When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed; when you are discouraged thinking all is lost;
Count your many blessings; name them one by one; And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
These are words that I need to remember in my life. As awful as I think my life might be, it really is not. I have been blessed with loving parents, a healthy body, a good education, an adequate job, and so many other things. I have the gospel of Jesus Christ as an anchor in my life. I life in undoubtedly the greatest country on Earth, and I have been blessed so much in my life. I wish I had someone to follow me around everyday and slap me every time I ever complain or think my life is hard.
I wish Thanksgiving came every day. It's sad, but sometimes it does take a holiday to get me to realize how much I have been blessed. I need to somehow remember that everyday. I've learned that life is not going to get any easier. This past week has undeniably been one of the most difficult for me in so many ways. Spiritually, I am struggling. I am not sure if I will ever recover from this spiritual lull that I find myself in. Temptations are coming stronger and stronger. I am not sure how I can continue to cope. And then amidst all of my personal misery and woe, God reminds me how blessed I really am.
My oldest sister, Jennifer, called me a couple of days ago to inform me that my younger brother, Trevor, was diagnosed with bone cancer. I did not even know what to say or how to feel. I think if anything, I am in the denial stage right now. I want to believe that everything will be alright and the the doctor's will be able to help him. But the truth is, I don't know what is going to happen. He starts radiation in a couple weeks and then in December they are going to operate on his right leg and try to remove the cancer form his ankle and knee. Bone cancer is rare and only about 2,000 cases are diagnosed every year, mostly in younger males. I guess what is hardest for me to accept right now is that this is happening to my brother. In all of my misery and self-pity, I would do anything to take this pain away from him. Trevor does not deserve this. He has enough on his plate.
So here I am, feeling lost and hopeless, when I am dealt this. I cannot even imagine how Trev feels. He has suffered so much and I hope he has the will to fight this and realize that there is a chance that the doctor's will be able to help him win this battle. I fear that despair and hopelessness may have crept into his life. I fear it may have taken over my life. I know that these feelings come from Satan and that he is fighting so hard to get me to give up. But I will not. I cannot. Not in this hour when my family needs me more than ever. But sometimes the pressure upon me to live up to the gospel is so heavy when none of my siblings are doing so. I feel like if I fall off the spiritual boat, Mom and Dad would die. I see the pain that they feel as my siblings continue to make poor decisions, and I try so hard to honor them. But the thing is, I'm not even doing it for them. I am doing it for myself. I have experienced the sweetest joy imaginable that comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I long for that peace once again. I wish so badly to have peace in my life, and at times it seems that the only way to obtain that would be to end my life now. The pain in unbearable sometimes.
I wish there was somebody in my life that I could rely on. I think I need to read the words of the hymn Count Your Blessings everyday before I leave the house. Maybe that will help me. I really cannot complain. I really am so blessed.