Feeling the Love of God more Abundantly

I’ve recently been studying about Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, which has brought many feelings to the surface and helped me to recognize the importance of His grace in my life.  I was awakened at 4:30 this morning with thoughts about feeling God’s love more abundantly in my life.  I’ve felt the guidance of the Savior’s hand in my life lately as never before, and have felt the undeniable promptings to put it in writing.  He says:

Matthew 11-30;  28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.                     

I know that the Savior leads us along and wants us to have a voice and be strong and help gather his children back to him.  So in that spirit, I am striving to be a diligent servant and share His word through my personal experiences, and hopefully it will help someone out there who may be experiencing something similar.  Or who maybe just need a little lift in their day.

I had a dream recently that really gave me pause.  I was riding in a car with my husband and it was a blizzard outside.  We could barely see the road because of the wind and snow falling.  We were on a canyon road that was a mountain on one side and a drop off on the other.  I could see that we were dangerously close to the cliff.  Suddenly the car began to swerve and I could see that we were going to slide off the road.  There was nothing that we could do.  I remember feeling so helpless as I looked to my husband and saw the same look on his face.  I was thinking “Is this how it is all going to end for us?”

As we slid off the cliff and started falling, I was astounded as I looked to the left, to see a large hand glowing white, come around the the front bumper of the car.  It was a huge hand that engulfed the whole left side of the car.  And then as I glanced to the right I saw another huge glowing white hand (I can’t really say glowing, it was more like on fire), brighter than you can imagine.   I definitely knew in my minds eye, that it was God’s hands coming around the car to shield us from the impending crash.  I remember being astonished at the strength and comfort that seeing those hands, brought to me.  I could see that we were going to crash.  But I could also see that we were going to be surrounded in the arms of his love and in some way protected from the inevitable damage that would take place.  Then, just as the hands came around us, we began to hit the trees… and that’s when I woke up.

This past year and a half has been especially difficult for us.  You can read some about it here.  When I told my husband about my dream he said, “well we did kind of go off a cliff!” And even though I laughed when he said it, I knew he was right.  I had been praying and pleading with the Lord to help us find a way out of the situation that we have been in.  We like to joke that we were on a bicycle built for two with our arms spread out wide, the wind blowing in our hair,  just coasting along.  And then someone took a stick and put it in the spokes and we came to a sudden stop and went flying over the top!

For months and months we both pleaded with the Lord for guidance and direction. I feel like this dream came to me to remind me that even though we experience REALLY TOUGH things in our lives, He is always there to protect us when we go off the cliff and hit the trees.   We still fall, we still hit the trees, but his loving arms surround us….2 Nephi 15:25; but his hand is stretched out still, no matter what we are experiencing in our lives.

Through this experience we have seen many miracles.  We have felt the spirit lead and guide us.  It has changed who we are.  And it has strengthened our testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our Savior felt it all when he suffered for us in Gethsemane, He suffered the unimaginable so that we would be able to one day return to our loving Father in Heaven.  I am so grateful that I have been able to feel His love, grace and mercy in my life more abundantly.  It has been rough, bumpy and uphill climb but when we are growing the road is always uphill!

We still aren’t out of the woods, in fact some days I feel like we are still sitting in the crashed car saying “what just happened?” But I am constantly reminded of the love that our Heavenly Father has for us if we will just reach out for it!  Therein lies the secret.  Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. We have to be the ones to reach out to Him.  He stands at the door and knocks but we must open the door and let him in.

It is my prayer that we can take his yoke upon us and learn of him so that we can better handle the situations that are thrown at us each and every day.  John 14:6; For he is the way the truth and the life!

Living with Bi Polar

It’s been over a year since I was admitted to the hospital, in a full on Manic Episode mode. Several days later, I was diagnosed for the second time with Bipolar Disorder. I say for the second time, because I had been diagnosed 10 years earlier, in a similar, but less severe state of manic episode.

It’s been over a year since I was admitted to the hospital, in a full on Manic Episode mode. Several days later, I was diagnosed for the second time with Bipolar Disorder. I say for the second time, because I had been diagnosed 10 years earlier, in a similar, but less severe state of manic episode. However, when all was said and done, I couldn’t accept the diagnosis. I told myself and everyone else that it was a stress related reaction. And I convinced my doctor to believe that theory. She knew my history… it was stress, or depression, or just overdoing it, (or maybe she just wanted to believe that theory too). I didn’t want to admit that I was broken. I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t normal (whatever that is). And so I lived with this silent monster in my life for all those years, on the wrong medication. A medication that would finally take me to the brink, with my second and more severe manic episode, which would then lead to a second diagnosis and to me finally admitting that yes, I am Bipolar.  And yes, I do have a mental illness.

It’s taken over a year (plus 10 years) for me to be able to talk about this openly. But I know that there are so many people that suffer silently. So many people that may not even know that BiPolar Disorder is what they have. Or like me, maybe they are just lying to themselves about the reality of it in their life. Nobody wants to be broken. Nobody wants to admit that they need medication to make them “normal”. But the reality is that we need to start talking about it. We need to share our experiences with mental illness, so that we can help each other and our loved ones understand these horrible disorders. And that there is hope. There is a path to wholeness again. We must not be afraid to take it. The Lord said…I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Ether 12:26

It’s taken over a year (plus 10 years) to find the right medications, and it’s still a work in progress because our bodies are ever changing.  But I feel so blessed to have found a Dr. who from the get-go, understood what a hard diagnosis this is to accept, and wouldn’t let me NOT accept it.  A doctor who has helped me work through it,  and listened to me and really knows about mental illness and how to treat it.  I feel like that was divine intervention and I’ll have to share the story about how I found him, sometime, but not today.  Today I just wanted to say, this is where I am in my life right now.  This is why I have not been as active on social media over the past several months.  But it’s time!  It’s time for me to put myself out there… even though it’s scary and I risk having to undergo the judgement of imperfect people.  But this is not for those people.  This is for the people like myself, who suffer in silence. The people who feel broken or not “normal”.  This is for them and their loved ones.  Hopefully we can help each other.  Give each other a voice.  Russell M. Nelson said in the 2015 October conference in his address “A Plea to my sisters“, “… we need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous…. women who teach fearlessly.”

It’s been over a year, and today I am speaking from my heart and mind, full of faith, hoping that the breadth of my influence can help others who are going through what I have been through or a similar mental illness.  I will try to post a couple times a month to talk about this disorder and how I am learning to live with it.  I even have videos of myself (that my husband took as a documentary of that time), that I could possibly share at some point.  I watched them before I sat down to write this and I cried, because some days… many days, I still feel broken.  But I’ve realized, it’s ok to feel broken.