Britten is starting to question his future. "Will I ever be able to go back to College?" Britten's studies are relearning to read and write in the simplest form. As tears are running down his face, he says, "I know my eyes will get better some day, but I don't know if it will be 1 year, 2 years, 8 years, or even 20 years. I won't be able to be a dentist until my eyes get better." Other questions are consuming his thoughts like, "Will I ever be able to drive a car again? What will I do for work? Will I ever be able to work and make a living for my family? What girl will want to marry me?"
I try to reassure Britten that Heavenly Father has been with him every step of the way, everyday. He will not abandon you now. He will help you know what you can do and he will allow opportunities to open up for you so you can have a happy, successful life. Sometimes things don't turn out how we plan, but if we have faith and rely on our Savior, he will help us everyday. We just need to concentrate on one day at a time.
I asked Britt, "are you progressing each day?" He replied, "Yes, I'm doing amazing!" I then tried to assure him that we just need to concentrate on, one day at a time. It's like President Monson said, "Life by the yard is hard, but by an inch...it is a cinch!" Britten agreed and smiled that he can do that!
Probably one of the most frustrating things for him, is knowing how his personality traits were before the accident, and how his brain injury has altered some of that. One of Britten's best attributes that has blessed his life as well as our family's, is that he is a peacemaker. He has had the patience of Job and this has blessed him to stay calm, not get irritable with others (especially his brothers), to not speak unkind words in any situation. He never raised his voice at us, even when he was upset and showed up most respect for us. The song, "I'm try to be like Jesus" was Britten in every way.
Now, due to the injury, he gets frustrated with himself, because certain things can agitate him. He doesn't let out his frustrations very often, but will let them build inside until he finally lets it out. He will say, "I don't want to be this person. I want to be the person I was before. I would never get mad. I don't like it when I get mad over little things. I just want to be the person, I was before."
I also feel bad, because many aspects of his life have changed, and yet...He is still the same person. He is still that same kind, loving, compassionate, patient person.
I have been amazed at how well Britten has been able to contain his frustrations and emotions. I tell him, "he is probably more normal now, like me and many others, that speak too quick and regret it or get mad easily, when the situation really doesn't matter."
While we were in the hospitals I posted the quote above Britten's bed, "The future is as bright as your faith". I looked at it several times a day. When days were so discouraging and hard, I wondered, how can we do this, I would look up....and see..."The future is as bright as your faith." Along with all the encouraging words from family and friends (old and new), that is what got us through the day.
I think it is now time for this quote to hang in Britten's room, to encourage him to: "Be of Good Cheer, The Future is as Bright as Your Faith".
Thank You President Monson for your profound words of encouragement that have gotten us through, even the darkest days.
On occasion I have read to Britten his own words sent home on Oct. 31, 2011.
There have to be challenges and trials in our lives, to make us rise just a little higher and do just a little better. It is those challenges and trials that shape who we are, and depending on how we react to them, we can become even better and stronger and more prepared.
There is a famous quote that says, " Just as a Gem cannot be polished without friction, a man cannot be perfected without trials."
Challenges and trials are a part of this life. We agreed that they would be a part when we accepted Christ's plan. I don't believe that God makes things happen to us, but allows them to happen, because He knows that it is through those challenges and trials that we will become better, and that we can become the best we can.
Because of my trials....I'm becoming a better missionary and I'm more prepared for life after.
love, Elder Schenk
Yes, Britten Schenk, You are prepared for life! You will overcome your challenges and trials with your determination and great faith. You continue to inspire your family and everyone you come in contact with! We love you.
Carol Mikita did a short story on Britten if you would like to visit the website. It is on: mormon times. Dated Sept. 2, 2012