Utah Landscape

Day 2:  BYU Education Week

I just got home from a long day of back-to-back classes, out the door at 7am and just home now – almost 10:30.  It was a wonderful day, but I’m so spent and my brain is mush – so all I can do is give some highlights.

* * * Forgiveness * * *

Very interesting that I posted yesterday on forgiving loved ones after my mind ran wild during a class on how to write your family history… because today, I ended up in a class called, “Finding Healthy Forgiveness”.  In order to get a free pass for the week, I chose to volunteer a little bit of my time each day by hosting a class (welcoming guests, answering questions, directing traffic, etc.), and this was the class that I was assigned to.  How apropos.

Some might think I am insensitive to those who have been victimized because of my logical ability to forgive so easily, and to encourage others to do the same.  This class reminded me of many valuable points.  But first, I want to quickly add that the reason I am probably so logical and ideal about forgiveness now, is because I used to be the chronic victim.  And I had to work through a lot issues surrounding that.  It’s easy for me to forget that and take it for granted when watching others struggle with being a victim or with forgiveness.

Some valuable points I learned (sorry to do bullets… but I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open):

  • Forgiveness only works when you are safe and no longer a victim (for those truly in victimizing situations).
  • Forgiveness only works with healthy boundaries in place.
  • You must implement an exit strategy to be safe if you are in an unsafe environment.
  • You cannot grow in a constant state of survival.
  • You must take control of your situation – you cannot wait for your victimizer to ‘get it’, or wait for them to apologize.  It may never happen.  Take control and get safe.  Then you can take your power back and work on forgiveness.
  • The only people who can be chronically victimized WITHOUT CONSENT, are children.
  • Real love may require bold confrontation – not repeated abuse, apology, and forgiveness (a never-ending cycle).
  • Act for yourself – do not be acted upon.
  • Forgiving is not forgetting, it’s letting go of the hurt.

One cheesy but good quote from Dr. Phil:

“You have to forgive people, not because they deserve it, but because you deserve to be free.”

A great quote from James E. Faust, who understood that forgiveness can not be hastened in one who isn’t ready:

“Keep a place in your heart for forgiveness, and when it comes, welcome it in.”

Happy I ended up here today to bring balance to my sometimes too logical approach to forgiveness.

* * * Infertility * * *

Another amazing “accident”.  Usually I map out all of my classes that I am going to take the night before.  For this hour, I had not really looked at the schedule, because I wasn’t sure how long I might have to stay in the previous class I was hosting.  When I got out early enough, I looked at the schedule and saw the title: “Enduring Well the Journey of Infertility”.  Okay.  Wow.  On my way I rushed.

Used to classes filling up fast and sometimes not getting a seat, I rushed in the doors and walked into a virtually empty room, reminding me that I’m a minority – part of a minority’s group.  The room was quiet, awkward, and dull.  And soon to be very tearful – my own tears contributed.

The speaker was infertile for many years until finally having success with invitro fertilization.

She got us.  She got me.  She gave a poignant analogy that I cannot repeat right now – that might help one to understand what it might feel like to be infertile.  “Freak of Nature” and “Defective” are my choice words for explaining it.

In my Church it is taught that giving life is the single most virtuous and greatest thing you can do.  The first people, Adam and Eve were given their first commandment, “be fruitful and multiply”.  You can see how this can be hard on the psyche… forget about the innate urge and desire to procreate, teach and train a child, and have posterity…

Neal A. Maxwell said that some of us have trials to pass through, while others have allotments to live with.  No one escapes – no one is special.  If it’s not infertility for you – it’s something else, I know.  In a talk entitled: “Content With the Things Allotted Unto Us“, he also said that yearning childless couples have so many prickly daily reminders.

Babies and kids are everywhere.  While your friends continue to have babies through the years – you’re still fighting just to have one.  Baby showers come and go – and soon your friends kids are teenagers.  And because you haven’t had any yet – you pause for a moment thinking that is impossible, thinking you can’t be that old.  But you are.  You’re old and you have no babies.  And you cry and continue to move through life feeling insignificant and valueless, nonetheless searching for and convincing yourself you can be fulfilled, otherwise.  Hmph.

I swear my days of convincing myself that I’m at a place of being okay if I don’t end up having babies are getting more and more.  Which is a good thing, right?  But somewhere deep inside will just not be fooled.  Because I still have those moments, those unexpected moments that surprise me when that flood of emotion wells up and the tears start flowing.  I thought my tears and I made peace – but apparently not, and they seem to have the upper hand, much to my dismay.

At the risk of sounding insincere after relating all of my woes, I truly, truly trust in the Lord, His timing, and being part of a bigger plan that I cannot see.  So, while it’s still deeply painful, when all is said and done, I find peace in this.

* * * A Jewish Scholar * * *

By far, the best class I attended today.  If I could only attend one class for the rest of the week, this would be it: “Alfred Edersheim: a Jewish Scholar for the LDS community”… An orthodox Jew converted to Christianity.  He died in the late 1800’s.

Since learning about my own Jewish roots in the last year, I cannot get enough of Jewish history, culture, and religion.  I’m fascinated by it all.  And now I’m more than eager to consume all of the writings of Alfred Edersheim!!!

His works involve helping the Christian understand and appreciate Jesus the Messiah by teaching them the fullness of the Old Testament in Jewish context.

“For God to explain a trial would be to destroy its purpose, calling forth simple faith and implicit obedience.”

-Alfred Edersheim

Sorry no pictures and probably a little dry:-(  I just needed to do this brain dump and get to bed so I am well rested for tomorrow!  Hopefully I can make it back here tomorrow night.

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