During a youth meeting yesterday at church, I listened to a talk by a woman I have known for many years. She showed a picture of each of her three children, the youngest of whom is twenty years old, and on a mission right now. She told a story about each of them, and how they had each overcome a difficulty during their teenage years. At the end, she said something that struck me, and I keep thinking about it. She said that what she tried to teach her kids, and what she learned herself in the process, is that together, we can do hard things. I really love that idea. Together, we can do hard things. I thought about my recording project. This last week, it really was hard. I had some setbacks and disappointments, and part of me said that I can’t do the project this year, and that it is going to have to wait. Friends and family told me, don’t worry about it. It is really more of a two-year project anyway. It hurt to even think that. I'm not a crybaby. I have a great life and nothing to cry about, but I'm not going to lie. This was not my favorite week.
My mind keeps going back to a particular night a few months ago. One of my boys had come back late in the evening from an appointment. He was discouraged and hadn’t eaten all day. Boys have to eat. I warmed up some roast beef and potatoes. It looked kind of grim and gray on the plate. I wished there was something bright green to eat. He sat there at the table, cutting up his food and eating it, and I sat down next to him. We didn't talk. It seemed like pure misery was rolling off of him in waves. I knew that he wanted me to go away and stop looking at him, but I couldn’t. I just sat there and watched him eat, and felt the pain. I could tell that each bite he put in his mouth tasted exactly like dirt, because his spirits were so low that night. He probably doesn't even remember that experience, but it was carved into my memory.
He didn't want help, or even sympathy. I understand that, because I am exactly the same way. But sometimes we can't do the hard things alone. I got a letter today. My friend doesn't know about my challenges, but she told me that she had been thinking about my project for days, and that she had some ideas for me. She wanted me to know that the thought of my music made her happy and excited, and that her heart was with me and the project. I don't know how I can make this happen. Even without my current challenges, my project goes in the "hard things" category. I have been trying not to think about it this week because it has been painful. But I'm going to trust that I will find a way, because I'm not alone, and together, we can do hard things.
Footnote: Check out these blogs that talk about how we can do hard things together: The Life and Times of Della Hill and Pikes Pickles. I also love this talk by Elaine Dalton called A Return to Virtue.