Monday, September 9, 2019

Suicide Prevention Week

Suicide prevention week. I have been asked why I am writing a book about our experience with Bryce's suicide attempt. Well, first and foremost because The Lord asked me to. Coming in a very close second is that I hold out the hope that it may help someone to either change their own course of action, or that they may be able to better understand the role mental health plays in this very sad decision, suicide. Far too often there are so many unanswered questions, and feelings of guilt in those left behind. I believe we have been able to get a rare glimpse inside the chaotic darkness of a mind who honestly believes suicide is the only unexplored pathway out of their constant aching pain. And so share I must, to break the silence, the stigma and the shame.

I also believe that we all must work to remove the negative stigma of mental health conditions, and suicide itself. I believe we can all do a better job of being kind to others. Whether we know their pain or not. Aren't we all completely shocked when someone takes their life? Is that feeling not proof enough that we rarely understand another's pain? But the beautiful truth is we do not need to know their pain, we just need to love them. We need to be that one person who isn't afraid of the uglies in other's lives. We need to each be that person that is known, and counted on, to look them in the eye with love, not censure and petty judgement. Sometimes we need to be the one to follow our heart and be unafraid to ask the hard questions, "Are you thinking about harming yourself?" "What can I do to ease your pain?" And then be prepared to hold on tight and not run from whatever answer we are given. Hard as it may be, STAY PRESENT with them! And if necessary stay until more help can arrive. 

The cold hard truth of the matter is that these preventive steps need to be taken early, consistently, and as often as necessary for prevention to be a real reality. As Elder Rasband asked our CES leaders, Seminary & Institute teachers, to be 'First Responders', so too must we. Be that friend, parent, teacher, or leader who is living close to the Spirit and obeying promptings. Be that one noticing others who are withdrawing or isolating, and go be with them. We can each truly make a difference! 

I'll never forget the day my sweet friends Jesse, Blaine and I were sharing our concerns about our sons, she had very recently lost her Spencer, and I was struggling with something Bryce was doing and Jesse quietly said, "I wish I had that problem." What a powerful moment that was, and it's impact on my heart & soul will forever be felt. Her fear of loss had been replaced by in-calculable pain at separation from her wonderful son. 

I am so grateful that we have been able to transition quietly into removing the shame in our conversations with Bryce, and others, about tough stuff. I hope everyone knows I can be counted on to talk about the uglies. So is Bryce, interestingly enough. And having gone down that path and survived- he has taught us so much. Even though suicide lingers on the edge of his mind still, he is learning how to handle that more effectively by sharing. And we can only hope and pray for his future. 

So in this week of prevention my prayer is that each of us can cast aside our fear of conversations about the uglies we all live with daily in mortality. I pray that we each can take on the role of 'First Responders' and let our heart lead us to our own personal power to love others wherever they may be on life's path, including those who have lost someone they love. We all need each other, every day. And I believe hearts, and minds will heal, as we offer pure love to our fellow-travelers here. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Jello Jiggler Scraps Anyone?

I feel like I am pretty good about obeying the Spirit. I remember the one piece of advice my Mum gave me as I went off to college was, "When you are feeling down, do something for someone else." That counsel was etched on my heart after the first week of school. We had a friend living in Rexburg who cared for her elderly mother, and I knew her sweet Mom was declining and as I struggled with feeling a bit out of sorts on that Saturday night...my Mum's words floated into my mind. Then I began to argue with the Spirit...it was dark, I'd have to walk there alone, I'll go tomorrow. You can probably guess the outcome of this experience by now. Yes, the following morning my friend called to tell me her Mother had passed away in the early hours that morning. I was upset and vowed I would always do the Lord's bidding from then on. Even the errands He sends me on that seem very odd. Like the time I was making Jello Jigglers for a Stake Primary Activity, and the Spirit said take the scraps to Jenny...Yes that gave me pause as I thought what in the world will Jenny think? However He was pretty insistent, so I covered the pile of 'edges' with plastic wrap and dropped them off at her door with an "I love you." note on top. Later that day when she came home from work she called me in tears. "I just had the worst day at work, how did you know I love Jello Jigglers scraps?" You see I didn't know that about her. But God did! I have many stories of being led to do something for someone else. I have been true to my vow, with very few exceptions. 

