Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The time has come to ask yourself.... What do I believe?

Before this summer, if someone were to ask me if I have ever not believed in God, my answer would have been no, not even for an instant. If someone were to tell me that it is possible to be tried so much that even the most faithful can be left questioning, my answer would have been, "not me." And yet, without going into any specifics, I can say, that this past couple of months, I reached that point. I felt the same way Joseph Smith must have felt when he cried out, "Oh God, where art thou?" while he suffered in the Liberty Jail. I suppose even the Savior had His moment when He said, "Father, if it be thy will, remove this cup from me."

What I have learned from my experience is that none of us are free from suffering, and none of us are exempt from being tried to our very breaking point and beyond. What I also learned is that if you want to grow your faith, you first much reach the end of it in order to move forward. Sure, it may take faith the size of a grain of mustard to move a mountain, but sometimes, it takes the faith of a mountain to take one step into the unknown, to face an impossible and seemingly hopeless task you have been asked to face. I have also learned that we do not face these things alone. We can either choose hate and anger and allow Satan to walk the path with us, or we can choose love and forgiveness and allow the Savior to stand by our side. It is up to us to choose for ourselves.

A good portion of this trial, I have been going back and forth from one companion to the other. One minute I chose to walk with the Adversary, the next I chose the Savior. I found that my days were easier and my heart was less troubled when I chose the Savior as my companion. When my days began with prayer and scripture study, family prayer, and family scripture study, I was more able to keep the Savior as my companion and His spirit lifted me to a place of peace and hope in better things to come. That is the amazing thing about the Savior, His companionship brings hope, while Satan's companionship can only offer despair. Rather than my heart feeling as if it were broken, I felt it healing and mending and becoming whole once again. It is really a remarkable experience to feel the healing balm of the Savior as He heals your broken heart.

During this trial, I also gained a valuable insight that I would like to share before I end my post. When you feel as if you are surrounded by darkness, and you feel as if God is silent, think back on a  time in your life when you really felt God's Spirit surround you. Close your eyes and go to that place mentally. As you do this, His spirit will bring to your remembrance the overwhelming feelings of love and peace that God shared with you in that moment in time. Keep that moment close to your heart, make it a holy place for you to stand when you feel you have no where else to go. Doing this will remind you that God is with you. He was with you then and He is with you now. Stand in holy places and keep them close to your heart so when the enemy conspires against you and seeks to tear away every other holy place around you, he will never take the place inside your heart. In this way, you will always be able to stand with the Lord. Go to that place often and remember just how much God loves you. Sometimes, when you feel forsaken, remembering that moment in time will be one of the only ways to bring your focus back where it belongs.

What do I believe? I KNOW God lives. I KNOW God loves us. I KNOW Christ is our Savior and He will help us home. Follow Him, Believe in Him, and let Him heal you. When you get to the edge of your faith, keep walking. :)