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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Jennifer Lynn's Story

     Jenny and I met in a kind of unusual way- through an article she wrote for the BYU magazine.  I was so touched by her article and experience and her thoughts on being a mother, I reached out to her through her blog.  Now she is one of my dear friends.
This is a little of her amazing story from the summer 2017 BYU magazine and her article titled "Finding Her Voice"  and some answers to questions I asked her.

     In 2004 Jenny suffered a massive brain stem stroke, where doctor's predicted she wouldn't live through the next day.  When Jenny defied the odds and survived the trauma, her doctors informed her family she would be unable to move or talk for the rest of her life.  At the time of Jenny's stroke her children were ages 2, 4, and 6.  She said, "After the stroke I feared that I would not be a good mother, but in many ways I became a better mom.  Before my stroke I was busy trying to be the perfect mom and was sometimes so busy that I was not available fro my kids when they really needed.  After my stroke, I was always available and gave my full attention because that is all I could give.  They had hours of my undivided attention and plenty of snuggle time...what I could do was more important than the superficial things I could no longer do."

How do you live with your trial each day with such optimism and hope? 

I have my rough days, too, where I cry & have “pity parties”, but I focus on all the good things.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ’s example during trials.  It provides guidance, strength, faith, & courage  for the things I must face each day, & it fills me with hope, courage & faith in myself to know that I am a daughter of god, & that god loves me, knows my heart, & will help, if I just ask.  But I will never improve if I don't see a  need to improve, & things are much easier when u include  God!

My knowledge of the gospel,  through The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints (also known as LDS or  Mormonism). Faith is also integral: I truly believe that my time on Earth is "just a moment" on the timeline for eternity, that I know I was prepared in a Pre-Earth life for this trial, & as I go along, I can see God's "tender mercies", showing that He is right there with me!  

What keeps you going each day?  
1 Corinthians 10: 13 (from the King James Bible) ... God ...will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
This scripture gives me strength to know that God will not give me more than I can bear. The scriptures also teach that Christ will lighten your burden. I take it seriously & tell god when I feel like I can handle no more.  My favorite poem, Footprints In The Sand, reminds me that God is there, but carrying me & I take comfort knowing that he carries me when it is rough.  But I know he is there waiting to help me if I just ask. & when I ask, it surprises me how much I can handle (I don’t think Christ thought he could handle his earthly mission either, & I bet he was surprised by what he could bear!)  Once I ask for God’s help, I need to trust in Him & His ways (but I don’t lay it in his lap, I keep going, knowing he will help strengthen me).  When faced with adversity, we can either choose to move away or come closer to God, having faith that He can see the entire picture & can help mold us into who we need to become.

How do you not get discouraged?  
I keep a gratitude list.  I haven't written anything for a while, but I kept it for so long that now it's become  a "part of me", & that is how I see things.  Gratitude helps me see my blessings & change my attitude, as my hope, faith, & testimony in God grow. 

What's one thing you  have learned in your trial?
Never say “I can’t.”If something doesn't work out as  u hoped, just try 15 minutes later, or do it the next day—u may not feel well, need rest/food, or just need more time, in general.

You can read more about Jenny and her experiences on her blog   

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