Friday found Bryce and I in yet another courtroom, as he is diligently cleaning up his past messes. As is usual with these court hearings, we'd been waiting for his turn for over an hour. Then the judge called up this lady, who looked well put-together, dressed and spoke nicely, and stood out from the parade of folks we'd already witnessed. Then she had our undivided attention as she seemed determined to plead guilty of discharging a firearm in her home. The story began to unfold piece by painful piece, when the judge said, "Why did you do it?" She answered, "I was trying to take my life." Tears filled my eyes as she continued, and I had to put my hand over my mouth to stifle the sob that was trying to escape. She finally told him she had lost 7 people close to her in a two-month period of time and the pain to go on was just insurmountable. By now my tears were coursing down my cheeks as I struggled to breathe. She went on confidently advising the Judge she had gone into counseling, and really wanted to just get this behind her, as she was in such a better place now. We watched with respect as the Judge did the best he could for her. I leaned over to Bryce and said, "Be ready I am going to hug that woman when she's done." He quickly replied, "Oh good I was trying to figure out how to do that without freaking the Judge out."

I stood as she left the stand and said, "Can I give you a hug?" Though she was very surprised she seemed to fall into my outstretched arms. While I held her I said, "That was very brave and I am so glad you stayed. Please stay, you are loved and needed, don't leave." And then I stepped back as the Judge called Bryce up. I however couldn't stop crying, all through his hearing, through the paperwork to clear the warrant, and into the parking lot. I finally hugged him and quietly said, "I am glad you were here for your court hearing today, and that you are alive."
It was one of those moments when what-could-have-been screams at me in the face. 

I doubt I will ever see her again, and she doesn't know who I am or why I did that, but God does. God knew what she needed to hear and feel that day in the courtroom. And He knew I would do as He asked. So she could feel His love in whatever measure He knew she would feel it. WOW! I am not sure on this journey of healing and recovery if I will ever be able to erase that experience from my heart. 

I remember my sweet friend Claire, telling me once that if she could have one Gift of the Spirit, that she could choose, it would be to be able to say the words Heavenly Father wanted her to say to someone about how much He loves that person. I think she already has that gift, because she often brings Heavenly Father's love to me through her words.

Today was no exception, and a much needed boost of confidence when she text me. She said, " I finished reading your book today! I loved it. I believe you offer different avenues of hope when struggling through adversity. Each section offers examples of how I can reach out to my Heavenly Father to look for comfort and peace. I feel like there are many emotions of which you speak that will resonate with many. Although no one will experience the exact trial of which you write many many many brothers and sisters will experience the same depth of sorrow, grief, loneliness, hope, charity, and Christlike love. I love you friend. What an honor to read your sacred work."

I find often my fears are battling with my faith as I write the book, coupled with my physical issues with my shoulder, I was in desperate need of love and support to keep pushing on through this process. Claire was my sweet support today. You see, God knew exactly what I needed, even while I may have not been able to articulate it to Him. And in His infinite mercy and unfailing love, He placed Claire in my world, to be there for me today. There are angels among us, on both sides of the veil. And while I may be one for someone, He sends them to me when I need it most.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Love, hope and peace...in the fire.

I know I need to write today, I am struggling to complete the book I am writing, and that fight between fear and faith has kept me somewhat silent. So as I sit to write I look out over my yard, the trees are full and green, my lawn is covered in fascinating dappled patterns, as the sun shines through the thousands of leaves.The sky is a summer blue, promising plenty of heat later. The birds are chirping, and it all feels peaceful. I take a deep breath and let it out, slowly willing my heart and mind to relax. 

