Last year I had an emergency c-section and delivered two healthy baby boys. They were six weeks early and in the NICU for three weeks. When I brought them home I decided to stay home from church as we were in the middle of flu season. We also asked that visitors be up on vaccinations. There was a lot that I learned while I stayed home with two newborns for three months, but the impression I kept receiving was that I should ponder on the word “sustain.” When we brought the babies home it was overwhelming to realize how much work would be required of us in our new calling, sustaining the lives of two 6 lb. babies. In the process of needing to sustain them, it turns out in many ways we needed to be sustained just as much. Many ward members brought over meals. We also received many gifts of diapers, clothes, baby gear, and even cash that enabled us to make ends meet at the time when all of our medical bills came due. Grandma came to stay and help overnight when Darik traveled out of state for work. When we had decided that shots would be required we didn’t know that some members of our family were anti-vaxxers; as a result they weren’t able to hold them for the first few months. Even though they disagreed with our decision they still tried to support, assist, and help us however they could. They would bring meals and leftovers and wear face masks when they came in just to bring items inside. During some of the most physically and psychologically demanding months of my life when it felt difficult to lift up two babies to feed, I could easily see that I could not have done it without everyone’s help in holding up my arms. It was difficult few months and we were glad to see that we made it through a local whooping cough outbreak and the worst flu season in over a decade without a sniffle.
As a result of these experiences I began to have a deeper understanding of what it means to sustain someone, especially our local and general leaders of the church. It turns out sustaining someone doesn’t require you to agree with them or even for you to do everything they think you should. It does require that we care for and show love for each other. Sustaining is praying and hoping for their success and doing what you can to assist them in carrying the load they bear even if you don’t agree with how they are doing it. Sustaining is acknowledging there is a burden and you would like to help how you could. Sustaining is finding ways to help even if you weren’t asked specifically to do so. I was glad I had this experience that deepened my understanding of this principle.
p.s. hey W&T fam I don’t know if you remember me, I’ve been out of the blogging game for a while. First I took a break and went back to school taking pre-reqs to apply for an MA in history at USU. Right as that was happening church insurance, DMBA, decided to cover IVF for the first time ever and long story short here I am with 8 month old twins and little time for reading, school, and blogging. I may pop back in every now and then but for the most part I’m over at twitter (@_Kristine_A) for now.