If you don’t know by now, I have a pretty intense guilt problem. It is one weight I carry that I’m really learning to get rid of, but it’s not something I can fix overnight.

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I feel guilty that I’m not as busy as people who have children, when in all honesty, I shouldn’t be as busy as they are and that’s okay.

I feel guilty if I spend the evening taking a bath and reading a book.

I feel guilty that I don’t have hobbies.

I feel guilty when I meet a soldier’s wife because I can hardly sacrifice an evening away from my husband.

I even feel guilty when I watch television shows where people are kidnapped or put into horrible situations because I haven’t had to face anything like that. Even though it’s t.v., I know those things exist in the world and I always wonder. Why not me? Why them? And then I feel guilty.

Friday was certainly no exception to that rule. Zach and I had plans for a date night and I felt guilty heading out on a date. I felt horrible acting like things were normal when they weren’t. I didn’t know those people but our world changed on Friday and I felt like maybe we needed to sit home in silence or something. Those families are suffering and here we are headed out for the evening.

Luckily on the way there we got a call to help out with some service at the temple late at night. We got to help clean the temple. Something I had never been asked to do before and it was such a neat experience I was cleaning the glass. There were over 15 people in there cleaning away and yet it was still quiet. It was still reverent. And it gave me time to think in the only place where I am not afraid. I feel blessed for that chance to serve.

Kelle Hampton wrote on the topic of not squandering joy the other day. It was a beautiful post and it reminded me of something.

Our loss this summer was heartbreaking for me and the most difficult thing I’ve ever endured. My heart-felt so empty and I felt such a deep sadness. It is a sadness I have never experienced before. Not with a broken heart from a boy and not even with the loss of my grandparents. The sadness seeped so deep that I didn’t even feel like myself.

I remember walking into the grocery store one night and I was just so burdened with sadness. I thought to myself, “Wow, Sharlee. You’ve always thought this was such a chore, grocery shopping, but you didn’t realize how good you had it. How nice it was to walk through this store with your biggest worry being how crowded it would be and how traffic would be on the way home. Your biggest ailment was sore feet. Why didn’t you smile more while you shopped? Why didn’t you put your groceries in the fridge with energy and passion every week. Life was so good. You knew it, but you didn’t know it as well as you could have.”

I promised myself if I was ever able to smile again, (That may seem melodramatic but I’ve never felt that way before and that’s exactly how I felt) that I would make sure to enjoy all of my chores all of the time just because I could.

My world changed forever this summer and I won’t ever be like I was before, but I have started smiling again. Every so often I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be able to smile, even when I’m at the grocery store.  My story. My trail. My sadness does not compare to those directly affected by what happened at Sandy Hollow. I’m merely saying in the most elementary way: bad things usually remind us of the good things…it’s one of the laws of life unfortunately.

I think it’s natural for a lot of us to feel like it’s unfair that we get to have one more day with our loved ones and some don’t. It is unfair. I think it’s unfair that we got a horrible wake up call. A call to be better. A call for more goodness. A call for more kindness. A call for more love. A little too late.

It’s too bad that our reminder to hug the ones we love a little tighter, smile at the people in the store a little more freely, and revel in your evenings at home no matter how quiet or chaotic they may be came at such a cost.

But it came and we can’t let it dim our lights just because it isn’t fair. We need more than ever to pray, to love, and to bring goodness into the world.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

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