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My Life: Not a Consolation Prize

By Darcee Yates

While pedaling my stationary bike this morning (20 whole minutes!) I re-read President Eyring’s talk on Our Perfect Example from the October General Conference. As expected, it lifted my spirits.

I’ve grown up in the church and my memories are clear as day of sitting in Sunday School only eight years old and even younger. I knew my family was different because we didn’t have a dad in our family like the pictures the teacher always held up. I distinctly remember the thought process, even as young as I was. “That’s OK. You can grow up and make the whole family.” I think I knew even before I was eight that it was my choice. My life would be whatever I chose.

In the past 40-plus years the dynamics of the average family in the church has changed so much.
There is no typical family. Divorce, death, mental or physical illness or challenges, children who rebel, gay issues. Every family is touched by something.

My family too.

For a long time I’ve had the feeling kept hidden in a box, deep inside that hard as I tried, all I got was the consolation prize. I have always felt that those who won have it all, like the man who spoke yesterday in sacrement, bless his soul, who said that among his children 13 children, he has 13 returned missionaries and they have family home evening together and set goals to do 100 ordinances at the temple a month.

That is so fantastic. It really is. And I’m so happy for him.

But, my challenge in this life is diferent. And it’s not a consolation prize, it’s the greatest most exciting adventure I can imagine. The stakes are higher, the end results the most hoped for. The Saviour has made me a parent of children that have rebelled and its my gift in life to love them as God does. Joyfully.

I’ve always loved a challenge. I want to test just how far and fast I can run. Maybe that’s why God gave me this one.

Suddenly I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything. God’s just asked me to run the marathon instead of the 5K. I can do that.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Alison Moore Smith November 16, 2009, 1:20 pm

    Thanks to Darcee (daisy) who entered this amazing post as a thread here in the forum. I thank her for allowing me to post it as an article. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. What a great lesson!

  • jennycherie November 16, 2009, 2:43 pm

    DAISY – thank you! I just sat down for a moment and decided to check in here and read this while I was waiting for some papers to print. WOW – thank you so much for sharing this – just what I really needed to hear today!

  • Julie Echols November 16, 2009, 4:26 pm

    Daisy-

    Thank you for this. What a great reminder that none of us are “second class” citizens when it comes to our Heavenly Father. I will remember this post when I have those “down” times and start allowing myself to compare myself unfavorably to others who seem to have “done it all right”. We don’t have the big picture and each of us needs to walk the path that has been laid before us. Thanks, again.

  • facethemusic November 16, 2009, 10:02 pm

    Wow!! What an incredible post! This was fantastic Daisy, and just what I needed to hear.
    I grew up in the “non-typical” LDS family too (at least, it was non-typical at the time) My father was an inactive convert who never quit smoking or drinking, and obviously, never took my mother to the temple, so we weren’t sealed– and eventually, he left. But instead of it making me feel bad or less than for not having it, it just made me all the more determined to make sure that MY family when I grew up would be different. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t envious of those who had it– I certainly was. But I never felt like I was somehow gypped or “less than” or like I didn’t belong. I knew those lessons still applied to me. I knew if I wanted it, I was going to have to do everything I could to prepare myself for it, and make choices that would put me int he best position to attain it. I didn’t HAVE an eternal family, but I knew I could create one for MYSELF and was absolutely adamant that I wouldn’t settle for less. I never felt like my life was a consolation prize, but even still– this really touched me– because really, it applies to ANY challenge that we face.
    I’ve probably had more stress and chaos in my life in just the past couple months than all the years of my life combined. Okay– maybe not MORE, but at least EQUAL. But these few lines regarding challenges really struck me ;

    “I want to test just how far and fast I can run. Maybe that ?s why God gave me this one…. God ?s just asked me to run the marathon instead of the 5K. I can do that.”

    So simple, but it humbled me and put me in tears. I really needed to hear that.

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