My life changed in a big way the year I turned 16. Like most of my friends, I had entered a complicated stage in life. It seemed that all my thoughts were increasingly centered around my problems and aspirations. I worked to excel in school, tried out for the top choir, lettered in track, and even went to the prom.
Then on a Tuesday evening late in the spring, my whole perspective changed. My dad gathered the family in the living room, explaining that he had something important to tell us. Never before have I seen my parents look so dismal and depressed. Dad explained that my mom had breast cancer. My father went on to explain that the odds were very good that with treatment Mom would be okay and the cancer would go into remission. Emotion erupted in my home with tears and hugs. I struggled with my feelings, searching for a way to deal with the emotion welling up inside.
It was Mutual night, so I decided to go. But while I watched everyone else laughing and playing volleyball, I felt lost. Could anyone understand what I was going through? In my mind I said a silent prayer, asking Heavenly Father to give me the strength to help support my mother and the rest of my family.
Slowly a comforting feeling grew within me. I realized that, although it might be hard for others to understand my feelings, Jesus Christ always knows our troubles and hardships. I thought of a scripture I knew in John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” It reminded me that if we go to him, Christ will help us to bear our burdens and give us comfort.
Over the next year my mother had surgery and multiple radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Throughout that year I relied very heavily on the comfort of the Holy Ghost. With that added strength I was able to support my mother through her illness and help out at home. Now the doctors have declared my mom successfully in remission. Although a chance for recurrence exists, she will probably continue to be healthy.
Through our trial my family has grown much closer. I learned to be less selfish, and I came to recognize that my family and the relationship I have with them is what is truly important in my life. Most important, I realize now that the Savior knows all that we experience and we are never alone. He is always there, ready to extend his love to us.
At the Heart of It All
Do you ever feel like you’d like to get along with your brothers and sisters better? Maybe you’re part of a blended family and you could use a little help making the transition.
Or maybe your relationships with your family members are just great, but you’d like to know more about your ancestors and where you come from.
Nearly everyone sometimes feels like they’d like to do a little better when it comes to getting along with and learning about their family, so this year Young Women everywhere will spend all year celebrating the family. If you’re a young woman, you’re invited to join the fun!
This year’s general Young Women meeting, “Turning Hearts to the Family,” will be held on March 28, at 6:00 P.M. mountain standard time. The meeting will be a great time for you to find out more about how you can apply this year-long celebration of learning to love your family in your own life. Young Women, their mothers, and their leaders are invited to attend.