Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Believe it or not, this one is hard for me. All my life, I have wanted to be liked. I have wanted to have friends and people around me who care. I have wanted to feel like I had worth. Yet, most of my life, I have struggled on alone and often lonely. I thought that I was friendless and unlovable.
When I was in school, I was the child who got off the bus, with over a mile to walk home, and got beat up just because I looked funny. I learned to walk the five miles home through the desert to avoid the fights. I never could figure out what it was that I did in 9th grade to deserve that kind of treatment.
Looking back, I think it was mostly that I was a survivor. I was abused, beaten, and ridiculed. I never did learn how to just shut my mouth and take it. I always had to have the last word. Looking back, I probably was exactly the type of child they were looking for to pick on and beat up.
I was a child with no self esteem. I did not know where I was going or what I wanted, but as I figured those things out, one at a time, I hung onto that truth with all the tenacity of my soul.
Trial after trial has come to my life. Hope after hope has been vanquished. But I have kept growing. In my adult years, I have even discovered the joy of a few friends. I have realized that you can be kind to everyone, yet people will still not like you. I have also realized that I don't have to hate them for it. That it is better for my heart if I love them anyway in spite of the fact that they hate peaches! (and me).
As I have grown, I have discovered that really good friends do not surround you. They don't suffocate you with attention or needs. Mostly, they hold you up when you are down, they talk you through the hard times, they hold on tight when you are falling, and they love you through it all. I have discovered that one or two good friends can do more than multitudes of acquaintances. And that means everything to me.
I am so thankful for those few good friends who steady me, love me, and support me in my life.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Sometimes, we focus so long and hard upon the storms, that we forget to look for the pearls. I had a Relief Society Meeting Saturday at the Stake Center. There were women who talked about the trials they are facing now.
One woman is a widow. Her husband passed away from Cancer. She talked of the trial of his illness and the grief. She talked about the healing in the temple and the strength that she has found within herself. She spoke of service, compassion and love.
Another sister spoke of having a disabled daughter. The true light this daughter brings to their family. The things she has taught them all. Her smile and her laughter. Her love. Her mind will always be about a year old, but her joy is everlasting.
Another sister spoke of having a serious illness and the trials that have come from learning to deal with the results of major surgery to her face. She talks of the difficulty of facing others, and of facing herself in the mirror. She talks of the trials and the strength's and the blessings that she has received.
I would have loved to have copies of all the talks to share. I am only sharing the bare bones of them. Perhaps the gift for me is that I know them. I know that they do not focus on the hard in their lives, but on the good. I have seen them endure, smile and carry on.
But the most amazing thing to me is how their struggle and trials have helped their testimonies. They have learned to find the pearls in the midst of continuing storms. They each had a positive to share from their experiences. They have each known hope and despair, trial and grief, pain and misunderstanding. Yet through it all, they were each able to say that they knew Heavenly Father loved them, was with them, looked out for them and blessed them.
They found their pearls.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;" John 8:31
May we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
We are eternal beings caught in a very literal slice of time. So our focus is in the here and now. Our hearts want to think eternally, but our heads tell us to be right in this moment. Because we can't see into the eternities, and we don't remember our Heavenly Home, we don't realize how very much the atonement will wash away, not only each of our sins, but also our grief and suffering, our sorrows and pain. He will heal us in every way. He will make us whole.
I know that there are some things that cannot heal at this time in my life, and I am learning to be OK with those things. I know that the time will come when I will see all things clearly. When I will understand and comprehend the gift that He offers me. For now, I am learning to trust, to wait, to allow, to be. For now, I can wait to become.
Friday, January 12, 2018
This is so comforting for me. I am so, not perfect! I keep working on it, and keep failing spectacularly in the process. What a comfort for me to realize that Heavenly Father really does give us credit for trying to become better. It makes me want to strive even harder to do those things that I know are right.
