Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"The spirit made me blog stalk!!"

So I have this addiction. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to go through blog lists and read about other people's lives. Initially, I was looking through the blog lists of friends to find more friends' blogs. People who I already knew so that I could catch up with them. Also, because I'm ridiculous and having a short blog list made me feel like I had no friends, so I had to find more to help out my sad self esteem. Pretty pathetic, right? Well get over it because I know you've felt that way too!

Anyway, so I had this crazy idea the other day to try to find some bloggers out in the Rock Springs/Green River area (since I'll be moving there before the end of this year) and did a quick google blog search for "Rock Springs, Wyoming".

Most of what turned up were businesses or visitor's entries about their quick trip to see family and whatnot. But one blog was a young family: girl about my age, a young daughter maybe close to Payson's age, and a husband who just relocated his family for a job in Rock Springs. So I left a comment.

Of course, I didn't leave it at that. As I'm re-reading my comment for typing errors (because I'm a freak) I notice the other comment left above mine. Something to the effect of, "You left a comment on such-and-such-blog the other day about depression and I really appreciated it, yada yada yada".

Sparked my interest. So of course I open a new window and type in such-and-such-blog.blogspot.com. PLEASE TELL ME I'M NOT ALONE IN MY CREEPY, VOYEURISTIC TENDENCIES!! (And after looking up the definition of 'voyeur', please note that I exclude any sexual connotation from my use of the term).

So I started looking around at this stranger's life and notice a beautiful picture of a baby girl with dates below the image, "April 19, 2007 - June 15, 2008". I'm heart-broken and of course want to know the full story. Above the image it says if you want to skip back to the first post after this child's death, just click on the photo. (Some of you may have come across this particular blog already).

Now that I had been, in essence, given permission to read on, I did so. I spent the entire afternoon on the computer engulfed in this family's, and especially this mother's, sorrow and grief.

This might sound strange, but I could not tear myself away. I'm not sick and twisted. I didn't want to spend my afternoon heart broken for these strangers. But something so much stronger than curiosity pulled me through each post. There was something behind each word that kept me reading. I let the kids play and destroy the computer room until I absolutely had to address a need, and then I'd sit right back down and start where I'd left off.

Like I said, it was not the tragedy of loss for this family that kept me reading. There was so much more to it. This incredible mother, even only months after the loss of her daughter, was sharing the most precious thing she could with the world, and in the most candid way possible. She wasn't just sharing her pain.

She shared her testimony. And the testimony of this beautiful little angel. Every word was dripping with loss. But every word was equally soaked in the most firm conviction that the atonement of Jesus Christ is helping her to get through this time. That she knows that there is life after death. That she is completely assured that she will raise her daughter to maturity one day. That no matter how much it hurts waiting, there is no doubt that every bit of heartache she is now suffering will be completely restored to her through our Savior.

Instead of curling up in bed and crying day after day, as I can imagine myself doing in such circumstances, she is sharing the gospel with so many (she's had 260,406+ hits on her blog in only a few short months). She is giving her daughter's death so much meaning!

I was glued to my computer because of the spirit. I know it sounds silly. "The spirit made me blog stalk!" But I just felt her testimony so strongly within me. It was such a beautiful reminder to me of the things I need to be working on. She posts so many things in her grief that apply to my life now. I need to remember my Heavenly Father and Savior more in the daily choices that I'm making. I need to have more patience with my children and try to see them through the eyes of the Father. I need to be more diligent in seeking out His words and guidance in personal and family scripture study (rather than just reading quickly through the passages). I need to bear my soul to Him in prayer often. More often. I need to seek His presence through temple attendance and then allow His spirit to dwell in my home. I need to teach and prepare my children to gain their own undeniable testimonies of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I need to apply that atonement in my own life in all ways possible and every day! I need to show my gratitude to my elder brother, Jesus Christ, by living according to His teachings and strengthening my relationship with Him. So many more things.

I didn't walk away from reading this sorrowful story feeling depressed. I felt strengthened and uplifted.

The thing that stood out to me most, and that hasn't left my mind, was the spiritual strength that I saw in this stranger (although, after reading through the last months of her life, I feel she is my sister, at the very least in the spiritual sense). She doesn't just have a testimony. She's living it. She's sharing it. She's strengthening it constantly.

There are times in my life where I've felt so close to the Lord. Other times I've felt so far away. Lately, I've felt somewhere in between. My own fault, I know. I feel Him guiding my life and my choices. I feel Him close by me. But not as strong and not as constantly as I have at other times.

