Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mortal Eyes

Today as I sat at the back of Sacrament Meeting, my eyes filled with tears. From where I sat I could see 10 newborns, 6 pregnant women, and 3 rows full of a family there to witness a baby blessing. I heard testimonies born about the joys of being a parent, and sang songs about teaching our children. The ache was almost unbearable as the strings of my heart were wrenched once again. I couldn't help but think to myself, "Why them and not me?" More than anything I wanted Branson to be there, dressed in his cute little church outfit, snuggled in my arms. I wanted people to stop at our pew, to take a peek at our cute little guy, instead of passing us by. I wanted to bear my testimony and thank my family for attending the blessing of our little boy. I wanted to verbalize my knowledge of the gospel and my love of Christ to him. I wanted to sneak out of the meeting to sit in the mother's lounge. Instead I found myself thinking...this just isn't fair! Today's salt was especially painful.
As I sat there crying, I kept thinking that I didn't want my "mortal eyes" anymore! When I see the view that my mortal eyes provide, it's bleak and at times hopeless. My mortal eyes allow me to feel self-pity, jealousy, and anger. They allow me to question myself and the Lord. They limit my view to here and now...what I wanted, and what I "gave up". I wanted to tear away my mortal view and see this room, these people, and myself in a new way.
As soon as the prayer was said, I slipped out the back door and down to the bathroom. I put myself in a stall and had a good, hard cry. The mortal inside me said, "Just go would be easier, safer." Instantly I thought back in my mind to one of my blogs from last week about how this pain and stinging is all part of the healing process. I told myself "no".
Standing in the stall, I offered a silent but heartfelt prayer. I asked the Lord to clear my mortal view and allow me to think and see with "eternal eyes". As I asked for this gift for today, for that moment, I felt peace.
When I can look at this experience and see my son through eternal eyes, what I behold is indescribably beautiful. During the moments that my eternal perspective clears away my mortal view, I have renewed strength. I find purpose. I am overcome with love. With my eternal eyes I see how much the Lord loves me, I trust in his plan, and I feel an intense desire to return to him and my son.
As I continue on this journey, I pray that the Lord may allow me to discern between the views that I behold. I hope that I can learn from the mortal view and find joy in the eternal perspective. I pray more than anything that the Lord might give me the courage to face this mortal experience with eternal eyes.


Gordon said...

Dear Natalie,
I love you, I miss you, I am thankful for you and the insight you have provided to me. I love my grandson Branson and I miss him. I wish I could hold him, play with him. toss him in the air and listen to him giggle. I don't say these things to increase your pain...I just wanted you to know that I feel a deep loss as I know you and Rob do. I want you to know how proud I am of you, I think that the experiences you are having and the way you are responding is wonderful. The refiners fire burns hot and is painful but oh the beauty of the pure gold that comes as a result. May the Lord continue to bless, comfort and strengthen you.
Love Dad

him, her or the other one said...

Natalie, Rob & Branson -
I just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you. Yesterday, the first of the month, I thought of Branson and how you were doing. I hope you know how much Heavenly Father loves you and is there with you. We had a lesson in Sunday school where they discussed the scripture that you have on Bransons video, Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me..." the teacher spoke about how the Savior did not say "Go..." he said "Come..." and that he wanted us to come unto Him so that we could share the journey together and not go alone. I think that Heavenly Father is so proud of you and that you have used this trial as a way to grow your faith and not lose your way in the gospel. I know that as Branson watches over you that he feels proud of his parents and how hard they are trying to do their very best to endure this life so that you can get back to him.

Gordon and Jackie said...

Dear Sis and Rob;
Oh how my heart breaks and how I cry every time I read one of these posts that you make, but oh how grateful I am that you are willing to share with us and that we can realize how much our feelings align with yours. It is so good to verbalize all of these things so that others may also heal along with you. I had some of the same feelings as you at church yesterday too when I watched the Spencers in front of us with April and her little boy and watched them playing with him and LaJean holding him and talking to him. It almost killed me and I felt guilty for feeling those feelings of, jealousy I guess you could say, for all of these people I see with babies about bransons age. I just want to hold and love and kiss on him and play with him and it cuts me to the core and makes me feel like I'm being deprived. Yet, I know the plan is real and that Branson is instead looking over us and watching us and is our Angel there to help answer our prayers and help us in ways he never could on this side of the veil. I know that he is closer than we can even imagine and that his love for all of us is as real as our love for him. And, I know that God must love us a lot to know that we could go through this trial in our lives and make it. Thanks for sharing and letting us comment and share too. My Love, Mom

Vest Family said...

That is a lot of salt in one day for you and Rob.
When I waited for Jason on his mission and was in the middle of my conversion, I had a picture of Christ and on the sides of the picture it said, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." Though that is a common quote, I have found that it is a good reminder of Christ's peace offering to us and the importance for me to keep "eternal eyes."
I'm glad you turned to Heavenly Father in prayer and afterwards felt the peace that you and Rob deserved.
You just wait Natalie, it probably won't be at a sacrament pew, but instead beyond the veil when I am going to come up to you and the rest of your family and have goo-goo eyes over Branson. Although, I'm sure I'll have to wait in a looong line! :) It will be worth it. This whole experience will be worth it. Keep going...The Lord will continue to strengthen you and Rob.
Love you guys!

Michelle said...

Oh, Natalie, I related to this post so much. Church can be really hard. It took me months to make it through a baby blessing. (I was awful--I would actually plan to be late on a day I knew there was going to be one. Pretty sad, huh?)
Even a year later, I still fight strong feeling of envy whenever anyone gets up to take a baby out. Good for you for not going home! You are doing the right things even though it is so hard.
I can't wait to sit in a Millennial Mother's Lounge with Benjamin and you and Branson! :)