Suddenly the all-too familiar faint thump of the coming helicopter shatter the silence. Louder and louder the rotor blades whir, whipping the air as it passes right over my house. My heart races and tears filled my eyes as I say a silent prayer for whoever is in the helicopter, and especially for those left on the ground. I am not sure why some of these helicopter passes hit my wounded heart more than others. Today it was hard to hear. Last week at lunch with my friend, Judi, we watched three ambulances with lights and sirens pass us, and my tears fell quickly. Maybe it's the re-living as I commit those painful memories of this last year with Bryce, to the printed page, that has me feeling so raw. Maybe it's the anguish I feel as I hear of others in their heartache, trying to stop their personal pain by attempting to take their lives. Urgency that what I have been called to share may somehow ease someone's pain in some way.

In studying the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthian saints, I think I am relating to what I see as his great desire to love others, as he brings them to Christ. He mirrors what I also know- that we are each given temptations-which the footnotes broaden to test, try, prove- that in our suffering we will come to Christ. And that through our suffering we can later empathize more fully with others, love more deeply, and seek to ease the burdens of others also struggling with their own trials. My brother-in-law Ed suddenly lost his wife a few years ago and shortly thereafter he penned a poignant piece about his being broken not to pieces, but to PEACE. I still am moved to tears each time I read it. When I asked permission to share it as I was teaching, his simple reply was "I knew it was never for me alone." I have thought on his powerful example so often as I have bared my soul during Bryce's crisis, and like Ed I know this experience is not just for me.

Paul teaches we are all members of the body of Christ, and in this community together we are blessed with all the gifts of the Spirit. And we know that these gifts of the Spirit are for the express purpose of blessing others lives. However I also know I can't fix someone else, Bryce included, but I can participate in their healing. I can't fix Bryce but I can be an instrument in Christ's hand to help heal Bryce's pain, to lead him back to Christ, so Christ the Master Healer can do what no one else can do for Bryce-apply His Atonement!

Paul also confirms "God will not suffer you to be tempted (tried, tested or proven) above that ye are able....but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1Cor 10:13 Italics added) If God wasn't going to give us something more than we can handle...why would we need a Savior? 

The reminder weekly as we are offered His Sacrament, that He did drink the bitter cup before Him, and that cup is now turned into our blessing. So in my suffering I am walking a path, in a very small measure- similar, to Christ, and that is why when I have done all I can do myself, He steps in, carrying me, thus making a way possible for me to escape. My responsibility to always keep my covenants goes beyond just the blessings they bring me, but also increases my ability, after walking through my own fires, to reach out and lift others, and help them come to Christ. If I am to minister in Holy ways then I must live the things of the Temple. Mary Ellen Edmunds , my MTC Director years ago, once said, "In times of tribulation, hopefully a covenant person is within reach." I want to be that covenant person, living my covenants daily, so I am within reach of those around me who may be suffering. 

As I reflect on those I reached for after Bryce's attempt...my covenant-keeping husband, my children (who loved in the most Christ-like manner) my ministering brother, Gary, and my ministering sisters Claire & Heidi. And others who I knew were keeping their covenants, and therefore when I reached out they responded with love. Love is the motivation power behind every Spiritual gift, and every compassionate act. I am bankrupt without love. All these gifts bind our hearts to Christ.

Ultimately Christ's suffering taught Him how to understand my suffering, and my suffering gives me empathy for another's suffering. Charity is coming out of a really hard thing knowing I am going to understand someone else better, I am going to be able to love others more. This cycle of learning ultimately makes me more Christlike. His suffering made Him more able to love me more or better. I think I can hear Him explain, "As I bring you through this, you will be able to bring others through their trials." This then is the very essence of why we can have hope, and peace while we are still standing in the flames, or ashes of our trials. 



Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Sweet are the gifts come from God.

These last couple of weeks we've had almost daily improvements in Bryce. He apparently meant it when he said that last time was really his rock bottom. He has been so helpful caring for me after each of my surgeries. He's cleaned cooked and done whatever I needed to have done. And after he decided to start living again Clark talked to him about the blessings of weekly taking the sacrament, and that how no one was required to be perfect to partake, in reality that is exactly why we take the Sacrament weekly, to assist us to be better  and to repent as we go. So he has been to church and taken the Sacrament two weeks in a row and we have watched in humble amazement as the windows of Heaven have opened and blessed all of us! 
And today he was offered not one but two jobs at Vivint right here in Lindon. He chose the one he thought would be more enjoyable and felt right to him. HE HAS A FULL TIME JOB! 
Words to express my gratitude escape me temporarily. He is so excited and grateful and was moved to tears  as he offered his thanks to his Father in Heaven just now when we got home. 
Oh how sweet to see the power of prayer, the power of obediently keeping covenants, the power of holding fast to hope, and the power of turning away from Satan's attempts to destroy him! Today, Bryce is victorious! Not today Satan...not today!!!

