Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful on August 22, 2013

One night, in the fall of 2010, I laid awake in my bed absolutely paralyzed by sadness and loneliness. Iver's visa for his mission in Mexico City had finally gone through, he was there, and I was feeling his distance physically that night. I woke up in a panic, literally unable to breathe. I knew in my heart that he was struggling. With tears streaming down my face, I plead with God to comfort me, to comfort him. And then my sweet grandma was there. Lying next to me, wiping my tears, filling me with mother-love. She came in spirit, but I felt her there, I knew that she was. I heard her voice telling me that I wasn't alone, that she would hold me up, that she would push me on. I leaned heavily on her for the next little while, even speaking aloud to her. Since that night, I have not experienced her so close to me, but I have known she wasn't too far.

In one of the final weeks of Iver's mission, in March 2012, I received a rare handwritten letter from him. In it was this: "I have decided I would like to tell you about an experience. When I first got to Mexico I had a hard, hard time. I was sick from the food, I couldn't understand people and they couldn't understand me, and I was feeling very alone. In my first apartment, we had a little "backyard" where we put out our clothes to dry. Everyday I would go out to study and to pray, and as I prayed I shed many tears. I felt desperate and pitiful. One day as I prayed I choked out a plea to God to send me someone to help me, and comfort me. I stood up and dried off my tears and we left for the day. When we walked out the door, I felt a feeling of peace and of motherly love, like someone took me in their arms and whispered, "Don't worry, I've got you. You're not alone." The interesting thing is the voice I heard was the voice of Grandma Duncan. I have the sure belief that she was sent to help me and keep me company. I have not felt alone since that day and always feel that peace and motherly love as I walk and continue forward. I thank God for sending her as a special comfort and guide. I know that it is for her that I have stayed here and continued to serve the Lord."

Then, in late spring of this year, my little Shakira was in the Missionary Training Center, preparing to serve her mission in Japan, and experiencing far more hardship than anyone should at that place. She did not fit in, she was suffering from illness, she was not catching on quickly to Japanese, and she was grieving all alone over the loss of our two dear friends, Fred and Fisher. In an email came this: "On Thursday, I got really overwhelmed and had another breakdown, but Heavenly Father sent innumerable tender mercies, one of which was absolutely incredible. That night, I found an empty room at the end of the hall and was kneeling and talking to my Heavenly Parents when suddenly, I felt a warm hand on my shoulder. I looked up and there was Grandma Duncan smiling down at me. What an incredible, perfect blessing. I have angels surrounding me, one very special one in particular, who encourage me and buoy me up. It's amazing to know that the veil was so thin in that room that night."

For many years I have longed, yearned for more knowledge of, more connection with the feminine divine. It is my opinion that my sweet grandma was sent to comfort and rescue by our Mother in Heaven. I have absolutely no doubt that She is there. Things make no sense to me otherwise. I have felt Her presence sparingly, in times that one would expect...pregnancy, childbirth, nurturing my babies at my breast, suffering through endometriosis and the hysterectomy that followed...but oh how I wish to feel Her, to know Her every moment of everyday. Currently, my limited connection to Her is strongest in my yoga practice, when my mind, body, spirit and breath unite I feel Her. I feel Her as my body flows and moves and I am keenly aware of my curves and individuality. I was not created in the image of a man.

My longing and yearning is shared by my awesome husband, and together we have decided that surely "God" means She and He. My search for Her will continue, and so will my prayers to know more.

The ministerings of my grandma-angel give me glimpses...I am grateful for this. This summer has kicked my butt. Sweet Grandma, I could use a visit. Bring me some of our Momma's love. For that I would be crazy-thankful.