Saturday, May 28, 2011

how tally does it...

tally makes me happy. she just emanates all things good. she is witty and fun and creative and uplifting. she is ridiculously talented at the viola and has a wicked good fashion sense. she is just all around darling. and i'm so glad to call her a friend. 

here's how tally does it...

I’ll be honest – and this is just the way I am (sometimes too honest) – I hate talking about my trials.  I am grateful for them and the positive change that comes through tackling adversity, but I hate talking about my trials.  

I’ve dropped hints here and there that our T + T life isn’t perfect, but I just don’t have the courage or desire to put everything “out there.”  I’m not sure that keeping these challenges to myself makes them any easier to bear, but I’m so afraid of being judged for reacting improperly, being pitied, or having others worry about me.

That being said, I hope you’ll forgive me for not being specific about what my trials are.  I hope that what I have to say can help someone out there, as this epiphany I had about 4 months ago has definitely helped me see the good inside the seemingly unbearable.

Here it is.  It’s only taken me 28 years of living to learn this one thing: 

The Lord places people perfectly.

I like to think of my Father in Heaven as the perfect choreographer.  He knows exactly who to bring into our lives, and when – people we’ll click with, people we’ll be able to open up to, people who need us – friends, family, old classmates, neighbors, even people we only observe for a split-second (or secretly stalk through the world of blogs – I have a few of those!).  

To me, nothing is by chance.  The Lord places specific people with specific experiences in our paths at specific times to strengthen us, and teach us specific lessons.

My Mom has been able to talk me through my most recent trial because she experienced it in her own life.  A few months ago, my sister faced a completely different trial, and I realized that it matched up perfectly with a different trial that Mom had faced.  My Mother-in-Law likewise has overcome things in her life that are exactly the things I have and am going through.  Is any of that coincidence?

In January I started running with a gal in my neighborhood, only to realize a month later that she had been through a trial that I am currently facing.  I came home from our run, and thanked my Heavenly Father for someone here that I could open up to (we call our runs “Therapy Sessions”).  

Women need women.

When Taylor and I moved to Seattle last October, and the distraction of unpacking was finally over, I was left with too much time to think about the hard things.  I was lonely, and a little depressed and overwhelmed, but knew I would feel guilty if I made someone else worry, so I kept it to myself.    

The phone rang.  It was the Relief Society President (we had lived in Seattle maybe 3 days).  I lived near Seattle Children’s Hospital - could I visit some families in need?  Could I take a meal to this person?  Could I pay a visit to this elderly woman?  Immediately she filled my days with visiting, helping, and listening.  

The past eight months that Taylor and I have lived in Seattle, I have met the most incredible women who are facing greater trials than I would ever be able to face.  To share a few:
  • A mother who had lost a son to cancer, had a daughter who had survived cancer, and was currently taking care of a younger son in the hospital battling leukemia.  A week later, her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer.  She used her free time two write a book about fairies that lost their hair, which was published and has been distributed in hospitals around the country.
  • Another whose two-year-old son is still battling a heart defect, Down Syndrome, deafness, and leukemia.  She and her son spent over 18 months at the Children’s Hospital, and yet with every visit I was leaving with renewed perspective and optimism.
  • A young mother with 9-month-old twins, one of which is fighting leukemia.  She has lived and slept in the hospital off-and-on for the past 6 months, with her husband in military training out of state.
  • Another young mother, 8 months pregnant, in isolation with her two-year-old daughter who is fighting leukemia.  They will continue to be in isolation after the baby is born.
I know it wasn’t by chance that the Relief Society President would call at that specific time in my life to visit these specific people.  They each had such different personalities, lifestyles, and attitudes, and I felt that with every visit, I walked away having learned a specific lesson that I needed to learn at that specific time (and I don’t think I ever disclosed my trials to them).   

It is the wonderful people around me – those I’ve known my whole life, and those I’ve known for only a few weeks – that help me do it.  Their examples inspire me to make more out of my life, to push through trials, to have hope, to smile through the struggle. 

When life seems unbearable, even if you’re not the most talkative, outgoing person in the world (I definitely am not), get out and meet new people.  Visit someone.  If you need to, ask someone who may know of someone who needs a friend, or someone to talk to.  It will seem random to you, but I promise you that the Lord will place people in your path that not only need you, but you will find that you need them.  

Women need women.  It’s true!  Even shy women need women.  Anti-social women need women.  The outgoing women need women.

The Lord really does place people perfectly.  Take the time to think about the people who have had a strong influence on your life and you will see, through the who, how, and when, that the Lord really is the perfect Choreographer.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Thank you!

two forks said...

Maren thank you for doing this series!
Tally thank you for letting me stalk you in the blog world and for now being my friend! I really loved your perspective. Shared burdens, even when they are not explicitly expressed, can be made lighter.

Laura said...

I completely agree with everything she is saying! I have felt that over and over in my life, especially as we have moved away from family. There are some very cherished friends that helped me through a tough time and have forever changed my life. Women need women and God knows just how to orchestrate them to meet up at the right time!

ed and kelli said...

tally. you make me happy.

Karen Hauley said...

Tally, how comforting to know that there is an actual plan for each of our lives. It's so difficult at times when we are unsure what that plan is - but so, so comforting that Someone knows and is placing everything in perfect order for each of us. thank you.

Michelle said...

I really really love these guest posts. I look forward to them because they are always so inspiring.

Thanks for sharing your friends with us!

Erica said...

love love love this.

a grandma said...

You're right! God blesses us to meet people who help us...and service is the answer to being happy.

Molly said...

This was incredibly uplifting. I've shared some minor things on my blog that some people wouldn't put on a blog because it seems too personal, but I put them there so that other people might find them someday and know that they aren't the only people going through those challenges. We need each other. We need to know that we aren't the only ones going through things, especially things that people don't talk about openly. Thank you so much for your post.