I wish I had the ability to have each of you know how often your prayers and love  have sustained us all! I know Bryce's journey to happiness isn't over but we are one enormous step closer today. Isn't that the gift a new day brings? One with no mistakes, no leftovers from yesterday, one to make good or better choices than yesterday? 

This morning I was studying Paul in Romans and he talks about the age-old story of Abraham and Sarah. And how Abraham was promised seed too great to number like the sands of the sea....now y'all know I'm all in when it comes to beach references right? Well back to Abraham's promise, unfortunately Sarah was barren! So to them it seemed inconceivable to see things change. However, similar to Job, Abraham (Roman's 4:18-22) who against hope -believed in hope, and being not weak in faith, he staggered not at the promise of God. He instead gave glory to God and was himself fully persuaded that what God had promised God was able to perform!  And of course we know what happened in the Lord's time...well we wouldn't be here if God didn't keep His promises! 

But that's just it...God always keeps His promises! As Elder Bona taught me so beautifully at the conclusion of his mission to Italy last month "God's plan is ALWAYS working, even if we don't know just yet!" His timing is impeccable and His will is always being done. So then I began to think of some of His promises to me. Like Eternal Life. True and lasting joy. Promises about reclaiming my children for eternity. So while this will sound simplistic bear with me for a minute. If I do my part His promises are sure! 

And then He's given me grace, the ultimate power to access His Atonement, enabling me to  repent and return to Him. It's our secret weapon! And as I live up to my covenants with Him, every blessing He's promised will be mine. He cannot lie! 

So I will follow Paul, Abraham and Job's example and I will, against hope believe in hope, 
I will be not weak in faith, I will stagger not at the wonderful promises God has promised because I too will be persuaded if He's promised them - He will  perform! And I will live in Thanksgiving daily. God  is good!


Friday, July 19, 2019

To breathe or not to breathe, that is the question.

I wonder sometimes why certain events play out like they do, and try to understand the life lessons the Lord wants me to learn. I decided to blog about this partly in hopes of figuring out the lesson to be learned.

Many of you may remember the horrific experience I had with my last shoulder surgery, Murphys Law reigned supreme in that experience. So much so I was traumatized for three years and was unable to even consider having the necessary surgery for my other shoulder. Finally recognizing the unrelenting pain and knowledge that I was doing more damage by putting it off, I both decided, and executed,  very quickly. After both hands had healed sufficiently, but not enough to return to work, the Lord moved mountains for me and said now is the time! I had the surgery on Wednesday. It went very well Dr told Danielle. Removed a bone spur, repaired rotator cuff, and bicep Tendon release or repair...or something.

This time the nerve block actually worked initially, they described that as it began to wear off, my hands would get tingly and that sensation would continue up my arm and that when it got to between wrist and elbow I should start on pain medication to stay ahead of the pain. Because the nerve block last time didn't work at all- we never really got a good handle on my pain, so this time when 6-7 hours later the pain came on like a runway freight train, we were stunned! Fearing we were already behind the ball- we immediately started in on the prescribed meds. I was initially stunned at the amount the Dr had prescribed, but already in tremendous pain I submitted and we made a plan to stay ahead of it during the night. Knowing neither of us would sleep well Clark slept across the hall in the guest bedroom. But by the second or third dose I became aware that I was not breathing right. I'd doze  off and then wake myself up as I gasped to restart my breathing. This wasn't good but I was  powerless to change anything. I dozed off again and stopped breathing, no gasping. I want to believe it wasn't an extended period of time before I was woken by a familiar voice loudly saying "Mom!" That shocked me into breathing again. I lay awake and suddenly realized the voice was very similar to my daughter Danielle, but she wasn't in my room. I was then given to  know it was her older sister who I had miscarried before my pregnancy with Cassidy my first born son. I always knew I had both a son and a daughter waiting with our Bronson on the other side of the veil but I had never had any contact with either of them before this night.

