Today was an amazing day at church and mostly because of a lesson taught in Relief Society today.
The lesson was on Elder Bednar's talk "Windows of Heaven" given in the October 2013 General Conference. I LOVE this talk and I've listened to it so many times since October. It changed me then and it changed me in a new way today.
The teacher today (one of my personal role models!) focused on how the blessings we receive from keeping the law of tithing may not be obvious or blatant in our face - like receiving extra money for instance. They could be blessings that might be easy to ignore or brush off as coincidence or unrelated to keeping this commandment.
She told how one of her son's really, really wanted an iPod Touch for Christmas. Instead he received a different gift. He was/is disappointed and to my friend's frustration and hurt, doesn't appreciate the gift he did receive. He reasoned, if his parents really love him they would have gotten him the gift he asked for.
Friends, this story hit me hard!
It's no secret I've been slowly healing from our adoption that fell through. I sat there listening to her and realized that I had been doing the same thing with God as her son did at Christmas. I was so upset and sad that I had not been given the gift I wanted, the baby we were expecting, that I have not been recognizing the gifts God has given me through this. I can only imagine God saying "I'm still working on your child, but here's some other gifts I want to give you in the meantime." Today, in that moment, I realized I have been given gifts of empathy and understanding that I did not have before. A better understanding of grief, empathy towards those who have also experienced loss, an opportunity to deepen my faith, and a chance to grow closer not only to God but to my small family: Gavin and Nathan. What amazing gifts! And I almost missed realizing what I had been given!
Thank you to that wonderful woman who was inspired in what she taught today!