Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Believe in Good Things to Come

I don't often talk about my husband on this particular blog.  I have a personal blog which I do, but I have really tried to focus this blog about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Today though, those 2 subjects go hand in hand, so I am going to share a bit about my husband with you.

My sweet husband and I met about 5 years ago.  When we started dating my husband's construction company was not doing very well.  It was hit hard during the recession.  He was a bit down when I met him, and not sure what he was supposed to do in his life.  As we continued dating and he realized that I was the person he wanted to spend eternity with, he really started to focus on what God wanted him to do.  We made the decision that he was supposed to go back to school to prepare to become a doctor.  I told him how proud I was of him, and that I would support him 100% in this process.  I knew at that time that it was not going to be easy, but in the end it was going to be worth it.  God let us know that this was the path that we were supposed to take, so we dove in and haven't looked back.

A month after Dave and I were married, he was in his 2nd semester of school at the age of 26.  After a long day at school, and I at work, we came home to enjoy dinner together as we did every evening.  After dinner we sat on the couch and were telling one another about our day.  All of the sudden I was in extreme pain, and we had to go to the emergency room.  After what seemed like forever, they found that I had a serious problem that required surgery immediately.  After that surgery I ended up in the hospital for 2 months, and during the next year I was unable to eat anything.  

During that year as I was slowly dying, Dave continued to work so hard in school.  He was straight A student, and on top of school he had to deal with his new bride dying.  He would wake up at 5am, go to school until 4pm and then come to the hospital and sit in my hospital room and studied until 10pm.  He would then drive an hour to our home to do the whole routine over again.  He never complained, he never whined, and he never let me see how truly scared he was.  He would walk in my hospital room and kiss me, wash my hair, bathe me, take me for a walk around the floor, and read to me.  I never knew at that time the stress, the pain, or the turmoil that he was going through inside.

On one particular day I had another emergency where I had to have emergency surgery at 3am.  Dave and I were the only ones in my hospital room when we found this out.  As they wheeled me down to surgery and I prepared to kiss my husband goodbye, we had an overwhelming feeling that this was going to be the end of our marriage here on earth.  Even with the knowledge that we would be together for eternity, nothing prepares you to lose the one you love.  As I kissed him goodbye, we were both in tears.  I felt like I was having my heart torn out of my chest.  I have not felt pain like that in all my life. 

As they took me into the surgery room, I remember laying on the table and begging God to save my life.  No matter what happened, I wanted to live to be with my husband.  Needless to say, I was saved.  (If you would like to know this story in detail you can click here for the details).  Over the next year and countless surgeries, Dave and I became closer than we could have ever imagined.  We learned to cherish every day and enjoy every second with each other. 

The reason I share this with you, is because since I have gotten well (to an extent) Dave has opened up to me about what he was going through.  He always kept a strong face when he was with me, but I had no idea the turmoil and pain he was dealing with inside.  No one could have prepared him for the trials of that year.  When I have asked him how he made it, he knew it was because of the love of his Savior.  He didn't feel like anyone in this world could understand what he was going through except Christ, and so that is who he turned to for comfort.

It's hard in times of trial and struggle to see the hand of God.  It's hard to not feel deserted and left alone.  It's painful to imagine that when you are speaking with God and begging him to do something, that he is not listening.  In these times you do 1 of 2 things.  Your faith either grows or it suffers.  You choose to become closer to God or push him away.  Dave said that there were many times where he would scream at God and be so furious because he wasn't listening.  He felt like he was giving 100% and doing all he could do, and that God was not coming through on his part.  He had made the sacrifices he promised to, he was going to school, he was married in the temple, he was going to church, and doing everything he knew to be true and correct, and yet he felt as if God had forsaken him and forgotten him.  Little did he know that God was preparing him to be the man he needs to be.  God was teaching him through trial and struggle, that no matter what is going  on in your life, you must remain faithful.  During the darkest times of Dave's life, some of the greatest things happened.  His wife was saved, and he gained a relationship with God that can never be broken.  He learned what true faith is all about.

To this day as Dave and I sometimes struggle, or get scared that we won't be able to make it through, but we know that because of our faith in Jesus Christ, good things are to come.  It might not be now, in the future, or even in this lifetime, but we have been promised that if we remain true and faithful, God will bless us.  He will come to us in our time of need, and he will allow us to lean on him for strength when we feel as though we have none.  We have learned that we can make it through anything with the love of God.  The reason we struggle is to teach us, and mold us into the people that he wants us to be.  He is creating his masterpiece in us.  

God loves us.  He wants each of us to be happy.  He will come to us if we will just choose to ask.  He will not desert us in our time of need, even though we may feel that way.  When we are struggling, we must try to ask God what he wants us to learn from this.  What is he preparing us for when we are so low?  What do we need to do to become the person we wants us to be?  