And after she called out to me my breathing continued normally, had I had no difficulty since then. Still fighting in my mind against the pain I knew was lurking I continued taking the meds  howbeit in smaller doses. But several hours later I began throwing up. So violent and in quick succession were these bouts of vomiting- that I even bruised a rib, I think. I stopped the pain meds and the vomitting stopped. As I came out of the haze and exhaustion of those hours I realized the nerve block was back to normal and doing its job! I have no idea where the pain came from and why this whole experience happened.

And while I have no  concrete answers,  I am at least at peace knowing again I am being watched over and,  that help from family on the other side of the veil is both real and appreciated, especially when on some level I can't even ask for it in conventional ways!

So today is another new day and one day closer to pain-free normalcy. Faith in every footstep!
How grateful I am for my loving husband and wonderful children, on both sides of the veil!
And Happy Birthday to my darling Danielle today. And bonus- I now know what your older sister sounds a lot like you!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Saul or Paul..that is the question

Recently I was reading Acts 9:15 where Saul, who had been violently persecuting the fledgling church- and it's new members- shortly after the Savior had been killed, and then resurrected. His actions were causing no small stir among those who loved the Lord. There are so many levels of miracles and lessons embedded in Luke's account.
Why did Jesus Himself come, when other Divine interventions came by way of an Angel of the Lord? Why did only Saul actually see The Christ while others with him heard only the voice? Saul knew the Savior, immediately, and asked, "What wilt thou have me to do?" This interaction, to me, shows immediate obedience, however he was still blinded for three days. He also fasted for three days following this incredible experience.

Leaving Saul's account we are drawn into the next layer of the Lords plan. Ananias. The Lord calls to him, and he immediately answers, "Behold, I am here Lord." The Lord then  opens and enables his sight for a very unique perspective on Saul. A little stunned Ananias hears the Lord, Saul has been blinded and is praying for you , that he has seen [you] in a vision." I doubt anyone could fault Ananias for saying something like..."Um You know how evil this guy is right? You know he has viciously persecuted the saints in a very public way, often unto death..." And then in the heart of this account, the Lord said, "Go thy way:for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and Kings and the children of Israel." What great faith Ananias has here, this is no easy task Christ is asking of him. 
Christ continues, "For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."

Without delay of any kind Ananias goes to Saul and testifies, as a second witness, recounting Saul's experience on the road to Damascus. Then he blesses him with the Priesthood Power of Christ, and Saul's sight is returned and he immediately is baptized and from that moment on never ceases to testify powerfully of Christ, everywhere! However his well-known past of persecuting the Saints, caused many to fear his conversion was only a ploy. So the Lord prepared yet another witness, Barnabas. With that introduction the disciples accepted the changed Saul, and eventually changed his name to Paul, who we know today to be one of the greatest missionaries ever to walk the earth.

I have read this account, and more, many times- but this time was different. This time I saw how I could apply this great experience as pertaining to me, and to Bryce. I have always known Bryce "...is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings and the children of Israel. For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." Multiple milestones in Bryce's mortality have taught me this true principal. Suddenly it was as if the scales were falling from my own mortal eyes, and again I got a glimpse of how Christ truly views Bryce, and indeed each of us. 
Chosen vessels. 
To bear His name. 
A covenant to do all that may be required by Christ.
To build up the Kingdom of God in these latter days.

And as I come to more fully understand this responsibility in my own life, I also must therefore accept the same pattern in the lives of those I love around me.
This has been a powerful example of the blessing to see others through Our Saviors loving, accepting eyes.
Bryce, too, even amidst his darkest struggles, still remains a chosen vessel in Our Saviors eyes. Bryce, too, will have to suffer for Christ's plan for him to be fulfilled. We all do.

