Saturday, June 25, 2011

So It Is With Us

I like to talk things out.  If I have something that is troubling me, I often won't go to bed until I have talked it to death to the person closest to me, and when I have resolved it in my head, I go to sleep.  This person used to be my sister and perpetual roommate, Marissa.  Now it's my lucky husband.

So, after the blanket episode from earlier today (actually yesterday now), I was still left wondering WHY?  (By the way, just to set the record straight, I don't harbor any bad feelings for the person who happened to throw Guy's blanket away.  Just to be clear.)  Anyway, after calming down a bit, buying new yarn, starting to knit a new blanket (and then having to rip out row three, because I did something wrong already, not sure what)...and after already learning some important lessons in humility, responsibility, and perspective, I was still left wondering WHY? 

I wondered aloud to Steve:  I know these were important lessons for us to learn, but WHY, of all things, did this have to happen to Guy's first possession in this life?  The first thing that was really his, that he really loved, and that he was truly personally responsible for?  (And boy did he take good care of that blanket...seriously, for a five-year-old, he was very, very vigilant about that blanket.)  I mean, why couldn't it have been a book or something replaceable that we have like a million of?

I figured this must have been an extremely significant lesson, if the Lord was using this first and very sentimental object to get a message to us.

I had to dig deeper for the meaning.

By this time, I could finally see some comedy in the excruciating moments of the day.  (I have to credit Scarlett here for providing some great comic relief when she suddenly, and very matter-of-factly interjected while walking through Walmart, "We know what happened, we're just not talking about it."  My four-year-old astutely derived that from what she overheard me say on the phone with my mom.  What's done is done.  Don't dwell.  Kids are so great.)

So, after relaying that little funny Scarlett-ism to Steve, I half-laughed as I made the following observation about Blankie:  

I told Steve that, strangely enough, on the one hand, Guy's Blankie is irreplaceable.  It would be impossible to recreate the way that blanket has been worn over the course of its life.  No one could ever possibly recreate a blanket that has the same scars and tears that have been carefully mended by me over time.  That blanket was unique in all of the universe and can never be replicated.  No machine or other person could exactly duplicate my careful stitches, the way that I wrap my yarn or tie off my stitches.

HOWEVER, ironically, IT CAN be recreated by just one person...and that person is Me, the person who created it in the first place.  I know the yarn that was used. I know the pattern.  And I am even using the same tools that I used to create the blanket originally.  

But when I remake Guy's blanket this time, it will be even better.  It will not have the old battle wounds.  Accidental tears that were hastily mended will no longer exist.  I have the ability to make that blanket something spectacular, something strong, and free from past mistakes, because frankly, I'm a better knitter now, and I know what the blanket needs to be great (and to be, once again, a great companion for Guy.)

As I made these late-night analogies, the spirit chimed in like a bell. Ding-ding-ding.  Yes, that was it. That was the lesson.  I was finally coming around to the really important message from this experience.

We are all like an old loved, well-worn blanket.  We are all unique in all of the universe.  We all have a Creator who took great pains to make us what we are.  Life happens. Some of us are mistreated. Some of us are abused or tossed by the way-side. All of us receive the regular wear and tear of life which leaves us less than perfect, even undesirable in the eyes of others who do not see our true worth.  The Lord mourns for all of us, and wants to help return us to our true form. 

It would be impossible for us to be replaced.  It would be ridiculous for any mortal person to even try.  But we can be mended.  We can be healed.  We can be made perfectly whole and better than new by just one person:  Our Creator, who's mercy is made available to us through the merits of his son, Jesus Christ.

It is so ironic, but so completely true.  We are irreplaceable, but malleable.  We are flawed, but capable of becoming perfect some day.  We are lower than the dust of the earth, but by the touch of the Master's hand, our worth is of greater value than any human being can hope to conceive.

Even the sharp anguish that I sincerely felt earlier today over the shocking loss of this blanket was merely a bite-sized likeness of the sorrow and pain that is felt by our Heavenly Father when any one of us are lost, mistreated, or undervalued.

