I have been sick. Again. Since Saturday. There are some years you get through the entire year without getting sick even once and then there are years where you just seem to catch anything and everything out there. This is one of those years for me. I think I've been sick more than I've been well this winter. It's fraying my nerves almost to the point that I wonder if I will have any nerves left by the time this winter is over. But enough complaining. That's not what this post is about.
Last night was one more of my big "To Do's" waiting to be checked off my list of "big things I need to get done before I can breathe" kind of list. It was my first leadership training as a stake leader. I wasn't overly nervous. I love teaching so that part isn't what I was worried about. I have been trying all week to do everything in my power to feel better before yesterday so I could be 100% ready for this meeting. Nothing seemed to be working. No matter how hard I've tried, sleep hasn't been easy this week. My cold started in my throat with a sore throat and a cough. I hoped against all odds that it would go into my chest, but no. It went right up into my head. Right where I didn't want it to go. I needed my brain to function if I was going to be able to teach last night. But yesterday was horrible. I felt the absolute worst yesterday out of all the days this week. Of course the day I need to be well was the day my cold was the worst. Murphy's Law always wins out for me. I don't know how, but it does.
So I began my day with prayer as I always do. I specifically asked Heavenly Father to help me feel better and to have a clear mind to help me focus and prepare for the meeting. I have been studying and preparing for weeks now so I didn't have much left to do yesterday except just get through the day without dying. Somehow I managed to get through a day at work, get home, change, load up the car with the things I needed for the meeting, turn right around and come back to town, pick up the refreshments, and get to the church to get everything set up with the other ladies. I still couldn't talk very well. I was having to blow my nose every fifteen minutes or so. I was still coughing. My eyes hurt. I was m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e. But I had been praying in my mind all day long - okay - not really "praying" - as much as "pleading" - that it would all be okay and I could get through this meeting.
Everything was coming together. We got everything set up and ready just as the women began to show up for the training. It was a great turnout. We were only missing a handful of 32 women that were invited. We began the meeting with an opening song and a prayer. There were the four of us presenting material to the ladies who were invited. I was last on the agenda. The other three ladies skillfully and gracefully presented their portions. They did a fantastic job. I was worried as it neared the time for me to speak. I wasn't sure if I would be able to talk so I had a glass of water on the table just in case. I had a handful of tissues and a couple of cough drops behind the podium as well. I stood to present my training portion.
I rarely ever write a prepared talk. I study, prepare, and make an outline for the points I would like to cover. I always pray and ask Heavenly Father for help when I speak that I might be guided to know what to say.
So I began... I was able to speak. I was able to say the things in my heart and to express the words and feelings I needed to express. We had a closing song and a closing prayer to end the meeting.
No sooner had we finished with that closing prayer than I needed to blow my nose. And cough. It was at this point I realized I had not coughed, sneezed, or blown my nose once during that entire hour between the opening prayer and closing prayer. My voice didn't give out. My eyes stopped hurting. In fact, I had barely even realized I was sick at all. I immediately said a silent prayer of thanksgiving to my Heavenly Father for helping me through that meeting. He didn't heal me of my cold. I still just wanted to go home and crawl in my bed and die, but He heard my prayers...and answered them. My mind had been opened. My body functioned properly enough to do what I needed to do for that one hour I needed it to.
I don't know why it ever surprises me when my prayers are answered. They are consistently answered on a daily basis, but sometimes it still fills me with awe when I think about it. I don't know why. But it reaffirms my faith in God and His infinite love for me that He will answer my pleadings and bless me with tender mercies and small miracles each and every day. I feel sad for so many people who don't recognize the small answers to their prayers they receive. Some would say my prayer wasn't answered because I wasn't healed of my sickness and if He truly would have answered my prayer I wouldn't have been the most sick on the one day I needed to be well. But those who really know who God is and recognize all that he does would recognize that He DID answer my prayer by helping me to accomplish the task I asked Him to help me accomplish. I was blessed with a reprieve for one hour. That was what I asked for and that was what I received. So... for that... I am grateful. And my faith has been strengthened yet again. How grateful I am for a loving Father who hears and answers my prayers.