Saturday, March 31, 2012

We believe in Grace

I have struggled with many health problems in my short life of 27 years.  I don't say this to say that I have had more trials than others, or to say my life has been hard.  I simply state it because it's true.  Through my health struggles and trials I have come to learn that without my Savior's love and atoning sacrifice I would not be able to cope.  I have come to learn what Nephi said is true "It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23)

There are so many times that I have broken down in the last 3 years and asked my Heavenly Father why I have to go through this. Why I must suffer in pain and discomfort.  I have pleaded with my Heavenly Father to take my suffering away only to know that it is in his time.  Through these experiences I have learned that he not only listens to me and is there, but he will give me the strength to go through these challenges with faith and comfort.  I have received priesthood blessings (a blessing that a male member of our church who is worthy to hold the priesthood can give to the ill, sad, or in need of any comfort) that have let me know that my suffering is not soon to end, but that my Heavenly Father will give me the strength to overcome my trials.  Through my own prayers, and temple visits I have learned that I am going through these challenges to strengthen me.  To help me understand people and their troubled hearts, and to let me be a comfort to them.  I have these trials to teach me how to be a better member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of ever kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sickness of his people" (Alma 7:11)

As I learn more and more about my religion on a daily basis I am learning that God gives grace to all men and women through their faithfulness.  Grace does not come just by asking for it.  Grace from our Heavenly Father comes after all we can do.  It comes from asking forgiveness and promising to never make the same mistake again.  And when we make the mistake again (which I do on multiple occasions) I have to repeat the process and ask for grace again.  I have learned that when I am weak, and when I question my Heavenly Father's plan for me, when I don't understand why he gives me the trials that he does, that he will also give me the grace if I will do all I can and yet I still need more.  When I have given my 100% and it is still not enough to get me through my hard times, that is when I can ask for his love, for his grace, and he will send it to me.

Recently I have learned that not only did Christ suffer for all of our weaknesses and sins, he also suffered for our pain and afflictions.  Not internal pain alone, but our physical pain.  For the hurt that my body goes through because of sickness that I have had, my Savior knows that pain and he alone can send comfort to me if I but ask.  My Savior knows my heart.  He knows when I am hurting so much that it seems I might break.  He knows when I have given my all and I can't give another drop, and he will send me his love, his comfort, and his grace.  

My Savior knows me.  He knows my heart, and my soul.  He knows my will and my desire to do his work is true.  He knows that my love for my fellowman is pure.  He knows that I try my best.  Because he knows this and has experienced every one of my life lessons and trials on his own, he alone can comfort me when I need it most.  If I but have faith in my Savior Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father, they will not leave me comfortless.  They will come to me in my time of need and send their love.  They will wrap their loving arms around me, carry me, and walk with me when I can't possibly do it alone.  When I feel so alone, all I must do is ask and they will be there to love me.  Because I know this, I know that I can overcome any physical ailment that I have.  

I also know that because of my Savior's atoning sacrifice I will one day be made perfect.  One day I will have my physical and mental health made perfect, and I will no longer have to suffer.  If I remain faithful and do all I can do I will one day be healed and live perfectly in the love of my Savior and Heavenly Father.  I'm thankful for the knowledge and faith that I have regarding this imperfect body and mind that I have while on this earth.

"I can do all things through Christ with strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13)  

I'm grateful for my Saviors love, devotion, and perfect knowledge of me.  I'm thankful that he listens, loves, and comforts my weary heart and mind.  I look forward to the day that I can return to live in his presence again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

All this talk about being a Mother

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints there is a lot of talk about Mother's.  How it is the greatest calling ever for a woman.  How there is no such love like a Mother's love and on and on.  I must admit that it always stings me a little bit when I hear this because I know I am unable to have children.  It's not because I don't want to, in fact I would give anything on this earth to have a child, but my physical body won't allow it.  So when I hear talks by prophets, apostles, teachers, and so on about what a great calling a mother is I have had to figure out how I can still be important even if I can't have children of my own. 

I recently got a calling to teach the 3 year old children in my ward and I think I am starting to see how important little children are and why mothering is such an amazing calling in this life.  I get to spend 2 hours every week with these special little spirits and if I had my way I would take them all home with me and raise them as my own. 

The other Sunday was fast Sunday.  It's a time in our church where we don't eat until dinner to remember and have respect for the 40 day fast that our Savior did for us.  During this time at church we have fast and testimony meeting.  People from the congregation get the chance to stand and bear their testimony.  As I was sitting in the congregation that Sunday, the grandmother of one of my little 3 year old's stood and told of how thankful she was for Brother Dave and Sister Jill.  (my husband and me).  She said how Sunday used to be a battle with her little grand daughter who up to this point in her life has been through a lot.  She is being raised by her grand parents and although I don't know the specifics, I don't need to.  I know that this little girl hasn't had it as easy as a 3 year old should.  

Her grandmother said she was thankful for my husband and me because since we had been called to teach these little children her grand daughter now gets excited to come to church and learn of Jesus and his teachings and feel of the love that not only her Heavenly Father and Savior have for her, but the love that Sister Jill has for her.  I can't express how much I love that little girl.  I imagine I love her as much as I would love my own child if I could have one.

After this particular Sunday I spoke with my Father and Heaven and thanked him for putting these special spirits in my care.  Thank you for allowing me to be their teachers, because I need them just as much if not more than they need me.  I need their love, and kindness, and caring.  I need their hugs, and kisses, and hand holds.  I need these special little souls in my life to fill my empty heart and my sad heart at times that only the love of a child can fill.  I know I'm not a Mother, but I do know that I would make an amazing one.  I hope one day to have the love of my own child reach up to me and need me to love them, and need me to care of them, like these little 3 year old's are doing now.