FIND YOUR PHONE
Recently my daughter’s parents-in-law invited my sweetheart and me to travel with them on their family vacation to Hawaii. Gah. I know, right?! The dream vacation of a lifetime!!!! I have never been to Hawaii! Not even my mother has been there! So basically I am feeling incredibly BLESSED and so grateful.
We are actually on the flight over the Pacific Ocean RIGHT NOW! This is all very exciting. I’m especially looking forward to spending lots of quality time with my sweet married daughter and her new family, who live 2,000 miles away from us currently. They are great people, and so, so generous.
There’s only one little problem with this whole dreamy scenario. It’s the same problem I have whenever I have to be away from my children…I miss them. And I miss what happens in their lives while I’m away.
This week, for example, there are soccer games, baseball games, two kids’ birthdays, a friends’ birthday party, play dates, piano lessons, a long awaited opening night, a closing night, and….a prom. A prom for THREE of them. THREE special teenagers. And for one of them…her FIRST prom. Yes, my LAST daughter’s FIRST prom is happening RIGHT NOW. Right now, while I’m flying over the ocean.
We’ve been working on her dress for a while. It’s something I love to do with my girls: dress design. I don’t have a lot of free time, neither do they. But dresses are important. Proms are important. So, at least once in their life, I help them create a prom dress from scratch. That happens their junior year. Luckily this is only my daughter’s sophomore year (she gets to go this year because her 16th birthday landed before prom. I wasn’t so lucky back in my day!). That means that this year we didn’t make the dress from scratch and everything, but this dress was still special because it was one of the dresses we bought online last year as a possible wedding gown for my oldest daughter. It is a lovely dress, but wasn’t right for the wedding. So we kept it for a prom. This prom. I shortened the hem, tailored the back and the kids added more sleeves. Then the dress got dyed from white to pink. From the photos they sent, It turned out beautifully! How I wish I could be there to see her in it personally!
Anyway, as important and awesome things happen to my children while I’m very far away, I suddenly feel incredibly grateful for cell phones. None of the children gets one until age 16, but by now most of them have one. Cell phones are my special, private way to reach each of them. No matter the time or the circumstance, and whether they see it right away or not, a cell phone is my way to connect personally with each child whenever I want to, whenever I’m able, whenever I need to, or when I think they might need me.
As I fly away, I think of them. I think of my twin boys. They’ve suffered a lot this year. More than most people will ever suffer in their lives. I think of my daughters. One who is single handedly trying to parent five challenging kids for 11 days, and another who will perform her first lead role in a straight play AND attend her first prom this week. I think of my youngest two, who will miss me the most perhaps, and will want to use a phone to call me as often as possible.
I think of them all…and I get out my phone, my trusty friend. I type, I send, I wait. I wait and wait. Eventually short replies trickle in. Sometimes there’s no reply, but a question in return, much later. I don’t mind. I assume they get my messages. My messages of love, encouragement or direction. It’s ok that they don’t respond to let me know they got the message. They’re busy. I understand. And I love them anyway. I love them still.
But one son, one son does not reply at all for days. No late responses, no random questions, no quick call for help to locate stuff. Nothing. And then I remember. He’s the one that lost his phone! Yes, they ALL lose their phones sometimes. Phones get misplaced, slip behind cushions, stay in forgotten pockets. It happens to all of us, sometimes. But this time it’s different. This time it’s been a LONG, LONG time! And here’s why that matters.
So I’m on the plane, and I’m thinking about this son. We’re getting ready to take off and soon I’ll have to turn off my phone. A special message to him flashes through my heart. I know just what to say. It needs to be said right now! I start typing, my fingers flying to get through to him before we fly away. He must be told how much I love him! He must be told how wonderful and special he is to me. He must be reminded of his divine DNA, he needs to know he is so very loved!
Why this feels urgent, I don’t know. As mothers, we rarely get to know the WHY. But we always feel the WHAT. Mother’s intuition is a real thing.
So I’m scrambling, trying to type quickly, when suddenly, I stop and remember. I am slowly remembering that he hasn’t seen his phone for weeks. He hasn’t responded to anything for weeks. Because he can’t find his phone. I started to feel practically desperate to get this message of love and encouragement to him. I felt he needed it, right now!
But no, it was not going to happen. That message of love and hope and direction would not be getting to him. All because he lost his phone.
Perhaps the metaphor is crystal clear by now. God our Heavenly Father wants desperately to communicate with each of us. He has messages of love, encouragement, direction, even warning that He wants to send us. Sometimes these messages are MOST urgent and need to be received immediately! But sadly, all too often, our celestial cell phones are lost. Where did we lose our ability to commune with Deity? Did we leave it at the store where lingered too long at the immodest magazine covers? Did it slip between couch cushions while we played inappropriate video games for endless hours? Is it in the forgotten pocket of our temple clothes? Where did you lose your celestial cell phone?
In that moment of parental desperation, when I felt inspired and frantic to convey a message of hope and love to my precious, beloved son…I couldn’t do it. Not because I didn’t have a phone, and not because he didn’t have one, but because HIS phone is lost.
Is it lost forever?? I certainly hope not! But it is up to him to search for it and find it. It will take a lot of work, a lot of looking, It will probably take more people to help. Sometimes life is like that too.
So, if you feel you haven’t heard from God or the Holy Ghost in a while, guess what? It’s not because THEY don’t have working communicators. It’s up to each of us to “find our phones” so that we might receive the steady flow of messages our Father is desperately trying to send us.
It is my belief that we all have “spiritual cell phones,” our own “liahona,” as it were. What is yours? Is the scriptures? Is it the temple? Is it sacred music? Is it nature? Is it your mom? Is it your patriarchal blessing? Prayer? or what? What has provided solid spiritual advice consistently in your life? However God communicates with you, that’s your “cell phone.” So DON’T LOSE IT! Get to it everyday and receive those personal, special messages that are meant just for you. I promise, He’s been trying to reach you for quite awhile and His data plan is unlimited.
And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness. (I Nephi 16:10)
And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. (Alma 37:40)