Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An Unexpected Letter

Just got the most humbling, soul-comforting letter from my missionary brother, a month and a half after he wrote it. I love and miss my family so much. What a divine gift they are. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ from the bottom of my heart that they are mine forever, even if I only get to see them once or twice a year.
I spent the past weekend in California for a roommate's wedding reception, and my friends and I spent most of our time there with her family (we hardly saw the bride at all). Her family has many children, ranging in age from the 20's to the youngest who just turned 3 years old. Our time with them was wonderful. They reminded me quite a bit of my own family: loud, rambunctious, occasionally fighting and frequently teasing, but with a deep feeling of love and concern permeating their relationships with each other. It was a very special time for me when the parents graciously included us college kids in their family's nightly scripture reading and family prayer. It's difficult to articulate my feelings meaningfully without being repetitive, but it was so special. 

My family has been on my mind a lot in the past few months; in the last 2-3 weeks, that attention has increased exponentially. I saw my family briefly over Christmas, but the last time I was at home with them was for three weeks about 10 months ago. I try to text my siblings once in a while - usually about something random that made me think of them - and I talk to my parents more frequently. I'm trying to figure out why they've been on my mind so much and what I need to do or to change. I have been praying about it, so I trust that Heavenly Father will show me when I need to know.

This post was prompted by the quote I began with, which comes from my facebook status tonight. It's another witness to me that Heavenly Father is smart and loving, and pays attention to the details of our lives. Around midnight, I decided to check the mail for a textbook I was expecting. The book wasn't there, but there was a surprise letter from my missionary brother! I've been emailing him every week, and he hadn't mentioned it, so I had no reason to expect that I would be getting an actual letter from him at all. The contents of the letter are too precious and dear to publish in a public forum like this, but I will say that it touched me deeply and brought me to tears (which doesn't happen too frequently). His words were very well-timed, even though he wrote them a month and a half ago, to support me in a time when I'm tempted to doubt, lose hope, and get down on myself. Today had an unusual combination of factors that made me more vulnerable (lack of sleep is a consistent culprit), and Heavenly Father provided a tangible means of lifting me up. 

Morals of the story: God is great; families are awesome and have the potential to persist eternally; and 4.5 hours of sleep after a long roadtrip makes one prone to weepiness. And now, Gute Nacht und süße Träume um die Welt. Time for bed.

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