I have a friend that I know is struggling, and I really want to help. She is sweet and inspiring and I have looked up to her for many years. But for some reason every time I try to visit there is some reason it won’t work out. She has a dentist appointment, she has homework to do, or it’s just not a good time.
This friend of mine is going through some truly difficult things. She is LDS, has a daughter on a mission, three others in college, and is working on a degree herself. Add to that a marriage that is shaky and a breast cancer diagnosis, and it’s no wonder she has a full plate. But I want to go see her and let her know she is loved, and she won’t let me.
I recently had to endure a long illness. I kept going and doing what I had to do because I was determined to be super mom. I didn’t want to slow down, and probably prolonged the illness because of my stubbornness. I know of many friends who would have helped me if I had asked. But I was short-sighted and proud.
Ask for Help
Asking for help takes humility and understanding that you can’t do it alone. It takes trust that things can get better and that the person (or Deity) you are asking will help you. And it takes being willing to relinquish control. Because when others help you, things don’t have your personal touch to them. But they get done, and usually well. But you have to accept that it’s ok to have another person do it.
My long illness culminated in a major surgery, a hysterectomy, and I had to be in bed for a month. It was an awful prospect. But removing the source of my illness was such a relief! I am so glad I made the decision to be disease free. (Truly I didn’t have a choice.) And in that process, I was forced to rely on other people. My parents stepped in to help with my family. They were generous and helpful. And their insistence that I rest completely sped my recovery like nothing else ever could.
Now that I’ve been through recovery, when friends tell me that they are struggling with similar illnesses, I am quick to share my experience with having a hysterectomy. I was young, and recovery was relatively simple. But I remember the great worry I had beforehand. The idea of surgery is usually met by resistance for everyone, much like my friend who was resisting my attempts to visit her and comfort her.
Change is hard
We all have to come to the place where we are prepared for the changes that our lives need to help us be healthy again. If I had not endured such a long illness I would not have been ready to be rid of its cause. Some people have to be ill longer than others to reach that decision.
I highly recommend that if anyone is headed for a hysterectomy they research Bio-identical hormones. It’s a major surgery. And for many ladies, replacement hormones make a huge difference. If you can’t take hormones, work with your Doctor for other solutions. It will help you through it.
I believe sin creates spiritual illness. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me. Illness makes us weak, so does sin. Illness requires a recovery time, so does sin. And in most cases, recovery from sin requires a change. It’s not easy. But when we are humble and trust our Savior, we will get better.
Sometimes we have to be willing to do the necessary things to get better, but it’s worth every sacrifice. I’ll never forget the relief and freedom I felt when I woke up after surgery. I had been sick so long that I felt like a new woman. It is the same feeling of freedom and joy you feel when you know you have completely repented, and are completely forgiven.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.