Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Goodbye, my friend...

Yesterday, I received news that a friend of mine was in a coma.  This morning, I saw that he had passed away.  My heart aches for his family.  When I saw him last, he was preparing to go on a mission.  I suppose I comforted myself with the idea that he and the other members of my first ward family were going along, happily progressing in the Gospel...

How often do we really stop and think about those we have left behind?  How often do we consider that all may not be well in Zion?  And if we are bent on keeping our baptismal promises, why does it take a serious illness or death to shake us up and force us to consider those we love?  It shouldn't.

As for my friend, he will be missed very dearly.  I can only imagine that Heavenly Father had a greater work for him.  Still, a bright light has gone out for those of us here.

Heavenly Father, please send Thy Spirit to comfort all those who have been affected by Zach's death, especially his family and close friends.  We acknowledge Thy will in all things, and we know that Thou will bear this burden with us.  Please cover us with Thy mercy and grace.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Still Surviving...

You may have noticed the new badge on my page from Unsilence the Violence and wonder why I've added it. Because I am a survivor of rape, as well as a survivor of incest and molestation.  I didn't admit it when I got this job as a victim advocate, and I'm not going to go into a great deal of detail here, either.  What I want to talk about today is the healing that comes about through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  

As I taught a lesson last night in Institute about the grace afforded us through the Atonement of Christ, I silently gave thanks to my Lord and Savior for how His Atonement has worked in my life.  I am no longer bound by what happened to me.  I know it happened, and it was hell to get through, but I am separate from it now. I can see how my Heavenly Father worked in my life to give all things (even the awful, painful things) a purpose in His divine plan for me.  Of course He didn't "make" it happen; we have free agency.  When we use our agency for evil against others, that is our choice, not His.  It took me a long time to realize this, and to stop blaming Him for everything that had gone wrong in my life.  Now, I am simply thankful that He carried me through those dark days and set me in a place of safety and complete love.  He can do the same for you.  No matter what you are going through, He will uphold you.  Please don't lose faith.  

If you or someone you know has been victimized, please tell someone.  The longer you wait, the more you suffer needlessly.  If you need prayer for courage, let me know.  My husband and I will pray for you, and I will submit your name to the temple, where hundreds of faithful Saints can pray for you as well.  

In the Ohio Valley:  
Sexual Assault Help Center:  304-234-1783
Victim Assistance Program, Ohio County:  304-234-3896
Victim Assistance Program, Brooke County:  304-737-2515
Victim Assistance Program, Hancock County:  304-564-4277
Footsteps Christian Counseling:  304-242-8095

National Hotlines: 
Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1800-273-8255
RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network):

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Here I am!

I have been remiss in posting!  So much has been going on lately... our new ward is wonderful, and I love my job.  We will only be in our current apartment for a year; it's really too expensive.  Under the circumstances, though, it was the best I could do.  The gas companies are buying up so many of the rental properties that it was really hard to find something that wasn't falling down around my ears. 

In any case, I'm back in the blogosphere, if only sporadically for a while.  It's nice to be back!