Quite some time ago, my Dad sent me an article from our local Catholic diocese about my 2nd Grade teacher. She has always been one of my favorites. As a quick shout-out to all of you teachers that do not get enough shout-outs, my parents got divorced while I was in 2nd Grade and she was something constant and supportive at that time. I can still remember a number of specific things about my time in that class. As much as I loved her, I may have broken her heart. One time, after we had finished our daily class reading of “Charlotte’s Web”, she asked if anyone had any questions. I politely raised my hand. When she called on me, I asked, “Mrs. Bischoff, what does ‘divorced’ mean?”
The article discussed a bit about her and her husband’s conversion to Catholicism in 2002 but the main story was of faith sustaining them through the 40 years since her husband was diagnosed with MS. The following quote really struck me.
“I just told Tim the other day that I cannot think of one person who would change places with me. But come to think of it, there is not one person that I would change places with either.”
We all have trials and difficulties in life but they are tailored just for us. It can be difficult but we should own them and be grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who loves us enough to try us in the most individual ways in order to help us to become who he knows we can become. In the very first verse of the Book of Mormon, in the footnote where Nephi says, “having seen many afflictions”, it lists “Blessing; God, Gifts of”. It can be horribly difficult to recognize afflictions as blessings and gifts but through prayer we can be given that perspective, as well as strength to continue on in the midst of affliction.
As for me, I would not trade places with anyone. That isn’t to say that our life is perfect and not crazy. Trust me, it is a bit crazy now and is looking to only get more crazy in the coming years as Doug gets deeper into school work. But it is our crazy and I love it.
It reminds me of the following blog post from some time ago –
I just read this article on KSL about Elizabeth Smart. I’m not a huge follower of all the stories on her and her family but I found this quote incredibly profound for someone so young. Knowing that it comes from her, after all that she has been through, makes it a bit more meaningful. I decided to stick it on a picture taken by some very sweet missionaries, Elder & Sister Reed, while they were serving in the New York Rochester Mission during a visit to the Sacred Grove. They gave me a copy of this picture to take with me on my mission and it has remained one of my favorites.