Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lessons learned

Once again, Clara and I are at home while Natasha and the kids are at church. These peaceful moments alone with Clara remind me of so many days last year in the hospital - curtains closed, music softly playing Clara's favorite songs, and a feeling that in spite of how terrible our situation may look to all of the casual observers on the outside, we are truly blessed beyond measure. Tragedy does that to you; it helps you to reflect and to examine your priorities. While I still can't imagine life without Clara, we anxiously await the day that she is freed from her severely imperfect body, and the day that we are freed from the crippling stress and anxiety that batters us daily.

There have been times in the last 16 months when I have felt that I am a casual observer to what is going on in our lives, almost like an out of body experience. Though Clara's suffering and the accompanying grief have been unbearable, through the atonement and grace of Jesus Christ our burdens have been lifted and we have felt a strength beyond our own. That is a gift from God, available to all who believe and ask in prayer.

We have learned that it is impossible to force our will upon the Lord. For a long time we prayed that Clara would be miraculously healed. Our prayers now are that she can be filled with peace and comfort as she departs mortality. In His infinite wisdom, neither of these prayers have been answered in the way we had hoped. We do not yet know the reason for this, but we do know that at some future time it will be revealed to us.

Where would we be without the plan of salvation and the knowledge we have of our Savior and His resurrection? While our lot is hard, I can't imagine the incomprehensible pain felt by those going through similar trials without a sure knowledge and testimony of what awaits us after this life. It is only because we know we will be reunited with Clara that we are able to go on.

There was a time last summer when I was driving back to Pasco from the hospital in Spokane with a heart full of pain and fear. The silence in the car was deafening as I uttered an audible prayer. I turned the radio on to a channel I had never listened to previously and this song came on, in answer to my pleading:

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

God hears and answers our prayers, though maybe not always in the way we want or when we want. Each new day brings new trials, new pains, and new struggles with this enormous spirit trapped in a tiny, failing body. We will continue to learn from Clara, long after she is gone. I hope you all can too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


LKP said...

Wow, so eloquently put. Thank you for sharing this clear perspective. It's so easy for us on the outside to immediately relate to the grief, and we miss the beautiful, delicate purposes of His timing. Recognizing His will is a refining experience indeed. We are so grateful for both you & Natasha's wilingness to share a glimpse into even these miracles of understanding & peace. Thank you for your testimonies. ::hugs::

Cajsa said...


Thomasene said...

Thank you and Brian and Natasha for your expresions ofFaith and Testimony.

Chelsea said...

Beautiful you guys.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences and testimony. That same song has been the answers to my prayers when our family was going through a very hard time. It is truly inspired. Please know that our prayers are with your family during this trying time.

Dave & Sue said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. You are such an example of the faithful. We will be forever gratful for your faith.

Anonymous said...

Although we don't know your family personally, we feel as if Clara were a part of our family. We have anxiously awaited updates and we pray for her and your family several times a day. I believe that there is purpose in all of Gods plan and Clara's own struggles has helped to prepare my children and ease some of their worries in dealing with my own failing health. My daughter just asked me why God would put Clara through all of this and why he won't just release her. I myself have wondered this with others who have passed away. When my grandfather fell ill and was in the hospital for 30 days, I would go to visit daily. At the beginning I begged him to fight and stay alive. I would drive home and pray the entire way that he would be healed. As time went on and grandpa became more sick, it was so difficult to watch him suffer. I felt guilty because my prayers changed and now I prayed that God would take him at that very moment. I could no longer deal with the anxiety of waiting for that dreadful moment to come. Every time my phone rang after 8 pm I would have panic attacks. It was a horrible feeling. When grandpa finally passed away, I didn't feel so much of a loss, but rather a release. I was prepared and ready for it. I was praying for it. So I think that perhaps Our Father in Heaven is not just planning for the ones who are dying, but more so he is planning for those who are left behind to grieve. My other grandfather was suddenly killed in a car accident and because it was so sudden and we had no time to mentally prepare, the pain was so much worse. I truly take comfort in knowing that God has a perfect plan and he is not only carrying little Clara through this difficult journey, but he is carrying all of you. God bless you all. Your family has touched the hearts of so many people.

Erica said...

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls,” (Matt. 11:28-29). 

Praying earnestly for Clara and your family. Will you find rest in Christ's offer of perfect and complete grace....

Ditto Family said...

My friend Tara Cobia was sharing with me Clara's battle with cancer. I spent several hours Sunday night reading your blog backwards. What a moving few hours it was for me! Your family is full of faith and hope for the future! We have been including Clara in our prayers the last few days that she will eternal rest soon.

Laurene said...

Our daughter, Alicia and husband Brendan know you from Pasco. You were so wonderful, Natasha, with the support and friendship you offered Alicia just prior to the birth of their third child. Later they moved to Richland and had their fourth child while living there. Now they are living for two years in China and had their fifth child in April there. (Two years will be up next September.) They also know Larry and Shanda (originally made friends at BYU and renewed the friendship in Richland). All that I read here is heartfelt, edifying and enlightening. I appreciate so much the words of wisdom from you and your husband and all those who comment. Clara and your family are in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Ronan- by Taylor swift.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog through my husband, and I think we're related somehow as we are Lybberts too.
I'm so inspired by your incredible faith.
Thank you for sharing your testimony. I felt such a peace in reading this post and I will pray for you and your family to find continual peace through your trials.
Sending you love and support,
Jodi Lybbert

Anonymous said...

You are so inspiring I think of your family often prayers

Mel said...

I have been thinking a lot about your family! I know we don't know each other but I have been touched by your faithful and beautiful Clara! Your family is amazing! Please know that there are many prayers being said on your behalf. May peace be with you at this time and that the love of our Savior is felt so strongly especially with heaven so near!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your little girl tonight as our own daughter inexplicably hangs on. We were told she wold go any minute, yet nine days have passed. I am practicing patience and acceptance of Gods will. May both our houses find peace tonight. Godbless.

Natasha said...

I'm so sorry. It's been 14 weeks since we were told Clara had 6-12 weeks left. More times than I can count since then we were sure she was going to go and said our goodbyes. I hope your daughter can hold on longer than they have told you so you may savor every moment with her. My heart with with you.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about Clara's decline in health. I had heard of her at a Dust Devils game and had the sweet blessing of bumping into you guys at Costco last spring. I am praying for God's grace, peace and mercy over her and your family. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers (this morning I put on my CLARA white bracelet to keep her close). Please let me know if there is a way I can bring you guys a meal or anything that will bless you, we live in Pasco, so please do not hesitate. Love and blessings from the Bozovich family.

A Mother's Love said...

I think about all of you daily and pray. Clara has touched so many hearts.
God bless, Kelley

Katie Allred said...

I don't know your family, but I came across your blog and I just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for your family. I admire your strength and can't imagine what you are going through. Praying for you and your sweet Clara.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of your family every day, prayers every night.