But oh the promised blessings for valiantly staying steadfastly on the covenant path! Paul's faithful, diligent example should strengthen and lift each of us. While we may have or desire to have a very different ending to our own mortality than Paul's, whatever it may be, how soon or late it may arrive, I know it is all part of our Savior's plan for just us, only us, and His Plan is always perfect, and his will is always being fulfilled. And when we align ourselves daily with His Perfect Plan for us, well that's when we truly comprehend the innate and vast difference between happiness and true JOY!

As I go in for my second shoulder surgery in a few hours, my fears of a repeat of the hellish history of my last one, have diminished as my faith comes to the foreground in my soul. I am choosing to be reminded that I too am a chosen vessel of the Lord. He does have a Perfect Plan for me here in mortality. I remember once Clark was asked to describe me to a group of strangers, and he simply said, "She is a choice daughter of God." I doubt I could ever receive a compliment I treasure more than this. This whole Saul/Paul experience serves to remind me how critical it is for us to see ourselves as Christ sees us, and to see others as Christ sees them. I believe these spiritual gifts can be ours if we ask and live worthy of them.

Today I will choose to see the Paul's in each Saul I may meet, that I may be an instrument in the Lord's hand to bring to pass each perfect plan He has made for us all.



Friday, July 12, 2019

I am enough!

There are times when I wonder how my heart can possibly survive the roller-coaster of emotions that seem to be such a part of this chapter of my life. However I am slowly discovering that a mother's heart can be a place of power. 

This week was Stake Girls camp. I chose to go and in doing so laid my heart at the Savior's feet. I trusted Him to take care of my family while I was gone. I had faith that the Angels would protect us all up at Aspen Lakes. I had patience when things happened that were "not my job" to fix. I felt my love grow for these amazing young women. I felt such gratitude for the leaders who not only planned every detail imaginable, but were there equally present to make it happen, and to empower the girls to grow their relationship with Jesus Christ, and each other. I watched as girls did really hard things, and overcome personal fear! I watched somewhat unlikely connections form, leaders who made themselves available when girls needed to talk, or walk, or be comforted. I watched strong, faithful women grow in their own self-understanding, recognizing the power of uniting with other leaders to forge ahead in faith. 

We had the privelage of also having Sister Shauna Ogden, who is a member of the General Young Women Board, speak to us all. The morning she came, we prayed the Spirit would touch each of the girls in the way they needed, and recognized, during this experience.
It was marvelous, and a delight to look into the young women's faces and see their expressions too. Sister Ogden had us crying, laughing and clapping out the cup song! 
The impact may never be entirely known to me, but the prayers were definitely answered.

President Jones also told us that as he and his wonderful counselors arrived, and paused in the upper parking lot, his eyes were unveiled and he saw Angels surrounding the entire property, and he was given to know.."that the plans the Young Women leaders have made for the Spirit to be here and for the young women's testimonies to grow, will come to pass."

What a sweet start to our final day together! 

And now I have to share the 'tissues miracle' for you see as I was packing I grabbed a travel pack of tissues (I can never be too far from a tissue source for my own leaky eyes) but as I did so the Lord prompted me "Take two." I was like- nah I'll be fine! 
Again, "Take two." 
I started into another room to continue my packing..."Sharon.." 
OK OK I'll take two. And then Wednesday I thought I knew why....

One of our sweet and dedicated leaders Jessie suffered a very serious and quick onset of heat exhaustion. I led her into our room and got her settled on a cot and summoned our awesome nurse Ashley. Suddenly Jessie said, "I need a tissue..." I quickly crossed the room and grabbed the first package of tissues and delivered them to her grateful hand, and as I did so I said quietly, "Jessie the Lord had me bring these for you. He loves you and knew you would need them today." I think I cried more tears than Jessie as I watched this miracle unfold before my now-humbled eyes. 

I marveled at the opportunity I had to serve. You see I have learned that as a Stake Leader my first responsibility is to serve, sustain and strengthen our ward leaders. Second we were to bless the lives of the young women we all loved. And so the miracles continued to unfold as the Lords plan was fulfilled, time and time again, with His timing and exactness.

