- Worked out of the house at a full-time job for a company I loved.
- Was a full-time mom who cooked dinner every night, took care of my youngest son, wrote an email every week to my oldest son on his mission in France, and kept my house clean while my husband traveled most weeks Monday thru Friday, doing his job.
- Served at church as Young Women’s President which meant being there every Sunday, participating in activity night every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, sometimes attending the girl’s various activities in school or otherwise, holding planning meetings with leaders-teachers-and youth, and overseeing the success of the girl’s participation in church activities such as camp, youth conference, temple trips, sports activities, the display of each girl’s talent as a young woman in excellence, and dances.
- Did my side business of office work for entrepreneurs.
- Got up at 5:30 a.m. M-F to study, read the scriptures, pray, and write in my journal for an hour or so before getting ready for work.
- Attended the gym after work on most work days.
- Played the piano for my own enjoyment and to improve (and to escape into the music and leave behind the pressure of my life.)
- Sang for my own enjoyment or for others.
And then a huge trial (MS) turned my life upside down. Many things happened to me at once and a new thing happened every day that took away all my skills and abilities and eventually caused me to do nothing more than sit for hours every day and watch life continue for everyone else.
I looked fine and people wondered why I didn’t get up and do things but when I did I quickly got hot and tired and felt like crying, or my balance was wobbly, or my head felt dizzy, or my legs felt like rubber bands, or many times throughout the day my speech unexpectedly jumbled and I couldn’t move for five or six seconds, or my fine motor skills were clumsy and I did things like a child.
I had to quit my job. I couldn’t take care of my home and many things no longer got done. Cooking became my husband’s job. The role of Young Women’s President was given to someone else. All my clients were contacted and released. Getting up early to study, read, and write stopped. Attending the gym no longer happened. And sadly, playing the piano and singing couldn’t be done.
Life for me and my family changed in every way. I felt sad, troubled and on display. While sitting for hours every day my mind pondered and thoughts often challenged my beliefs. Not only had my physical world changed but my mental world was changing as well. I felt VERY frustrated and my normalcy seemed nonexistent.
What happened was that my outer world went away and it allowed me to focus on my inner world. Looking back, my life seemed fine but unknowingly my life was crumbling and eventually it would have unraveled.
Many second chances have occurred since getting MS:
- My beliefs and thoughts have been corrected.
- The inner me is rescued from condemning, damning, and negative things.
- I can say: I’m strong. I know truth. I have confidence. I am courageous. I exhibit bravery. I acknowledge all parts of me. I find happiness. I optimistically see good outcomes. I truly give and receive love.
Why would I ever be glad for MS or say that it’s the perfect trial for me? For two reasons: First, it causes me to focus on what’s truly important and leave the rest behind. Second, it stops me from doing unimportant things and encourages me to look at my internal self and I change.
My trial has to ultimately stop me or else I’ll find a way. When first having MS I thought I was forced and compelled to look at my internal self but now I see that mercifully I’ve been given the opportunity to look at my beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so I can choose how I want to be. Life is all about making choices and the hardest trial of my life felt like chaos at first but my choices have led me to feeling calm.