I won’t make this a long introduction because I really want the stories below to sit with you awhile. This week I’m introducing you to someone I have known since I was a child. Her children were among the first that I babysat as a tween. She is full of love and light. She’s a fabulous writer and storyteller, so I decided not to include the questions I sent her. I think her words flow so well and they certainly touched my heart.
My name is Sharon Olsson Moss. I was born in Sydney Australia. I lived in Adelaide, South Australia until I was 16, at which time my immediate family and I migrated to the USA. I was the only child in opposition to this, which is totally understandable for most 16 year olds. However this transition was a mixed bag, I was hating being uprooted from everything I had ever known. But suddenly the sexual abuse I had suffered at the hands of my father for the previous 16 years, ended in Utah.
I have always loved to write, words flowed easily from my heart when I was talking about my personal experiences. I was continually amazed at how others can create storylines, that was never my gift. As I was recovering from a very rough shoulder surgery, several years ago, the impression kept coming to me that I needed to create a blog. I fought it- thinking I didn’t have anything of value that others would want to read. Finally I gave in to the impression and with a friend created my blog. In the first two years I think I only made a few entries, total.
Then when my 25 year old son made a very severe suicide attempt in 2018, we were driving away from the Trauma ICU where he was still unconscious, and my phone was blowing up as the news started to spread. Already feeling incredibly overwhelmed, I lamented to my husband, that there was no way I could keep repeating the grisly details of our last 10 hours, and not knowing what the next 24 hours would bring, I just couldn’t keep up. While the calls, messages and texts were filled with much needed love, support & prayers….I couldn’t do it! Quietly my husband said, “You could use your blog.” The words slowly settled on my shattered heart. At first I resisted, thinking I wouldn’t know who was reading about this journey of ours, I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to live it with me, it still felt very personal and very painful. But the counsel was exactly what the Lord intended. And now I am going to write a book, that’s the directive from the Lord. I am probably glad He didn’t tell me this initially.
After I had slept for two hours I awoke with the first post humming through my head. I sat down and began to write. It was pretty incredible. The words flowed under the direction of the Holy Ghost and my grief and fear and heartache was palpable. Day after day, post after post, I always knew this wasn’t only for my benefit, and I prayed whoever needed it would somehow find their way to it, that wasn’t what the Lord needed me to worry about.
Someone asked me once if my blog was helpful to me, I said emphatically, “YES!”
Aside from being able to reach a lot of people (especially my family in Australia) all over the world with a single post, I was able to process the emotional trauma I was living, by writing. And finally to see what the Lord intended to happen by way of the blog, well that part was truly wonderful!
I hear others tell me often, “Make sure you are taking care of yourself.” I really thought I had already learned that lesson, as I healed from my abuse, but apparently I had more to learn. So instead of any kind of set ritual, I started out by merely acknowledging that this particular thing was just for myself. If I was able to get a massage...it was just for me. If I read a book...it was treating me! So declaring a given activity was taking care of myself, some days that was all I could do, especially when my life was not my own.
I had a very dear friend who once said, “You are amazing how you can be so honest and transparent, while you are still standing in the fire. That is a gift.” So often when we are in the middle of a downpour we cannot even believe there will be a rainbow after the storm, let alone actually see one! However I did learn to be aware of, and acknowledge the tender mercies that flooded my life! It became my lifeline, to see the gifts God was showering upon me, sustaining me, giving me hope, and when I saw them, I immediately acknowledged them. I began to see them as the golden thread running always through the tapestry of my mortality. They were everywhere and that shocked me!
My personal relationship with Christ is critical to me. I pray, sometimes on my knees, often when I am alone, and always in my head! He is always there. He loves me without judgement, He has a great sense of humor, and He is literally my rock! Talking to Him, reading the scriptures about Him, and attending the Temple as often as I can, are probably my top three ‘must do’s’
Speaking of reading the scriptures, I swear someone is editing both my Book of Mormon and my New Testament! Every time I read I learn something new. The way we’ve been asked to study the New Testament this year has made Christ way more personal, way more a part of my every day, and I am continually amazed that He taught His Apostles then, just as He is doing today. When I saw the picture of them in white with the Christus in Rome...well it was powerful to me!
My husband Clark, or Lover as I call him, is by far my favorite person to be with. We are very different in so many ways, I thought I’d probably spend most of my retirement in prison after killing him within the first week of his retirement! However after a bout of three months recovering (non-weight bearing) from a fall, I realized how much I missed having him home when he finally returned to work. Then since I started working for JetBlue 8 years ago, we have traveled together so much. We are hoping to finally go back to Italy (where he served his mission) next year. My son’s needs have grounded us temporarily. The majority of our trips have been back to Australia, where we have family and a few very dear friends. While I love my life in the States, my heart still calls Australia home.
So today, I am grateful for my hands. After recent double-hand surgery, I recognize how valuable they are to me! I am grateful for friends and acquaintances who love, lift and inspire me. We are so not alone in life...even if some days it may feel that way. I challenge you on those days to look up! To Heaven. It’s closer than you think! Look for the miracles around you, they are happening in the smallest of ways. Trust God, choose hope, and smile whenever you can.
Here is my blog address, take a deep breath and a box of tissues...the water-table is inordinately high!