Hi friends, we're gonna have some #RealTalk for just a second. I realize that so much of my life has been and is good. I know that I haven't had a lot of challenges that some people face, that being said, I have had faced some very difficult challenges in my life. We all face different challenges and I'm not about to start comparing, because each challenge is difficult for us for different reasons.There have been 2 times in my life (that I can think of right now) that have brought me to my knees in agony. Begging God for relief, asking "why why why?" and wondering if anything will ever get better. One of these times was during high school, in the middle of an abusive relationship and the other was just a few weeks ago, as my anxiety was as high as it had been in years and my exhaustion was overwhelming. Both of these times I was ready to give up and just walk away from my life because I just couldn't handle it.
How do you handle the hard times in your life?
I'd really love to be more like Nephi who continues to praise God and rejoice no matter what happens to him or what his brothers are doing to him. (This happens in several places throughout 1 Nephi, but especially during chapter 16) But every time I read the Book of Mormon I see myself in Laman and Lemuel, in the murmuring when things get rough. This is something that I'm really working on and striving to be better at. I want to be better at expressing gratitude and praise for God instead of crying out in anger and murmuring. But murmuring happens.Instead of knocking myself down after murmuring, I'm working on repenting and changing and turning back to the Lord. I'm looking to lean on Him and find strength through Jesus Christ instead. But how do we do that? I feel like it can be so hard sometimes.When God was bringing the Israelites out of Egypt he sent fiery serpents and then had Moses hold up a golden serpent and all the people had to do was look and they would be saved. So many didn't look though, because they thought that it was too simple. This was a representation of what we need to do. Sometimes I wonder if the way really is that simple if we simply need to look and lean on Jesus more but we make it more complicated on ourselves? I know I do.
How can we look to Christ and live? How do we find strength in Him?
As I've been pondering these questions this week. I came across several verses that I wanted to share with you, these all come from the Book of Mormon:Alma 33:23 or all of Alma 33 but Alma 33:23 says "And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will."Alma 34:41 - "But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." Alma 36:3 - "...for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."
We can lean on the Lord.
I also kept thinking about me 6 years ago. I had so much faith and trust in God and Jesus Christ, I believed and felt the healing and the strengthening power of Christ's Atonement. So much so that I left my family for 18 months so I could go teach other people about it. Sometimes I wonder what happened to that faith and belief that I had then because it doesn't seem to be as strong now.So, in the hard moments of last week (and the present) that come with being a new mom ((or whatever you may be going through, I hope this helps)) I've realized that when I was struggling in high school, I decided to turn to God instead of turning away from Him. I put more effort into reading and studying my scriptures, I tried harder to focus during church and to really feel the Spirit while I was there. I also went to the temple often and made my prayers more meaningful.
It's those little things that can make a huge difference.
I'm still learning what it means to lean on the Lord and find strength in Him. I feel like this is something I will learn throughout my life. But I do hope that as I learn, I can murmur less and rejoice more. I also hope that through the next year (and many years after that) I can make the seemingly small and simple things daily, weekly, and monthly habits so that they are always part of my life.