy to go through them (even though it often takes more energy to constantly hold them back). I believe that honest, as opposed to "vain" prayer, is essential to dealing with our feelings in healthy ways.

Our creator endowed us with feelings, and if they were important enough for him to create, then, they need to be important to us as well. . . How important are our feelings? Feelings are not the end all and be all to living. Feelings must not dictate or control our behaviors, but we can't ignore our feelings either. They won't be ignored. . . The emotional part of us is special. If we make feelings go away, if we push them away, we lose an important part of us and our lives. Feelings are our source of joy, as well as sadness, fear, and anger. The emotional part of us is the part that laughs as well as cries. The emotional part of us is the center for giving and receiving the warm glow of love. That part of us lets us feel close to people. - Melody Beattie

There is a certain type of pressure or heavy burden that often indicates to me that it's time to grieve. This scene once triggered that grief for me. I watched it and then cried my heart out. I didn't attempt to solve anything. Just connected with God and told him about it. After 10 or 15 minutes of a hard cry I got very quiet inside, and I felt the Lord's profound peace settle in. I moved into the next few days with a feeling of relief. I felt a profound joy about life and I felt connected. Everything was brighter and made more sense.

I wish this clip had continued on a little bit longer. It cuts out the next two lines, which I love:

Elrond (Arwen's father): Nothing is certain.
Arwen: Some things are certain.

Some things are certain. God's promises are certain. You may experience grief over not having the child and husband that you will someday have, over sins, over death or pain. You will have a family, sins that have been repented of will be forgiven, death will be overcome and pain will pass. That is God's promise, it is the promise of the Plan of Salvation and nothing can take that from you. Nothing. You will have it. These things are certain.

Have a wonderful Sabbath and spend a bit of your time sharing your heart with the your Heavenly Father. xo!


  1. That was so personal and beautiful and uplifting and heartfelt. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for your honesty. I love, love this.