So, I know this is my happy blog and I like to share uplifting things on here, but things have gotten quite a bit overwhelming for me personally lately. So many trials have hit me, one after the other. I’ve reached a point where I don’t know what’s happening inside of me anymore. I look okay, and I sound okay, but I’m starting to realize that it’s all just one big act. I’m really not very okay at all. Because of my background, I learn to very much rely on myself. Anything that involves dependency, I try to cut off. I’d rather be miserable on my own than reliant on anyone else.
However, lately so many things have caused me to crumble and break. Because I look and sound okay, it is very easily assumed that I have no troubles, that I can perfectly handled any problems put on me. I used to be able to scrape by. I could fool anyone into believing I was happy and healthy and everything was coming up roses.
Well, I guess this is why Heavenly Father gives us trials, isn’t it? As each day passes, my facade is slipping away. Soon, I’ll be very much exposed to everyone. And even though I’m quite scared and ashamed of my weaknesses, I know this is the only way that I can really heal. I was sharing with one of my friends this week how frustrated and stressed I’ve been. It was then she asked me what I liked to do for fun, and the thing I think that hurt most of all was that I couldn’t think of anything. I couldn’t think of a time I did anything fun explicitly for me.
I know that God wants us to be happy. I know that He wants to look to Him, and that is why He has given us so many weaknesses- so we can look to Him and learn to do it as He does. Perhaps we have them and everything leads us to Him whether we like it or not and the laws of the universe are a very certain way and God is the only one who knows exactly how to obey those laws to his benefit- like knowing the rules of chess. It would be very silly of us to try and figure out the rules of chess on our own by watching the consequences of each move me made. We would have to lose so many games. An even better idea would be to ask tips and tricks to winning before trying to work out our own strategies.
It’s so easy to look at everything hypothetically like that, but applying and actually following those steps? That can be impossibly hard. Since General Conference in April, I’ve been listening to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk a lot. Titled Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear in it he talks about fear and love. He says that they cannot live within the same space, and one is arguably more agreeable.
We also had a Devotional here at BYU-Idaho about spiritual gifts. I thought back to when I was a child, filled with fear and hungering for any form of love available. After attending church one day, I was reading my scriptures when I came across the principle of charity. I wanted so desperately to have that gift. If my charity could even ease the plight of another person in a situation like mine, I would feel peace. The only way I could think of easing my pain was to ease the pain of others. So, I prayed earnestly that night, as I prayed almost every night after that. I didn’t merely ask Him in a repetitive prayer; I fell asleep each night in tears from pleading so much with my Heavenly Father. I prayed as hard and as long as I had imagined Enos had prayed- a prophet I very much admired in my youth. I know that prayer was answered because my life changed ever since I began to that prayer and kept it in my heart.
However, as fear has consumed my life the past few years from unforeseen changes, anxieties, difficulties with reconciling my past, and financial uncertainty as well a lack of support system and feelings of loneliness, I’ve felt myself drift farther and farther away from feelings of peace. I fall asleep every night worrying about what tomorrow will bring and how I will make it through everything. I worry all the time because I know there is no one else to worry for me. I know that if I make some kind of vast mistake, there will be no one to help me. Worst of all, I’m ashamed to ask for help, which you would think a person in my position would want to ask for help all the time.
I’ve forgotten each night of worry that there is someone to help me. There is someone to love me and be by my side through everything. I’ve forgotten that I’m not all alone, because I have a Heavenly Father. He knows exactly what I’m going through. I know He won’t let me fail. I know that I may need to be strong, that I may need to work hard and worry some nights to provide for myself to the best of my ability, but I also know that fear doesn’t need to take over my heart. Fear should never be allowed to replace love.
Because of my obsession with being afraid I have pushed away my Heavenly Father’s love, and I have not been able to share my love with others as I had before. I’d like to share my favorite hymn, the one I have sung every night before bed for as long as I can remember.
1. Abide with me; ’tis eventide.
The day is past and gone;
The shadows of the evening fall;
The night is coming on.
Within my heart a welcome guest,
Within my home abide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.
2. Abide with me; ’tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.
3. Abide with me; ’tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear,
Would in my home abide.
Christ is always there with us, in our hearts. He walks beside us in the day, and watches over us during the night. Because we have Him, we can let go of our fear and embrace His love and mercy. Because of Him, all of our fears no longer hold power over us. When we face trials, we need to rely on Him and accept His ever-reaching Atonement. Christ hasn’t failed me yet in this life, and I have faith that He never will. I will find happiness again as I take His hand and walk with Him, and anyone on this earth who is struggling will find that their way to happiness can be found the same way. How joyous it will be to no longer live in the dark.
I am thankful today. I am thankful for an unwavering Heavenly Father who has not once doubted me. I am thankful for His blessings and watchful care, and for His endless patience. I have no idea how I could’ve gotten this far with Him and the blessing of His gospel. I testify of its truthfulness. There truly is sunshine.