So the last few days I've been reading a little more closely, praying a little longer, pondering so much deeper. I know there won't be an instant change in me, but I'm hoping to become a little more like this woman, a little more Christlike.

I'm so far from perfect. I make so many mistakes. I could list them for years, even!! (I promise it would take that long). But rather than beat myself up for them, I'm going to try to just be better. President Hinckley said, "Always do your very best, but make sure it is your very best. Heavenly Father will make up the rest." So I'm just going to try to make sure I really am giving Him my very best.

And maybe through sharing this with you, we can help each other. We can strengthen each other as sisters and daughters of a King, the way that Stephenie's sharing has strengthened me a little. At least strengthened my resolve to try.

I have so many other thoughts in my head somersaulting around in there, but I just can't find the words for everything. I'm not always the best with words. Anyway, if you want to look at her blog (and I recommend it, it's absolutely amazing!) you can find her here: A Daily Scoop


Scottie and Kimber said...

ok, reading your post totally made me tear up, good one!

and, I SO do not even remember a Steven Mann! haha I think I remember the stools youre talking about!

Jason & Kelli West said...

Kinda crazy that you found that blog, because I am kindof related to them..here goes how I am
My husbands uncle Ray is married to Christine. And Christine is the sister of her! So pretty much it was my Aunts Neice that died. It was such a sad story. It's good to hear houw someones trial can lift others!! Those pictures were taken by Heather Gibb (I love her work)! I think that is when they had gotten together for a family reunion and had those pictures taken! Any hoo- so yeah! It's a sad story, and it breaks your heart. But it's good to know who they go back to!

Megan said...

You're so kind and wonderful...thank you for sharing! We all need a little uplift every once in a while, and you have now done that for me. Love you!

Griffee's said...

OKay I've lost it today. yours is the 3rd blog I've cried at today. I so needed to hear so much of what you said. I am so much more than grateful for your reminder to pull ourselves closer to God. It still amazes me as I read others blogs, yes I blog stalk too:), how much we have all grown through the years. I'm glad you opened your heart to us.

Sara said...

And this is why we really all love blogging, isn't it? Because every once in a while we really connect with each other, help each other and give each other the feeling that no one is alone, we can all do it, and we can be better everyday.

Thanks for sharing.

Megan said...

You're more than welcome to come for a visit Sunday. That would be fun. Oh, and by the way....I spent hours last night reading that blog you recommended. I had many other things I needed to do, but I couldn't make myself stop reading--so uplifting! =)

Randi said...

Ok, so I'm sobbing now. Your post was beautifully written McKenna. And the other blog.. Oh gosh, I can't stop crying. Thanks for sharing it.

Randi said...

Ok, so I have just spent the past two hours reading and sobbing to that blog. I have now finally read every post and can go get in the shower. What an amazing woman, thanks for the link.

Griffee's said...

We should definitely get together before you move away. email me and I'll give you my number...trishgriffee@hotmail.com

Breeann said...

I came across this blog the other day and did the same thing! As I started reading her blog I was sobbing and my heart truly ached for her but as you said the more you read on the more you realize what a wonderful spirit there is and it was a huge testimony builder for me as well. isn't it crazy how for some unknown reason we stumble upon things we need in our lives?

Scottie and Kimber said...

ok, so i went to that blog, and I cant stop reading it either! Its so heart breaking but so inspiring. That mom just seems to be dealing with it all in the best way you could think to do it, and helping her kids do the same. I know our situations are SO different, but her story gives me a lot of strength dealing with Alisha's death, and letting her go.
Good find, my friend and thanks for sharing it!

Dave Sue and Ty said...

I love how honest and empathetic you are. I love it. You are such a sweetie.

The Lewis Family said...

I totally hear you, I blog stalk all the time. One old friend had a friend or family member lose their baby to stillbirth, honestly one day before he was due and reading their blog made my heart ache, but they seem so sweet in their spirits about it. If you are up to a good cry I can tell you the blog they made in memory of him, his uncle wrote the sweetest poem/dialogue from the perspective of the stillborn that I honestly wept as I read it.

So no, you are not alone in your stalkings ;)


Paityn and Mark said...

Our house will be done End of Oct or Beg of Nov. We will be home the end of september. so 5 more weeks!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with everything you wrote in this post. I am a blog stalker you could say. I love reading others. I am glad you can share the gospel in this way. why not.. But i love Stephanie's blog it has truly inspired me also. Hope you don't mind me reading yours.. check out mine if your interested.