Sunday, August 21, 2016

Blessings from the Storms of Life

Tonight we went to the Come and See Fireside held in Otara Stake.  The music and the testimonies born were very powerful.  What I will remember most, however, is reconnecting with Sister Kilgrow.

We met Sister Kilgrow in early November of last year.  She had broken her ankle ice skating on a p-day activity. She was unable to put any pressure on it at all, so there was no way for her to do her usual mission responsibilities.  During her lengthy recovery she spent her days in the mission office helping with various paperwork and in the evenings the senior missionaries took turns having her in their homes to keep her well cared for while her companion was out with others doing proselyting work.  When we had her over to our place we had a nice meal of corned beef and cabbage, then afterward we showed her how to sign on to FamilySearch.  We taught her the basics of building a family tree and how to add photos.  That was the only time we saw her.  Once she got back on her feet she was working in a completely different area than us.

That night, however, had a big impact on Sister Kilgrow.

When she spotted us after the fireside she immediately came up to us to thank us for teaching her how to do family history work.  She shared with us how much joy she felt in finding records for many of her family members, including the great-grandmother she was named for.   She spoke of preparing their names to take to the temple and feeling very blessed to have that opportunity.

Perhaps Ireland Kilgrow would have found someone to teach her about family history sooner or later had we not met.  But the fact remains that the ONLY reason we crossed paths was because of some very painful adversity. She did not want to break her ankle.  It seemed like a terrible, awful thing to have happen that completely stalled her mission experience for a time.   However, because of that injury she has had multiple baptisms take place - proxy work for her ancestors that she has found records for.  Because of that injury she now has a passion for family history work that she says she wants to keep doing for many years to come.

This was a good reminder to me that our loving Heavenly Father can use EVERY experience we have in our lives - even the ugly and painful ones - to bring us blessings and joy.   There are many things that we wish we never had to experience.  But adversity is part of this mortal existence.  We all will have to go through dark, difficult times.   When I am facing heartache, physical pain, or worry over loved ones I hope I can always remember Sister Kilgrow and look forward with trust, knowing that somewhere, somehow out of that terrible experience there will be growth, there will be opportunity, there will be a silver lining.  I want to stay open to finding the blessing in every experience, not just the ones that come wrapped up in pretty packages.

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