Friday, October 8, 2010

The Three Trees

A moment of clarity.

I had a really long drive today. I drove to Utah solo. It was the first time I have made that drive by myself.  It seems like this is a year full of firsts. And it gave a lot of time alone with my thoughts.


That's a word I have had to really really face this year.  I have always been a "people" person. As a child, my definition of misery, was being forced to play alone. And if you wanted to really torture me force me to sit in my felt like solitary confinement.

This year I have spent more time alone than any other time in my life. For the last seven years my house always seemed full of my children and the children I tended.  Having my boys in school and away on visitation two days a week has been difficult. Holidays and special occasions have been quiet and lonely.

And never have I felt more alone than I did after all the losses earlier this year. I remember when the realization hit me...that I was now the only one left. The last remaining member in my entire family.That day it felt like my already broken heart just shattered. It was devastating.

Today when I was driving I saw the most amazing sight. I saw this beauitful tree standing alone in the middle of a desert that stretched on for miles and miles. Not another tree in sight. And yet here this tree and strong.

Instantly I was reminded of a favorite scripture...
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Helaman 5:12
 I have felt like that little tree for so so long. Not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but when I was little I lived with 5 families. And my dream, the idea I lived for, was that one day I would no longer be the lone tree. But part of a forest.
I never imagined this for myself...that 20 years later I would still be the lone tree. But isn't that life...we all have things we'd have never imagined.
As I looked at the beautiful little tree, standing all alone in the desolation, I was impressed with the idea that no matter if I am in the desert alone or in the center of the largest most lush forest - it does not matter. I just need to have my roots firmly rooted. That thought brought a flood of conviction rushing over me.
Me + God  = Enough. It may sound cheesy but I KNOW that its true. I have seen it. I have experienced my own "shafts in the whirlwind," complete with hail and storms and probably a few tornadoes. And like that tree...I am still standing. I may have a few leaves missing. Possibly a broken branch or two, but standing.

I miss my boys. I will get to see them Sunday! The only good part about being away from them so much is how much more I appreciate those two little faces. And when we get home I am going to show them the picture I bought for their room. "Three Trees" It reminded me of us. And I am going to tell them all that their momma learned while driving through the desert.


Rachel H. said...

I can't even begin to guess--or imagine the pain and loneliness you have felt this year---
I can't pretend that I could.
But I do want you to know that your post touched me so much today...thank you for sharing this beautiful lesson. You have some very, very lucky little guys.

Corttney said...

You make me want to be a better person every time I read your blog...You are AMAZING! Jill

Sarah said...

You are one incredible woman Andrea. Every time I read and learn more about you and your many trials, hopes and desires I realize the treasure you must be to your father in heaven. To stay firmly rooted through the storms. You are what the church stands for and that is the truth. You amaze me- keep sharing these lessons and thoughts with us, you are an amazing writer and you help us all to be better. Thank you.

Rachel Chick said...

You are so beautiful, Andrea. Thank you so. so. so much for sharing this lesson. Thank you. I've just sat here for more than a minute, trying to think how better to express my feelings for you and for this lovely post, but alas, there is nothing more that I can say than again, Thank you.

Lisa said...

You don't know me but I am grateful that you are willing to share and uplift those around you, myself included. You are an amazing person and I admire your strength.

We all have secret sorrows we are suffering from and I know you have straightened me in my time of need... just by looking at beautiful your smile. It uplifts me.

Thank you!

janine said...

This is so beautifully said and written. I admire your strength in these days when men's hearts will fail them. You are the strength those little boys need! Many many blessing to you.

Anonymous said...

Sat under the stars tonight. When I was a kid I used to want to know if there were people up there in the stars, looking back at us, seeing our light at the same time as I saw theirs. It was a little frustrating, because, if some one far away, out there was watching us, there was no way to pass them any kind of message. If I could have just said : "We are here- we see your light from far away" that would have been enough.

I read this post and felt some of that. We see (and feel) your light from far away. Message recieved. Thank you-


amandamenghini said...

You are one of the strongest people I know! I miss you tons and wish I could see you more often. You never are alone because there are so so many people who love you...

The Fishback's said...

Thanks for sharing Andrea! I really admire your strength as you go through this tremendous trial in your life. I know what you said is true- as much as you feel alone- you aren't! And because He never leaves you, he will bless you in so many ways. Keep perservering!! Can't wait to see you soon!

Shells said...

Wow, what a beautiful lesson. You amaze me, Andrea, you're so strong.

Cari or Mitch Johnson said...

I dido all the other comments and your way or writing things is amazing. What a wonderful lesson to share. Thank you for sharing, you give me hope.

lynsey said...

my drizzle from another mizzle :)

oh my goodness you are so wonderful at being able to express yourself. i just love the way you wrote this.

i know you have felt alone this past year and that it's seriously not fair after all you have been through. you of all people i know deserves to be surrounded by a forest of those who love you and show you how amazing you are.

i think you are learning such an important lesson through all of this pain that it takes most of us a LIFETIME to get. that really, the most important relationship we have is with our heavenly father. that we will go through those storms in order to realize that all that we really have, the only tangible thing, is Him.

thank you for again being an example to me of having that eternal perspective through your year of hell.

and also, even though i know it's not the same...i hope you can see how many trees are already surrounding you. :)

Michelle said...

Thank you. Your testimony is an inspiration and lifted me today. That was a beautiful story. I know we haven't spoken in years, but I will always consider you a dear friend and good example. I love you :)


The Garner Family said...

Wow, Girl! I'm on my fourth kleenex:) You are . . . my hero. Please know that while God+You= Enough, there are many others of us who draw strength from you and send our love and prayers back as strength to you. I guess you could say that we are intertwining our roots, spanning the miles. If you ever get the itch to go on a drive again, head to New Mexico! I have such fond memories of each time that we were together. I love you!

Kimball Hansen said...

Dear Andrea. I have fond memories of all the BYU Idaho 11th ward couples from the past (a lot of whom posted comments here). I enjoy reading blogs from time to time to see how everyone is doing. I was so sad to read about some of the things that you have had to deal with lately, and yet I am so impressed with your testimony and faith. The Spirit told me that you were someone very special, the first time that I ever met you. Keep holding to the Iron Rod. I know that the Lord will continue to bless and support you. My prayers are with you. Would love to hear from you sometime. Bishop Kimball Hansen.

Nat said...

Andrea, it's your long, lost cousin, Nat. I sit here in tears as I have just read most of your blog, (gram told me about it.) I am in sheer amazement at what a strong, positive person you've remained thru all your struggles. I really, really want to talk to you. Please call me 435-245-2426. Oh, and I heard you're coming for Thanksgiving. I'm super thrilled about that. I so want to meet your boys. Thanks for your example of remaining courageous and positive "come what may."

Sarah and Addison said...

Lynsie read a post on my blog and suggested I read yours as well. I am so glad she did. I have also been dealing with the aftereffects of a divorce and trying to handle it all with grace and faith. I just found out last night that my ex-husband is engaged. Not a fun night. But I woke this morning feeling like I had a loving Heavenly Father and a beautiful daughter to comfort me. Thank you for writing about your expereince. It helped another hurt soul.