When I went to the temple for my birthday a few weeks ago, I didn’t even notice the Brigham City tabernacle until we were leaving the temple. I walked out the front doors and saw this right across the street.
It took me back for just a second because I’m accustomed to what the tabernacle usually looks like. At first I thought, “Oh! The poor tabernacle!” But then my senses kicked in and I knew that this renovation will prove to be such a valuable blessing for this beautiful building….
Maybe you feel like you are in a “renovation phase” in your life right now. I surely do. Your construction phase could be mental or emotional or physical. I have been getting beautiful emails and messages from many of you who are in a physical healing phase right now. My heart goes out to you. I still remember after my little Caboose was born two summers ago and I couldn’t even walk half a block before my heart was pounding and heavy, the side effects from my postpartum heart failure. I wanted to be running and jumping, and I could barely walk. A few weeks later and I broke my toe, restricting my walking even further. Sometimes healing comes ever so slowly, almost imperceptibly.
How many times we think to ourselves, if only I could return to health, I would do so much good. I would serve more and be able to live my life to the fullest! And yet, we are compelled to accept the Lord’s timetable. So often I’ve wondered why. Why does healing take so long? These renovation phases waste so much precious time.
But maybe we have this precious time for our renovation. Maybe renovation is all there is in some form or another.
We wish so desperately to get through our renovation phases so we can “get on with our lives,” but I’m finally realizing that life is just one big renovation phase (made up of lots of tiny restoration projects).
It’s hard for our finite minds to accept. Because our mortal bodies like “completion,” “perfection,” “finishing,” and “accomplishing.” But the truth is, we will never be finished in this life. We are all works in progress. Just when we think we’ve overcome one trial, another one comes galloping along. Maybe the sooner we come to accept this fact (instead of continually resenting it), we could feel more peace in the very midst of healing and waiting and struggling. Because this is what life is all about.
So how do we survive the struggle, the suffering, the healing process, the waiting?
And we exercise faith.
And we look for the miracles–both tiny and large even while we’re under construction.
Yesterday was a really hard day for me. We all have bad days, and this one was a real winner. But I prayed and pleaded again and again for help. And help came.
In the form of my children serving me by picking up their things around the house, giving me extra love, and lighting some candles.
In the form of a phone call from my husband with sound spiritual advice.
In the form of a perfect text from my mom that said just the right thing. And then a call from her with all sorts of practical ideas to help my situation.
In the form of eating a popsicle with my daughter and admiring all the new tulips and hyacinths together.
In the form of cooking a homemade meal of spaghetti, breadsticks, corn, and raspberry fluff salad.
In the form of hoeing all the weeds in my vegetable garden.
In the form of sleep.
And this, this is what life’s all about. All these tiny tender mercies making the hard times bearable.
Even though we may look and feel like the Brigham City tabernacle sometimes, like we’re all wearing “under construction” signs around our necks, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our lives in the meantime. Because there is so much good even in the hard times. There are miracles all around.
And maybe the best life isn’t one where we look and feel the picture of perfection all the time, maybe the best life is the one that finds beauty in the midst of the broken.