I want to leave this post with a talk that I heard today by Jeffrey R. Holland.  He talks about his time as a young father and husband, and some of his trials.  He lets us in a part of his life that was low, and seemed like it would never end, but how the love of our Savior taught him that he is a Son of a Heavenly Father that loves him.  I hope it will bring you comfort in your time of need.

Monday, April 8, 2013

General Conference and Believing

 (My 1st post which I thought I deleted and just found it)

If you read this blog regularly you will know that I struggle with and have doubts with a lot of the churches teachings.  I am a convert, and I have read multiple history books, and found out all the good and bad of the church, and knowing both the good and bad, I still am and always will be a Mormon.  Even though I'm a fully converted Mormon, I still struggle with my doubts. That is what I want to talk to you about today.

General Conference was this past weekend, and as I was watching I had written a question in my journal. It stated: "How can I know that I'm okay even though I don't KNOW fully all the teachings of the Gospel?"  That questions was followed up by "How can I increase my Faith?"

Those were the only 2 questions I wanted answered.  As General Conference was on Saturday and Sunday, I was getting down at the fact that no one had said anything about my questions.  Finally the last session on Sunday afternoon started and Jeffrey R. Holland got up to speak.  I was so excited as he was the Elder that I had met just a month before this.

As he stood, I was instantly filled with the same feelings of peace, love, and kindness, as I was the day I hugged him.  He is truly a man of God, and I KNOW that.  He started speaking about "Believing".  It was a subject that is very near and dear to my heart, for I believe that the church is true, I just don't know 100% that everything is true, but I believe that God will teach me.

His talk was all about how your doubts and questions are valid, and when they come up you need to address them and get them answered.  He also spoke about how we are not evil or bad people if we have thoughts.  We need to focus 1. on what we know and believe and 2. be true and have integrity to the faith and knowledge you do have.

The last little while I haven't posted on the Mormon Housewife because I have been struggling with worrying that I wasn't a good Mormon because I don't believe all of their teachings, but his talk spoke to my heart and confirmed to me that I am a good Mormon, and that my Heavenly Father is not only pleased with me, but that he loves me.  Because of my knowledge and desire to learn more and grow my faith, he is willing to teach me, and I will soon have my questions answered in his time, if I remain faithful.  It was a talk that taught me so much about who I am, and so much more about the love that my Father in Heaven has for me.

I want each of you to know that if you have questions and doubts, that it is okay.  You are not evil and bad for having these concerns.  They are valid, and they are important to you.  Seek out those leaders that can help you answer your questions, and lead you on the path that you so desire.  If the desire in your heart is good and pure, your father in Heaven is going to teach you and show you the things that you need to know so that you can be comforted in your faith.  Continue to have faith and pray, and know that he will answer you in his time, and as he see's fit. 

Pray for strength and he will strengthen you.

General Conference and Believing

Those of you who read this blog know that I have doubts and a lot of questions concerning the church.  You know of my struggle and battle that I overcome on a weekly basis.  You also know the intentions of my heart are pure and are going in the direction of the hope of finding the church to be true.

I am a convert and though I believe in the church, I don't yet know that it is 100% true.  I hope that Heavenly Father will teach me it is through my faith.

This past weekend was general conference.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland got up to speak, which I was so excited about because I had met him the month before.  In preparing for this general conference I had written down 2 questions. 1. Am I a good Mormon even though I have questions and doubts? 2. How can I grow my faith and learn to KNOW the truths of the things I doubt?

As the talk started I was instantly struck by his topic.  The topic of believing.  He told a story of a man who's son had died and Christ came to him.  He begged Christ to heal him and Christ asked him if he believed.  He said, Yay I believe, help thou thine unbelief.  It was beautifully poetic to me.  As this man is begging Christ to heal his son he is so humble to admit that he believes a little but he still doubts.  Immediately Christ raises his son from the dead.

We must always start with the things we know and go from there.  Don't worry about the things that you question and doubt, because those will come later.  Focus on your beliefs and what you know to be true.  Your Heavenly Father knows your heart as he knows mine and because we have faith in him and believe, he will teach us the things that we do not yet know.  He will mold and shape our hearts and minds if we stay faithful to him, and ask him with our sincere hearts to teach us the things we so desire.

I encourage you to seek out leaders who can answer your questions, and to realize just as I did yesterday, that you are not evil because you have questions about the church.  They are valid and important, and you need to get them answered so you can move on.  The greatest minds in the church are the ones who are continually learning and asking so that they can gain a better knowledge and faith to teach and help others.  

You are not alone in your quest, just as I know I am not.  I know that my Father in Heaven loves me and that through my work, faith, and diligence he is going to teach me that the things I question are either true or not.  Either way I believe in my church and I am happier when I am living the teachings of the Gospel vs. not.  He knows my heart.  He knows that I won't leave the church, and I know  that he will teach me so I can become a messenger in his hands.

Don't hate yourself because you don't know everything you want to.  Don't be angry that you question.  Have patience and faith and know that he is there.  Know that he hears you and loves you, and that he will answer your prayers.  You will be taught, and those things you believe will soon become things you know.