Some years ago I had a dream I was sitting with my Bishop. (A bishop is kind of like a priest, or reverend in my church.) We were in his office and he was sitting across from me at his desk. We were just sitting there.
My eyes snapped open and I woke up from the dream with a gasp, as though I just had a nightmare! What else was strange about that dream was that that bishop had just been asked to be the ecclesiastical leader of our area and it had only been a day, maybe two since he was ordained.
Why would such a mild dream wake me such a manner? In the morning, with the memory of the strangeness still fresh in my mind, I knew; I needed to see him. So I made an appointment as soon as I could.
In the days that elapsed between my dream and our appointment, I thought a lot about what I would discuss with him, how I would explain to him how a dream had led me to him and what he would think about that, being a new leader in the church. It wasn't until the day of the appointment that I finally understood what it was I needed to tell him. That is not what this story is about. It's about a few small words he said in our meeting.
After pouring out my trials and my tribulations to him he said, "I love you". Of course it was not a proclamation of romantic love. It was something else. He repeated it, many times throughout the conversation. At the time I took it as an affectionate way of saying, that he loved me as one of his parishioners and that he would be there for me through my trials. I was appreciative and went my way, but since have wondered over and over what was the importance of those events?
By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
-Alma 37: 6-7
This takes me back even further into my past.
I was struggling with everything in my life. I was having health problems and depression and I hated my neighborhood and felt very lonely. I couldn't get a bearing on why I was here or what I was doing with my life. I hated myself, I hated my life. I had always done everything I was supposed to, but I still felt I had no direction or purpose. Life was just wearing on me and my bad health, mental and physical intensified the feelings.. I prayed. I prayed in my empty bathtub as a matter of fact. Locking myself in my bathroom was the only me time I ever got.
My prayer was answered. He said to me, love. Love is your answer. Love one another, love him, love her, love you.
You would think as a person born in a Christian household this would be a concept I would have already grasped, but I didn't. Truth is I really struggled with loving people. I didn't love myself, due to the pressures, abuse and disdain put upon me by others as a child, and I struggled to feel love for anyone except my children.
I needed to learn how to love everyone. Not just those who were convenient to love. Not just my babies and most of the time, my husband. Everyone. This is why my life felt empty. I wasn't open to love and I wasn't giving love to all.
Don't get me wrong. I was super nice. But deep inside I did not have a love for all people. So, over the next handful of years, I tried to emulate a Christlike love and in so doing, I learned to love people better and it truly blessed my life.
So, how does this fit with the story about my dream? Well, just today, I was ready for the answer that started 4 years ago. You see, God can spin a web that we can't even comprehend. It all comes together but we usually don't see the connections or at least not until much later.
"I realized, he was speaking with inspiration from God, about what I needed to hear- 'I love you.'"
I was struggling again with new problems. They never go away you know, they just change in to different problems. I was in the shower and I had prayed for something recently. Something to help me over this bad spot. I remembered that awkward meeting with my old bishop and I realized, he was speaking with inspiration from God about what I needed to hear. I love you. My heavenly father wanted me to hear with my own ears that He loved me. Not my just my bishop, it was Him. It took me years to hear it, but when I really needed to know, it was there.
There were some other things that came of that meeting as well, but now it's all come full circle.
Trust in God's timing. Just keep doing what you are supposed to be doing and things will work out. It's true faith.
I think Heavenly Father is always trying to teach us something, and send us messages. How often are we listening? I know that God is much more patient than we are and he will get his message across eventually.
How important is Love in this life?