I lie awake next to Kaya as she wiggles and squirms to get comfortable amid all her pillows, blankets and stuffed bears.
“I can’t fall asleep Mom,” she says frustrated “I’ve tried closing my eyes and laying still…but I still can’t go to sleep.”
“I’ll stay right here until you fall asleep,” I say, as I kiss her forehead “sleep will come…just close your eyes baby girl.”
She sighs and then turns over and snuggles down into her blankets and squeezes her teddy bear even tighter…and it’s not long before I hear her restful breath. She’s finally fallen to sleep…yet now I lie awake unable to find rest.
I begin scrolling through old pictures on my phone. I stare down at Evee’s cute smile and chubby cheeks and Ryan’s warm countenance and happy eyes. I miss them so much…I wish desperately that life could go back to the way it was…when my joy was full and my heart complete…not broken. Yet, as I glance down at our family’s sweet memories, ‘my heart is pricked’ for the love I have for my family. I determine to keep trying, keep living, keep going…for them…I want to be with them forever and our happily ever after is highly dependent on how I choose to live my life. I want to choose Christ…I want to choose eternal life and salvation.
“Are you praying to the Lord with real intent each day? Do you avoid vain repetitions in your daily prayers? Do you speak to your Father in Heaven as you would a dear friend?” president Jensen asks the congregation.
As I look up to the pulpit, my ‘heart is pricked’ with a resolve to pour out my whole soul to my Heavenly Father in daily prayer. I need the extra blessings that come from truly conversing with the Lord through thoughtful and diligent prayer. I determine to keep trying, keep living, keep going. I want to choose Christ…I want to choose eternal life and salvation.
Hearing the sound of Ryan’s voice is one of God’s sweetest gifts to me. Today after Sunday dinner we all sat comfortably in the living room and listened to an old recording from Ryan’s LDS mission. I loved hearing the enthusiasm for his mission in his voice. You could hear the joy serving a mission brought him. You could feel the love radiating from his lips.
“I love my mission,” Ryan said “I wouldn’t trade it for anything…I’ve had some of the coolest experiences on my mission.”
I thought of Ryan’s earthly mission and the mission he’s now serving in heaven. I know he’s influencing so many lives for the better. I’m so grateful for his example and the love he has for the Savior. Ryan was always willing to share that Christ like love with others. He was caring, understanding, and non-judgmental …he chose to be an example…he chose to be a friend…he chose love.
As I sat listening to the sweet sound of his voice today, ‘my heart was pricked.’ I wanted to serve others like Ryan. I wanted to make him proud of me. I wanted to be a better mom…a better sister…a better neighbor and daughter. As I listened to his voice I determined to keep trying, keep living, keep going…for him and for Evee. As I sat listening to him bare his testimony I decided to choose Christ…to choose eternal life and salvation.
“Wherefore the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers did labor diligently exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence…for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.” Jarom 1:11-12
I’m grateful for the moments in my life where I’ve been able to have a change of heart. I’m grateful for the opportunities the Lord as blessed me with to choose Him. Even though a prick of the heart may often times be hard or painful…it is for our good. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ we will find comfort from our sorrows, rest from our labors, and strength from our weaknesses. We will feel peace and happiness…not fleeting happiness…but joy everlasting. I’m so thankful for the wonderful examples in my life….my Evee Bee…my Ry Ry…my Kaya Lee…and so many others. I’m grateful for the motivation they give to me to keep trying, keep living, keep going…to choose Christ…to choose eternal life and salvation.