And then the morning of Sister Ogden's visit came and again following the prompting I removed all the tissues from my car and shoved them into my backpack. Just before she was ready to speak she lamented that she had forgotten her tissues, again in a heartbeat my tissues came out and we laughed together. At one point in her talk, she got very emotional, and reached for those tissues! God knew exactly what she would need, and answered her need before she was even aware of it. 
It was awesome! Another tissue miracle!

On our final day at camp, everyone had dispersed to their ward campsite's for their last testimony meetings around their fires. For reasons I could not explain, I stayed behind in the pavilion, with just a couple of other leaders. Suddenly the wind began to whip the trees into a frenzy, black gathering clouds began to be visible very close to us, several flashes of lightening had us praying the girls would be protected. I knew every campsite had Priesthood with Bishoprics present so I prayed again, that those Angels President Jones had seen that morning, would do whatever was necessary to change the course of that violent storm heading straight for us. We discussed bringing in the flag, (good wife of my favorite scouter- Lover- that I am), and my suggestion was that we let the Angels do their job and we'd all be fine, flag and all. However it was not my decision to make and the flag was brought in. I looked up at those fierce black clouds looming so close to us, I saw raindrops splatter the dusty trails nearly the size of a dime! The wind whipped the flag as we wrestled it inside, and closed all the doors and waited. Just as surely as I had felt those first raindrops, I knew those Angels were now redirecting that storm. I watched with pure faith-filled delight as those clouds held their fat raindrops, and lightening, and marched right around the edge of the property. It was a personal miracle in my eyes! Later as we quickly restored the flag to it's pole, so no one would be the wiser, I looked down into Heber City and it was barely visible through the sheeting rain and violent wind-driven clouds!

And on that amazing miracle my camp experience ended. Memories I shall treasure forever. Moments of miracles always in my mind. Love for those leaders and girls deeper and richer than I would have dreamed possible.

Then from that precious pinnacle of promises fulfilled, today the earth seemed to open up beneath me as Bryce took a nose dive!! He asked me to take him to the Vape Store and as he got back in the car I heard the sound of pills in a bottle, not juice for his Vape.
"What did you buy?"
He rattled off an strange-sounding name...I held my breath..Kratom! NO! 
The last bottle brought him to his suicide attempt 15 months ago.
I asked him what I was supposed to do...
He said, "Forget about this?" No chance of that. 
"I said if I drive away from here and you use in my house, what am I supposed to do? If you use you'll be sleeping in your car, permanently."
My brain and heart were screaming for some divine guidance, but only gentle silence filled my heart..
I stopped the car and said, "Get out." he complied and I drove away, crashing into despair.
Shortly after that I pulled over and called Clark. 
Had I really just facilitated my son's suicide, without realizing it? 
What did the Lord want me to do? 
Would those words be the last, in mortality between us? 
Randomly I thought, well I know he has his license on him, so someone will let us know when they find his body. I assumed the worst, that with no home he would take the whole bottle and be dead by tonight.

About an hour later I got a text...
"Yes I did use, but I got rid of the rest of it. I am sorry but whatever you decide I know it's part of His plan. This was a rock bottom moment, I am ready to do therapy and get serious about work, I can't keep wishing to die..."

And so the roller-coaster continues. I arrived home and we will all talk when Clark gets here. I hoped by blogging I could get some mental clarity, and as I often do, feel Divine guidance for these next steps.

Fighting the feeling of failure Satan wants me to feel, I got a message from my sweet friend Audra, several weeks ago she had asked if I could be interviewed on her blog.(Audraelkington.com) I agreed and submitted answers to her questions. She told me it would post soon. Today it went up and as I read her comments and what I had written the tears fell furiously! What a tender mercy to help me remember how far we have come as a family with this child.

I know the journey won't end today. And as I continue to write the book, I know the Lord will get all these words to whoever He knows need them. I hope whoever reads any of these communications will truly believe that "I am enough" should be a daily mantra for each of us.
For indeed He knows each of us. He knows the words we cannot even say. He knows the thorny trail of tears we sometimes silently walk. He knows we are each precious in His sight, and I know that He would indeed move mountains, or violent thunderstorms, to protect us. And when those storms threaten to drown us He will let us know He is close and will help if we will but reach out to Him.

I am enough!