This year has been, well, a nearly non-stop roller-coaster of stress and it’s left me feeling overwhelmed and deeply inadequate, which has led me over the last month or so into contemplation of scriptures concerning weakness, especially Ether 12:27.  And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

So, I was thinking I’m pretty aware of my weaknesses already. To demonstrate this I made a list, a long list. We are so good at cataloging our failures, aren’t we? And it seemed to me that since I already knew all my many weaknesses, and there doesn’t seem to be any way that anyone, even God himself, could turn them into strengths, then there isn’t really anything for me to gain from this scripture. Clearly, this bit of God’s word was meant for someone else. And then God said “We’ll see about that…” and my legs started to swell up.

I’ve always had problems with water retention, but it was always temporary and had a definite cause like pregnancy or Chinese food. This time the swelling came, and stayed, and nothing I did made the least bit of difference to it. I looked like I had those legs from Matchbox Twenty’s Unwell video. After a month I began to think about kidney failure or heart failure or some other form of imminent death and I made a doctor’s appointment.  I have a wonderful doctor who poked at my legs and asked me all kinds of questions and in the end he said that obviously something was wrong, but nothing was obviously wrong, so he sent me for a bunch of tests. As soon as the tests were over the swelling started to go down. By the time the test results came back three days later the swelling was completely gone. The test results showed that everything was fine, no imminent death, nothing to cause the swelling. However, they also showed that I am apparently extremely anemic. I have almost no iron in my body at all. My red blood cells are pale, puny, and… weak. For years I have just accepted the fact that I felt like and moved like an eighty-year-old, attributing the fatigue to extra weight, lack of exercise, and non-existent will power (all of which were on my list of weaknesses) and felt guilty, far too guilty to ask the doctor about it on my own.

So here I am now, humbled, (maybe I don’t know everything after all), and grateful for a loving Father in heaven who is patient enough to ignore my garbage and show me a weakness I had no knowledge of, one that will clearly become a strength if I just take these little iron pills. I am also grateful that sometimes the lessons are clear, straightforward, and unmistakable because sometimes I’m just not paying attention like I should. That’s on my list, too.

posted under Random Thoughts
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  1. Avatar July 27th, 2011 at 7:20 pm Kerri Says:

    Want to share lists? Many of the items on your list would probably match many of the items on your list. Every time I’ve made one, I think I’ve made the adversary happier than Heavenly Father. I don’t think our God wants us to obsess about our weaknesses…just acknowledge them, repent of them, and ask for help in overcoming them.

    I’ll admit, though: I might understand this rationally, but I still write my list over and over and over again.

    And I’m sorry about your legs. You didn’t even mention them!

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