Strengthening Your Timber

Friday, November 22, 2013

You probably have noticed that the past couple months I've been a bit absent. My mom's breast cancer diagnosis was a huge shock for me... Receiving that news along with some other personal things that were going on in my life had me feeling pretty down. After my mom received that diagnosis I spent a few nights at my parents house to offer some support. The prognosis of the cancer was unknown and everyone was on edge because our family history of breast cancer has been... Well... Lethal.

One night I heard my mom yelling, "Britney...! Britney...!" She came running into my room and said, "There's been an accident!" "What do you mean? Where?" I panicked. "Outside, dad just ran out, something happened."

I ran out of my parents front door in nothing but my pajamas and wet hair to see a car smashed into our neighbors brick mailbox--it had to be totaled. I panicked... Quickly reviewing CPR in my head as I ran up the sidewalk. As I got closer I saw my neighbors on their front porch surrounding a girl. I ran up to her and noticed blood, lots of it. Drips of it leading up to the porch, smeared on my neighbors door, and not to mention all over her face, clothes, hands, and the towel she was holding to her face in an attempt to stop the bleeding. 

"Did someone call 911?" I asked. "He's calling right now" said one neighbor pointing to another. The girl that crashed her car was a cute little blonde girl in her late teens… but that nose was for sure broken. On top of that she had a deep cut under her nose that was definitely going to need stitches, as well as a lump on her forehead that was growing by the second. 

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh" she said as she shook. I went up to her and rubbed her back and reassured her it was going to be ok... "Will someone give me a hug please?" I leaned down and gave her a squeeze and so did the cute skinny girl next to me. As the other girl leaned down to hug her she said, "If it makes you feel any better, my little boy died last night, I know how you feel." 

I was speechless, here is this cute girl, in her skinny jeans and cardigan saying that her little boy passed away the night prior. How does she look so put together? I would be a mess! She couldn't have been a day over thirty and here she is, calm and collected, selflessly helping this girl likely with the weight of the world on her shoulders. You would have never guessed.

As the paramedics arrived and things started to wrap up I walked over to my mom who talking to our neighbor. "Well if we can help with anything please call, we'd love to do whatever we can to help," our neighbor said to my mom. Our neighbor must have found out about my mom's breast cancer diagnosis. 

"Who is that girl standing up there? With the short hair... wearing the pink and white cardigan?" I asked my mom. "That's your daughter, right Lisa?" My mom said to our neighbor. "Yeah that's our oldest daughter Tracy," she said.

"Her son just passed away last night?" I asked. "Yes," said Lisa, "we were actually just inside writing the obituary as this happened." Come to find out not only did her son just pass away but her divorce just went through a few months prior, with heavy hearts my mom and I offered our condolences. "What a strong woman," we said.

As I walked back to my parents house with my mom I thought to myself,  "How did this happen. How did I get here?" Here with a girl who has just totaled her car. Here with another who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Here with a woman who was inside writing her 8 year old sons obituary. And then me, who had been feeling down because of other personal things that had been going on in my life.

They say The Lord works in unusual ways... But suddenly all my burdens seemed bearable. All because one girl reached up to turn off her car light and then swerved into a mailbox, some of the strongest women I've seen were all brought together at once. I think Heavenly Father wanted to show me that I needed to be strong and that everything was going to work out. He wanted to show me that others were thriving through these trials and I would be ok.

As my mom and I walked to our house I said, "Well, I think that was supposed to happen." 

It sounds terrible, doesn't it? Saying that a girl was supposed to total her car in our front yard? But tonight, we were meant to come together. We were meant to show each other that it was all going to be ok... That no trial was too hard to tackle.

And as Thomas S. Monson quoted in his last conference talk, 

"Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger the wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow."

I'm just strengthening my timber.


  1. Great post, thank you so much for the uplifting words.

  2. Wow! What an amazing post. I feel so humbled and grateful you shared that! I am so quick to think "poor me" and this was an awesome reminder! Thanks so much for sharing, Britney! Also, I hope all is well with your mom!
    Xoxo, Stella

  3. Truly awesome story. There's this undeniable updraft of nobility under duress. However, we have to face the mess of this situation and look back on the ground, so to speak. Sift through its rubble, pick up the details, piece them together, and draw a cause and effect. So that this situation will be avoided, with factors taken into account.

    Juliane @ Pat Turay Consulting


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