Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hard Labor

Every mother has an idea of what 'hard labor' is.  As does every father.  Each having their own ideas of what 'labor' is and at what level it become hard or difficult.

I certainly have had my ideas about what hard labor is and my ideas have progressed over the years.  From having to vacuum with a machine much bigger than my seven-year-old self, to mowing the lawn, to running in the horrid, humid Indiana summer (for an entire mile!), to working in the Indiana corn fields in that awful humidity, to working the broiler at Burger King, to walking in uphill in a blizzard to get to my freshman psych class in Idaho, to working with emotionally disturbed children and mentally and physically disabled adults, to actual labor giving birth to my first son, to more actual labor raising him through those first years while carrying twins, to even more labor raising 3 boys under 3 and being pregnant yet again and then having four children under 4, to years down the road having my husband gone with military duty and doing the family labors alone and then... you get the picture I'm sure.

The point is, I thought I had a good understanding of hard labor.  I felt very confident in that, believing that I can do hard things.  This turned out to be not exactly true.  Not false either, but not as true as I had supposed.

I am finding now, at this point in my life, that physical labor while hard and arduous, has nothing on emotional, mental and spiritual labors.  While I cannot share my entire story here (mostly because it isn't just my story), I will disclose that in recent weeks my mind has chosen to uncover forgotten and repressed memories.  I wish I could give validation to the argument that it's some kind of make-believe or my mind is playing tricks on me.  I've had too many confirmations of the truth to deny what my mind is now fully disclosing to me.  The truth isn't always pretty and it's certainly not in this case, but there is a freedom that comes from acknowledging and accepting the truth.

While praying one day for confirmation from the Holy Ghost to be given to me that indeed, this 'memories' were false (I was so resistant and fearful of the truth), I opened my scriptures after closing my prayer to these verses:

"[There are many] who are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it--
Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, 
wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven--
These should then be attended to with great earnestness.  Let no man count them as small things; 
for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things.  
You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm
 in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.  
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; 
and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance,
 to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

The truth is hard, a formidable, unforgiving mountain to be climbed in your most vulnerable state, naked and alone, carrying the heaviest load on your back.  The irony is, the higher you climb, the easier the journey, as you gain strength from your labors.  It is hard labor, climbing the mountain of truth and carrying the weight of it around your neck like a millstone, but like all hard labor, you find yourself stronger, more durable, better equipped and with a more in depth understanding and a larger perspective than before.  The mountain isn't so daunting once you are atop it.  Once you reach the pinnacle you see with new eyes the world you thought you knew.  You can see the terrain more clearly, mapping out where it is you really want to be and finally having the bearings, the strength and the courage to get there.

I haven't reached the top yet.  I am unsure where I am in the climb, but I am climbing.  I refuse to sit at the foothill of the mountain and wish for something more, something different, for someone to remove the mountain from my path, to complain about how unfair it is that I have to climb a mountain if I wish to continue my journey.  My journey is the mountain and I will use it to gain what I need to move on.  I can do hard things and I do not fear hard labor.  I will waste and wear out my life bringing dark things to light so that I can move forward with understanding and clear direction, unshackled from the things of the past.

And I would encourage all to do the same, whether the past is foggy in your mind or constantly at the forefront, whether it is the past or the present (or the future) you wish to avoid, stop running from it, run to it, climb it, use it as a stepping stone and refuse to see it as a stumbling block.  Do not fear the hard labor of the climb.  Thrive in the labors of your life, treat them with earnestness, cheerfully do all that lies in your power.  Enjoy the climb.


michelle said...

Every post you write is just beautiful. Not only the words but the faith and perseverance behind those words. I am so sorry for all the hard things you have had to go through. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I have no doubt that you will get to the summit. Love You!

kemp-y-QUA!! said...

thanks for this post.

Miranda Marrott said...

Thanks for the love and support, ladies :)