Three Aaronic Priesthood young men(teenage boys) just came into the ICU carrying with them “the Lord’s Supper”. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about their commitment. They had driven over 30 minutes to the hospital to bring the sacrament to us and to fulfill their Priesthood responsibilities. It is Christmas time and the weekend. They did not have to do this but I could see in their eyes that they know who they are. They know that they have been called by God to watch over the members of the congregation, to care for those in need, to make sure that all have the opportunity to keep the covenants that we have made to “follow the Savior” , “to have His spirit be with us always” and to utilize the atonement in our lives. I was reminded again why the Lord calls young men and young women to accomplish His work. They are so diligent, so loyal and obedient, so valiant, so faithful.
I am grateful again for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the way that it teaches our young people to stand strong in a turbulent world. We often tell our missionaries that the Lord trusts them so much. He called them to represent Him. He called them and set them apart from the world. He put His name on a name tag that they carry and we go out and teach as His true representative. He trusts us so much. The real question is, “Do we trust Him?” Do we trust that He will do all of the things that He said HE would do. Do we Trust that He will bless us with ALL of the blessings that HE has promised us. Do we trust that “His way” will be better than “our way”. Over the past 33 days in the ICU , I have come to trust the Savior in a whole different way. I am learning that His love is deeper than I have ever understood before.
While assisting Sister McKee with food today, I was reminded once again of the Savior’s love for us and His deep desire that none of us hurt or suffer but also His deep desire that we all grow and become like Him. I watched her shake and struggle to hold a plastic spoon and wanted so badly to just take the spoon and put the food on it and put it in her mouth but I knew that if I did then she would never grow and be able to do it for herself. She would not progress to the next stage and partake of all the blessings that are hers. I wanted her to have that immediate gratification of tasting that warm food in her mouth and knew that she needed the energy with every bite. I could also see that she would not reach her true potential if I did not allow her to struggle and so I would put the food on a spoon or fork and “invited” her to lift it to her mouth. I cried inside as she would take the plastic spoon and just about get the food to her mouth and then see it spill down the front knowing that we would need to start that process all over again and that her food was getting cold.
I realized how the Good Shepherd sets us up for success over and over again and weeps when we fail and rejoices when we succeed. He knows that if He takes away these opportunities for growth then we will never “become like Him”. Just as I have sat by Sister McKee’s side through this challenge, the Savior sits by our side to rescue us only when we can do no more. He will weep as we fail over and over practicing and preparing ourselves to become more and more like Him. He will also rejoice as I rejoiced when Sister McKee put a spoon full of food in her mouth and successfully chewed it for the first time. She took 7 shuffles from the bed to the chair today while being held up on each side. This was monumental. She played a hymn today with one finger on the keyboard that we brought in. Each day we make tiny steps of progression. Each step toward success leaves her worn and tired and in need of rest for several hours but she is working on something every day. She is now wearing a patch over one eye to see if that will help her double vision and dizziness, Her temperature is down still and her breathing numbers look great. She has gone two day without the ventilator which I think is monumental. She used to tell people that she “joggled” in the morning every day, now I can tell them that she “shuffles” in the morning every day. I asked her this morning if she had any questions and she said, “ Will I ever be normal?” I assure her that she was normal and yes that over time “all that she desired would be hers because of her determination and faithfulness”. She is becoming more and more aware. Thank you again for your faith and prayers. We are still in need of all. We “acknowledge the Lord in all things”.
The William McKee family