“…in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.
My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation.” President Russell M. Nelson remarked in 2018 General Conference.
This particular passage came into my mind with such force this morning. I don’t know why. I’ve learned not to question. But to allow things like this to marinate a little and wash over me. What is the reason? What is the purpose for this? Maybe a reminder to not take my experiences for granted. Because there was a time when I did just that. Took it all for granted.
We are all a constant work in progress. Trying to live each day in the best way we know how. Despite the many setbacks, trials, sicknesses, and other life events that we encounter, we push forward to find a way…. Our way.
My way is certainly not the best way, but it’s my way, my journey. And your way, is your journey. And no matter the circumstances we face in our lives, part of living is learning to enjoy and even flourish amidst all that we face in these confusing and sometimes dark days.
Pain is part of it. Joy is part of it. Tears and heartache are part of it. Success and conquering are all part of this journey!
This blog is my story, my life, my journey. I can’t change anything for you in your personal life. Only YOU can do that. But as I have mentioned in many of the posts I have written. You don’t have to do it alone. You are NEVER, EVER alone!
Sometimes it may feel like it. Sometimes it may feel like Heaven’s doors are shut and locked to many of us. We want to know and to hear and understand, but sometimes (and I’m just speaking from my own experiences here), it is not the Lord that walks away from us. We distance ourselves from Him. Not in a completely intentional way but in an “I’m not sure this is what I want in my life right now,” sort of way. I just want to find out for myself.” And I am here to suggest that this is EXACTLY what you need to do. Find out for yourself!
No one can get you to feel or grow and progress spiritually except for you. And it takes work. You can’t just expect to have all the answers laid out in a neat little package for you. But questioning is part of that work. And though it may feel as though Heaven is closed, believe me when I say, those windows and doors are wide open, waiting to pour out blessings upon you.
We do have to ask, seek, knock in order for those answers to come. And it is hard. He never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it!
Several years ago (It’s been almost 8 years to be exact), I found myself in a position of questioning and struggling with things of a spiritual nature. I would ask myself (and sometimes others) the impossible questions. Why faith? Why is everything predicated upon faith? If there is a God, why do bad things happen to good people? Why are there starving people in the world? Why is there so much sickness and despair and natural disasters? If there is a God, why can’t I feel Him, why does He talk to others but not me? And where is my “beyond a doubt” moment? And so many other relevant questions that many of you are asking yourselves right now.
I certainly do not have all the answers. I am a work in progress, just like everyone else. I only see it the way that it happened for me. As it is for all of us.
When I left the Church that I was raised in, I walked away from a culture. I walked away from a “building”. I walked away from what I knew at the time. I slowly moved away from my Savior, (even though I didn’t believe that at the time).
But when I came back, I came back because my Savior found me. He found ME. Though I was lost, HE went out looking for me. He left the other sheep to find the ONE. I don’t know how or why it happened for me the way that it did. I don’t know why that passage came to me with such force this morning. I’m still not sure. Maybe the good shepherd is out there looking for YOU. Perhaps I am just the messenger.
I know you are struggling right now to find answers. Your road will not be easy.
My road was NOT an easy road. And to have it to do over again… I’m sure I would have pleaded to find another way. A way that wasn’t as painful and full of struggles as it was. But in that same breath, I have learned and grown in ways I never could have imagined. Ways that I never would have if my road had been different.
He heals me every day that I allow him to. He carries me when the days are long and hard. He finds me when I get lost for a moment. He LOVES me without condition. He is my strength when I feel weak. He is my hope when I feel despair. He brings me so much joy and peace. He found ME but in HIM I find my peace, strength, love, hope, and healing. He is my Savior and redeemer.
This is my story, it is my journey, my life. And through it all He WAS there. Even when I thought He wasn’t. He WAS THERE! For ME. The ONE!
And he will be there for YOU too!
Matthew 12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.