- to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
- to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
- to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
- to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
- to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustain a conversation.
- to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
- to provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds.
- to support (a cause or the like) by aid or approval.
- to uphold as valid, just, or correct, as a claim or the person making it: The judge sustained the lawyer's objection.
- to confirm or corroborate, as a statement: Further investigation sustained my suspicions.
I have been writing a chapter for the book called The Society For Relief, and I keep thinking about all the ways the Relief Society sisters sustain each other and these 10 definitions are all wonderful examples.
I am sustained so much by sisterhood. The sustaining doesn't always come from my local relief society--sometimes it is other sisters in other wards or in other states that sustain me. It's amazing when I think of it. In this world of so many ways to connect--most people are less connected than ever, but because we are part of a global society of sisters, we can use all this connectivity to further support each other. For example, I have such a wonderful group of women who have been collaborating with me on this book, and some of us have never met in person. But because of the Internet, Skype, Google groups, Google Docs, blogs, etc, we feel very close.
Today in sacrament meeting I was praying for a friend of mine who has to make some hard decisions. As I was pouring out my heart for her--it was the strangest thing--I could feel that women I know and love very much were praying for me.
I think of all the times we raise our hands to "sustain" people in their callings. We never raise our hands to sustain a couple has newly accepted the calling to be a mother or father, but I think that there is an unspoken hand raising, and I think this is the most important calling in which our members need sustaining.
I'm grateful for all the people, prayers, angels, ancestors, food, health, air, love, and who knows what else that sustain me.
Who/what sustains you?