So I have written about how I was a relatively healthy woman, able to do most of the tasks I wanted. I could take care of our children and home and my calling with ease.
Then I became sick with a mystery sickness no doctor in my area could cure. I was in bed most days and in pain. I won't go into more detail. It could be worse, right? I remember that.
Well, I felt like finding out what was wrong with me, and when we had exhausted our resources of doctors in this area, I had the distinct feeling that it would be good to try to get into The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I had my family doctor make an appointment.
I wanted to go to Mayo because I felt there are good doctors who work together in a different way than any other places I had been. They have access to research and specialists who all work together to help me get better. I have had friends go to Mayo and get treatment they did not get anywhere else. Treatment that saved their lives.
Also, it felt right. When I thought about trying to get into Mayo, it was the first time I felt like I was going the right direction. I felt in my core that my Heavenly Father wanted me to go there.
My first appointment was December 1st and we are still here, staying in a hotel, while I complete all of my appointment.s
What I really want to write about is hope, though.
I learned a thing or two about hope going to local doctors around my home. I would go to my first appointment with a specialist, tell them my symptoms, they would tell me the possible diagnosis and schedule tests. I would begin to hope. It was awful. I couldn't stop myself. I would hope that this would be the time we would figure out what was bothering my body, we would treat it, and I would get better. I would have visions of who I used to be and get excited to see her back again.
Then, when the tests came back I would go for a followup appointment. The specialist would look at the results and say they didn't find anything. Then he would look at me and say, "I'm sorry. I don't know what is causing your symptoms." He would send me away. I would sit in my car and cry in disappointment. Then I would try to remember how it could be worse. It wasn't the end of the world. And I would try to heal my heart with these thoughts. I would recall all my blessings, because there are many. I would feel ashamed that I forgot them. After my tears were dry, I would drive home, resolving that I would try to not hope at my next appointment unless there was a reason.
So now here I am at Mayo, and I have seen a general internist who scheduled many tests for me. After the test results are back I will meet with specialists here.
This is not a cheap trip, but I am willing to pay for answers that I haven't been able to find on my own.
I keep feeling guilty because I have the recurring thought, "What if it isn't worth it? What if they don't find anything here either and I go home empty handed? That would be an expensive mistake."
This morning I asked my sweet husband to turn off the TV for half an hour in our hotel room so I could read my scriptures. I needed some quiet. I need it every day, you know? I opened my scriptures and I felt so empty, like I was just reading words on a page.
I have learned that when I am having a hard time feeling the spirit as I read my scriptures that it is good to try to come up with a question I would like answered. Not just any trivial question if I really want to feel closer to my Heavenly Father, but the most burning question I have. The question that has been occurring the most often and has been, deep down, causing me the most anxiety in my alone hours.
I was ashamed of my question so I almost didn't ask it, but I have learned to just ask because the results are always good when I am brave enough to just be honest with my God.
I wrote in my little notebook I like to always keep with me,
"Are we here at Mayo for a reason???"
In my mind I thought about all my other questions, "Is the money spent going to be worth it? Am I wasting our time? Will we get answers?"
Then I opened my scriptures and began to read where I have a marker in the Book of Mormon.
I am reading in 2Nephi lately, I am in chapter 10. As I read I began to quiet my mind. I pushed out all my doubts and worries and just tried to be quiet, another thing I have learned is useful when seeking to feel closer to God.
Then I came to verse 10. At the end of the verse it says this,
"..For he has spoken it, and who can dispute?"
A thought came to my mind,
"Where is your faith?"
I thought about all the times I had felt so good about coming here. I know who gave me those feelings after I had studied it out and decided it was a good thing to do. I am supposed to be here.
That makes this time different. I have faith in those experiences with my God.
So I can hope.
That is why the order is faith then hope.
I can hope this time because I have faith we are here for a reason.
I learned about why it goes in that order this morning.
If I have faith that God told me it would be good to be here, then this time, it is also okay to hope. I just need to have faith.
I hope you followed that. I feel a bit out of practice!