Little By Little

Last week as I was reading Waiting On The Road To Damascus, I was reminded that our faith grows little by little.

I’ve been thinking about that phrase a lot this week.

Little by Little

A lot of things grow little by little. Our faith. Ourselves. Our dreams and goals.

We grow and change and become more and different, little by little.

So why do I always try to rush?

Why do I feel like I’m missing something if I haven’t reached my goals that I just started right now . I don’t know where this pressure comes from. Maybe in my own mind or maybe from the outside world.

The feeling that you need to have it all and be it all right now.

But that’s not how life works. That’s not how God works. That’s not how the earth works.

We’ve got seasons for everything. For planting and growing and waiting and resting.

And even during those seasons, especially in the garden, things don’t change that quickly, so why do I think that I need to be where I’d like to be right now? Why can’t it be okay for me to grow slow too?

It is more than okay to grow slow, to grow little by little.

Small progress is still progress.

That’s something I thought about this week as I’ve been working on my book. Writing 1 word is better than 0, it’s 1 word closer to finishing this draft.

One verse in the scriptures will help me strengthen my faith, even if it’s small, but it will still bring me closer to God.

I think we sometimes feel that if we aren’t doing these big and grandiose things then we aren’t accomplishing anything. I know I get caught up in seeing what others are doing and feeling like I can’t ever be where they are because I don’t have the time or resources to do all that they do.

But we don’t have to do big things all the time.

We learn in the scriptures that God brings about great things by small and simple works.

The small, simple, and slow are helping you too.

You don’t need to rush.
You don’t need to feel like you’re falling behind.

You are right where you need to be, and it’s okay to grow little by little.

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My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me

Early Tuesday morning I was sobbing.

I held Von and rocked her back to sleep as I sobbed, praying in my mind and heart. I was overcome with exhaustion and felt overwhelmingly weary. I wanted relief.

I prayed that if the time was right, that God bring me back home to Him, because I was just feeling done. I sobbed and sobbed. I then prayed that it wasn’t my time, that if I’m needed here, that He give me strength, that He let me know that I wasn’t alone. I sobbed even harder as I said that prayer.

And then my darling baby, who I thought was sleeping, said “hi” I looked down at her face, seeing her eyes looking up at me in the moonlight. And then she said “hi” again. And of course I cried some more.

In that moment though, I realized that I was not alone.

I felt God’s love surround me and I remembered my purpose as a mother and a daughter and as a child of God. And for that moment, I knew I wasn’t alone, because of Christ.

Reading about his lonely path to death was so hard for me this week. And as I read the chapters on Monday, again and again it stood out to me when Christ says “My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me” I continued to think about this thought throughout the week and along with my own experience I had in the wee hours of the morning.

I was reminded of the talk that Elder Holland gave called None Were With Him, when he shared about the Savior’s lonely journey at the end. How He was completely and utterly alone. Elder Holland says:

Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour … is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”?

With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.

…because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.

Because of Him, we are not forsaken. Because of Him, we continually have access to God through prayer and the Spirit. We are not alone because of Him.

In our hard moments, when we feel as though we are drowning and crying out for rescue, we can know that the Master is ready to pull us to safety, To embrace us and let us know that we are not on this path alone.

I’ve struggled with this a lot in my life, I struggled with it even this week. But in almost the moment after I felt abandoned and lost and praying for relief of any kind, I felt peace and hope and love. We do not have to walk this life alone. God has not forsake us. He is with us always, but sometimes we need to reach out to Him for us to know that.