One of my trials is an ongoing struggle with depression and anxiety. There are days when just getting out of bed and getting dressed takes every single bit of my energy. There are days when I can't make myself take a shower or even brush my hair. I have been known to stay in bed all day and get absolutely nothing done. The voice in my head tells me I am lazy even though I know I am not. There just comes a point when I can't continue moving forward until after I get some form of peace.
I have always been so hard on myself. I grade myself on the pass fail system. You know the kind, the one where if you are not perfect, and you don't have it all together, than you are a failure. The one where I never win. The one where I am not enough.
How grateful I am that I recognize my Heavenly Father grades me on a much better system. One where repentance and forgiveness play a major part. One where mistakes are learning experiences and change is always possible. One where I have a loving Father who wants to see me succeed and not falter.
How amazing it is to me that He loves me and cares for me always, no matter how many shortcomings I have or how often I don't do things the right way. He is there to help me pick up the pieces of my life, dust myself off and try one more time.
He gives me credit for my intent, not just my successes.
He loves me just as I am and for Him,
I am enough.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
I am trying so hard to find the "Blesson" in the challenges that I am surrounded by. It can be a really hard concept to get right. I always thought that I knew how to forgive, I thought that I had a handle on life. I thought I could endure right through anything. I was wrong.
I think we all have moments when we feel like the bottom has literally dropped out of our world. I think life can throw some real difficulties at us. Just when I am sure I have it under control, something that I never imagined comes at me. So, I am learning.
I am growing.
I am struggling and I am trying to change my own personal view of the trials I face.
I wish I could say it is easy, but it isn't. So, I am just trying to view it as a learning experience. I am trying to find the personal message in the struggles for me.
I believe in a Loving, Giving, Understanding Heavenly Father. I don't believe that he gives me hardships. I do believe that He allows me to experience them and helps me through them. He allows them to happen to us because He doesn't take away the free agency from any one of us. Sometimes, people make bad choices and they cause pain and grief to others. Sometimes, we make our own bad choices. Sometimes, the things that happen are just part of life.
It is the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. Well, that and not hating the person who is responsible. I am trying to find the compassion inside my own soul. I am trying to give out kindness instead of anger and hate. I am trying to heal with love.
I am trying to see and recognize the BLESSON.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
I was really touched by this one. I have not been able to see a silver lining for a very long time. Sometimes, it feels as if God cannot possibly be there. This was a good reminder for me. My mind knows that He is there, my testimony knows he is there, but my heart can feel very alone sometimes.
I have learned that we are all going through different "stuff". Often, it feels like more than we can possibly bear.
It blinds us to what might be coming.
The "stuff" we go through becomes our own mixed up sense of reality. It isn't our entire existence, but it can certainly feel like it. It can make everything else feel like a negative in our lives. The very hardest thing for me during those times is to trust God that it will somehow work out right.
As I listen to the talks of others, I know that there have been many things that I have not had to go through. But the things that are on my plate, are more than enough for me. I used to believe that God never gave us things that we couldn't handle. I have come to understand that He does. He gives us many things that are too great for us to bear alone. Those things turn our hearts toward Him.
I don't believe that he causes our problems and difficulties. I do believe that they are caused by three things: One is our own sins. Our own decisions when they are the wrong choices can give us pain and suffering.
Two is the sins of others. I don't believe that the Lord causes abuse or anger or murder or anything else. I have learned that He allows us all our free agency and when people make bad choices, it leads to bad things for others.
Three is sometimes it is just life. Hurricanes happen, tornadoes, flooding, famine, hardships. All those things can bring pain and suffering that we are not exempt from.
I am over simplifying here, but still it remains true. God does not cause our problems. He does allow us to go through things that are too big for us to bear alone. We can choose to turn to Him and know that He is there. We can choose to believe that somehow, in ways we have yet to understand, the blessings will be more than the suffering.
He is the source of the light in the darkness of life. If we turn to Him, whatever happens in the here and now is not the most important thing we will go through. Choosing Him in the midst of darkness, is.