"It is unworthy of us as Christians to think that those who suffer deserve their suffering. Our Savior willingly took upon Himself the pain and sickness and suffering of us all-even those of us who appear to deserve our suffering."
-"You Are My Hands" President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
My life has been nothing short of a very extreme, loopy, up and down roller coaster ride. Over the past six years I have been battling with substance abuse, an abusive husband, divorce, single parenting my wonderful 3 year old son Kade Barclay Koutz, the adoption of my beautiful little girl Azlyn Kate McEnaney (19 months), and soon also baby Liam James McEnaney (currently 29 weeks pregnant).
So four nights a week I attend two various support groups for substance abuse and one for birth mothers, and the fifth day I attend individual counseling at LDS Family Services. (Through all of these groups and sessions I should become very well rounded!!!) Everywhere I turn in all of these settings I have been hearing this same quote from President Uchtdorf, which makes me think how much there really is to it. However... even before the classes and counseling sessions my wonderful very supportive friend Tamy on numerous occasions has brought up and recited this very quote in conversations with me. Also, as we have had many hours to visit about this article, she told me a parable of a woman who had had a difficult life. She did not look like someone that you may have stopped to talk with. She was old, worn out, and had struggled with life experiences. In President Uchtdorf's talk he said that in the eyes of the Lord everyone is a VIP. He went on to say that an old, wrinkled, dirty, torn up $20 bill is worth the same as a brand new crisp $20 bill from the bank. There have been times in my life where I related to the used, worn out $20 bill. I am thankful to know that to the Lord I am precious and perfect (a VIP) and the same worth as that of the new crisp $20 bill.
Today in my counseling session with David at LDS Family Services, he brought to my attention that the primary song does not say WE are a child of God. It says "I am a child of God". I am thankful to know that I am not only his child but his daughter, and that he has a divine plan for me, and some of the things I have gone through are a part of my plan. I am thankful for some of my stumbling stones for I am learning to use them as building blocks in mine and Kade's life.
Too many times I have been guilty of feeling as though I deserve to be miserable due to choices I have made. As have others I am sure. Because I have had to go through the repentance process more than once and use the Atonement some may say that "you reap what you sow". However the Atonement is a blessing and I am grateful I am able to take part in it, and although forgiving myself is a process I am quickly learning that I deserve to be happy despite some poor decisions made along the way.