We celebrated Thanksgiving this past week. Most families may have a tradition of saying what they are thankful for. My family doesn’t do that. The Patriarch of the home, which in this case is my father, will say a prayer. He’ll thank our Father in Heaven for our many blessings, and ask to continue to bless our family near and far. It’s a humble and very simple, very quick prayer, which really is fine.
But I thought maybe this year we could have everyone state what they were thankful for. However, just thinking about it, my emotions literally break free and I have to stop. I am so overwhelmed with blessings in my life, that I know I wouldn’t have been able to say them without an ocean’s worth of water works.
I’ve mentioned a few times my loved one that has been so lost in his way. I’ve also mentioned how fervently my family, myself and five year old daughter included, have prayed for his safe return home to our family. I had a few people from my ward growing up message me on Facebook, asking if he was doing okay, prompted by some unusual posts from him. I just politely asked them to keep him in their prayers, and if they could remember to put his name in the temple, we would appreciate it. In our temples, we have a prayer roll. If you’re at the temple, you can write names on this prayer roll, and people that work in the temple will pray for those names. You are also able to call names in over the phone. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that people who work in the temples are praying for you. They are so close to the Lord, you can feel that light emanate from them.
Well, a heartfelt “Thank you” to all those that prayed for his safe return. He is home! He is doing very well, and is starting to piece his life back together. There are still a few things to be taken care of, but it will come in time. There’s more to his story that came home with him, and we are very fortunate to be able to share in this time with him. I have a very close knit family, and we do our best to support each other the best we can.
I am telling you from the depths of my soul how incredibly grateful I am for him returning home. I know that everyone’s fast and prayers, are what brought him home. My little family has been sick the last few weeks. We’ve been taking turns, isn’t that nice? Well, because of it, I was unable to go for two weeks. I was able to go yesterday, and I felt wonderful returning to church! During the time we were unable to go to church, I spent some time with my loved one. We didn’t necessarily have long drawn out conversations about what he went through out there. Rather it was as if he had never left. We laughed about old times, and funny things we saw on television. I helped him a little to set up his old room, and though not completely done, it’s nice to know that he intends on staying this time. Well, staying long enough to build that foundation and stability that he once had.
I know that my re-activation in the church has helped this situation. I am an example to him. I was lower than I had ever been in 2010, and I have picked up the big pieces that fit back together, and have made a new life. And now, I feel that my loved one can see that and follow suit. Our situations are not the same, but are similar. My ability to be an example is not to boast, or make anyone feel bad. My ability to be an example is simply that I can serve my loved one with the pure love of Christ. When you are serving your fellow men, you are in the service of the Lord.
I bear witness to all who read this, that the power of prayer is real. The power of fasting is real. I bear witness that remaining faithful to the Lord will protect you and guide you. We are made strong by our trials and tribulations. Our Father in Heaven knows what mistakes we will make. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ knows our trials and shortcomings because he experienced them. We have the Atonement to allow us back onto the path of righteousness. I know that our Father in heaven and Jesus love each and every one of us, they know us by name.
Remember to be a friend to those in need. Find a way to serve someone this week. Make someone smile. Leave someone in a better mood than they may have been. Emanate the pure love of Christ. Don’t wait for a miracle to happen, or to have blessings fall at your feet. Just do it, and feel the warmth overwhelm you.
“When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.” Henry B. Eyring.
About Maya Oak
I'm a Supermom and wife who works full time. I love cooking for my family and friends. But most of all, I love the Gospel and my journey back to it!