In my mom's blanket post, nestled next to her anger, there were some pearls of wisdom for all of us.  She paraphrased the creation story recorded by Abraham which says,  "And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.” (Abr 3: 24-25)

My Mom continued, "So it is with us. We must suffer and have joy and learn and when we have learned to be obedient and kind and live a peaceable life, we will be good."

I am striving to live this peaceable life, to be obedient, kind, and good.  I am so far from it, but I can see where I want to go, and I can see His hand in helping me to become a creation that he can look at and finally say, "She is good.  She has become what I wanted her to become."

I am so unbelievably grateful for the lessons taught to me by a loving Heavenly Father to help me conform to and understand his ways.  

Who knew that a worn out, old blankie, sitting in a city dump could teach me all of this? I guess, if God can use something sitting under a pile of garbage for good, then he can use any one of us for good, right?  

And I guess it really is true what they say.  One man's trash is another man's treasure.

A personal glimpse into God's plan for us...What could be more priceless than that?


  1. I loved reading this post! You put all the emotions into fantastic words that really got me thinking about these kinds of situations. The "We know what happened, we're just not talking about it" kind of situations in life.

    This was a light bulb moment for me: "[the]loss of this blanket was merely a bite-sized likeness of the sorrow and pain that is felt by our Heavenly Father when any one of us are lost, mistreated, or undervalued."

  2. Loved your post...and your mom's, too.

    What a sad thing to have happen, but you are rising to the occasion and making of this a valuable lesson for everyone involved.

    By the way, I'm quite sure you are right. Guy will love his new Blankie...because he loves the hands that are making it.


  3. all fine and good. well said and all that rot...BUT I still still someone needed to have raced to the dump and searched til they found the blanket! And that someone is that 7th grader. sorry but that's my perspective because IT'S WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE! OR WHAT I WOULD HAVE MADE YOU DO IF YOU HAD DONE THIS

  4. What a beautiful lesson you have drawn from this tragic experience. It truly reflects the kind and loving person you are, and the wonderful gospel centered perspective that you have. Thank you for sharing it with us. This story has now touched me and so many others as well.

    The picture you have at the top of this post is a wonderful photo of your sweet boy with his blanket, it's definitely worth enlarging and framing!! :)

  5. good resolution....from our weaknesses He makes us stronger. and what a great example for your kids. Good work!

  6. I read one time a story that really resonated with me at the time. It was of a woman who had a blanket. She shared it with others so often it was patched and moth eaten when she was old. When she died and took it with her to see the Savior, he saw the other blankets and they were pristine. Clean, well taken care of and just like new. When she saw all the others she was ashamed of her blanket and didn't want to show the Savior how incredibly worn hers was. As He kindly encouraged her to share her blanket he wept. Hers had the image of our Savior on it. How can we become such a blanket without the tears and worn places? I love how you have taken such a simple and tragic (for your family) lesson and turned it into a wonderful learning experience like this. Thank you for sharing your insights. Beautiful.

  7. I really enjoyed your thoughts and analogy on the blanket. I know exactly how it feels to have something precious as a baby blanket taken from you.
    I was working on a blanket for one of my grandchildren and we left it in a hotel room never to be found again. I also once started a blanket for another grandchild and I had taken it undone a couple of times and finally decided that I wasn't going to do it again. It ended up being big enough to fit his bed when he goes to college.
    The analogy was powerful and I enjoyed the lessons that you taught me today.
    Blessings to you!

  8. Thank you for this post. I need to be reminded off all of that. Some of it may go on paper and on a fridge.

  9. Wow, this new blanket is going to have quite the story behind it. It will definitely be a very strong symbol of this lesson we're all learning. What an amazing analogy and I think only you may have been able to see it this way. Its so true that all of us sometimes feel like that old blanket discarded and thrown in the trash. I am so grateful for the healing power of Christ's atonement and that we can all feel healed over time...