“It would be so easy to quit.” I moaned as I held the bottle of pills in my hand.
The temptation was getting harder to resist. Should I give in and end this pain or keep trying to find the cure for the nameless disease that was eating away at my life?
I was tired of the doctors, the false hope and the heartache that filled my home. My children’s concern was a reflection in a window that I could see each time they peeked at me from the edge of my sickbed.
They often spoke to me of their hopes and dreams while lying carefully beside me. Fleeting moments when their 'child like faith' spilled over, promising to engulf me in its it’s sweetness. My spirit mourned the loss of that promise.
“How can my babies dreams come true if I’m their mom?” I wondered aloud.
Until recently I had tried to raise them up in light and truth. I felt sure that my ‘illness’ would teach them about compassion, ensuring that they would be more like our Savior. Now the suffering made this divine calling reek of super human effort. I just couldn’t do it anymore.
As I reached for the amber bottle once again, a book that lay on my bedside table caught my eye. I have no idea what drew me to its pages, but I found myself reaching for it.
Turning the pages, I found a passage that was about Jesus asking Peter to get out of the fishing boat and walk to him on the water.
“That’s asking too much of a person, walking on water, yeah right!” I sneered.
As I read on I couldn’t believe it. Peter actually got himself over the edge of that boat and did what Jesus asked of him. He didn’t get swallowed up in the water or snapped up by a big fish like Jonah. He walked to the Savior, and he lived.
“Could I have that much faith?” I asked. “Can I endure to the end?”
As I pondered the story in the time worn book, I wondered if I could place my hand in that of the Savior’s and continue to live. It would be too much to ask I decided. Even the Savior said that he would never give us anything we couldn’t handle. Well, I couldn’t handle living anymore.
My mind was drawn back to the bottle; it beckoned me, promising relief. It was filled to the top with Klonopin. I had heard that taking it’s contents would be like languishing in a warm tidal pool, feeling the water ebb and flow over my skin. I would sleep and have freedom from the pain that prevented me from having a real life.
Temptation was my companion as I opened the bottle. That’s when I noticed the scriptures still opened on my lap. Through my tears, the bottle seemed to float above the book in my shaking hand. I poured the contents into a clammy palm. A prayer fell from my lips as I tried to bring the pills to my open mouth.
“Forgive me,” I sighed.
Instantly, I had the impression that I wasn’t alone, startling me out of my hypnotic mindset. What was that feeling? It was vaguely familiar. It nagged at me with the strongest impression to read what was in my lap.
“READ!” The impression forced me to hear.
Out of fear I read. After a while I hardly noticed the pills falling from my hand. My fear was soon forgotten as I became captivated by the small print in the leather bound volume. I found myself reading about the atonement of Jesus Christ. The words I saw felt new to me. I learned more in the moments that followed about the atonement than I had comprehended in a lifetime.
The Savior hadn’t only atoned for my sins, but for my pain and suffering as well. How could that be? How had I missed that verse?
“You weren’t ready.” The still small voice enlightened my mind.
“Your long suffering was insufficient until now.”
I gazed at the pills on my comforter and realized that I had been comforted and lifted by my Savior’s sacrifice and love, something the pills could never do.
I eased my pain stricken body from under the blankets and went to my knees by the side of the bed. Hope and peace replaced the pills that lay forgotten all around me.
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