Monday, March 31, 2014

Where is your Faith?

As I sat in my big comfy chair in the early morning of this past Sunday, I was reading from "Jesus the Christ."  I try to study scriptures or church literature for a few hours every morning, but Sunday especially.  As I prayed that morning to be taught what I needed to, I was prompted to turn to a specific chapter.  That is when my answer came in the form of a question. "Where is your Faith?'

For about the last 2 months I have been really struggling with something.  I am dealing with an issue that pertains to my health, and how my health will be affected during the next few years of my life.  As I have stressed, and worried over this issue, I have been sent constant comfort and peace letting me know that it would all work out.  I don't know why I still allow it to bother me on a daily basis, when my Father in Heaven constantly comforts my fears, but I'm so grateful for his patience with me.

As  I read the Chapter "Peace, Be Still" it talks about when Jesus was on the boat with his disciples.  He's asleep when a horrible storm happens upon them.  The disciples are getting more and more afraid, until finally they awake the master in a panic. He instantly wakes up and calms the storm.  He then asks them, "Where is your Faith?"  I don't believe he is mocking them when he asks this, I think he is being loving and patient, asking them why on earth they would fret when he is with them?  Why would they allow their fears to overcome them.  At the same time, our Savior is so patient and loving, and knows that we are human.  I don't believe he was irritated with them in the least, in fact I believe he probably comforted them, and took a moment to teach them about Faith in Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior.

As I read this, my heart was filled with peace and comfort.  So clearly in my mind my Father asked me, "Jill, Where is your Faith?"  He then taught me a valuable lesson.  He taught me that he has sent me comfort and peace through the Holy Ghost, and has impressed upon my mind over and over the last few weeks that he is in control.  He has told me that things would be okay, and work out as they should.  He has constantly told me that I need to quiet my fears, and have Faith in him.  He also taught me that he loves me even though my Faith is lacking at times.  How patient he is with me for worrying, when I needn't.  

How often do we ask for peace, and then when it's sent, we dismiss it?  How often to we let our fears overcome us, and push out that sweet comfort from our Father?  We need to listen.  He need to heed his word, ask him for guidance, and then listen when he sends it.  In short, we need to have Faith in God.  Through him all things are possible.  He is in total control, and as long as we are doing the best we can, he will take care of the rest.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Eternal Marriage

I celebrated my 5 year anniversary this month. It's been the greatest 5 years of my life. Dave is the greatest man I've ever met, and there's not a day that goes by where I don't get on my knees and thank my Father for him. He is truly a gift from a loving father in heaven, and I'm so lucky to have him.

Marriage takes work; a lot of work. The work you do during marriage is the most rewarding work you will ever do. When Dave and I decided to get married we never expected to go through the things we've gone through. We never expected to almost lose each other a month after we said I do. We never knew that trials would be so hard that we had a choice to either turn away from one another or grow closer together. We never expected that this work, would make the greatest and most strong marriage either of us have ever seen.

A month after Dave and I were married I became deathly ill.  I had no insurance, and I ended up having to have 13 surgeries, and live in the hospital for 2 months.  After a year of fighting, and $300,000 of debt, we finally found a doctor that found out what was wrong, and saved my life.  He was willing to help us, and do my surgery with only a 10% chance that I would actually live through it. Dave and I were scared we were going to be torn a part and lose one another. The only peace we could find is knowing that we made a decision a year earlier to get married in the temple of God. We found comfort in the fact that no matter what happened, if I died during this surgery, we would be together for eternity because of the choices we had made earlier. Because we worked hard, and made up our minds that no other place would be okay for us, we were guaranteed eternal life with one another.

I think marriage is taken too lightly in the world today.  I think it's taken too lightly in the church as well.  I don't believe people truly prepare themselves for marriage, and focus on the huge commitment you are making to yourself, your spouse, and most importantly to God.  You are telling him that this is the person you want to spend eternity with.  No matter what happens in your life, you are not going to quit or give up.  You are going to work together, with God at the helm, and overcome everything that is thrown at you.  Together you can do anything.  This is something I have learned in the last 5 years.

No matter what trial Dave and I have been faced with, the money troubles, figuring out how to pay back the huge medical debt, or whether fighting for my life; we've done it together.  There is not a thing that happens in my day that I don't tell Dave about.  I don't keep things from him, and I'm honest about everything.  That's not always easy, but it's a promise that I made to him and myself the moment I told him I would marry him.  He promised me he would be patient, and forgiving.  I promised him that I would love him and trust him no matter what.  We promised to put the other person first, and always include them in every decision we make. If you do it together you can do anything.

Eternity is a long time.  You want to make sure that the decision you make to marry your spouse is one you are willing to make for eternity. Dave and I dated for a year and half. When I was going to therapy, my therapist told me that I should spend 4 full seasons with someone so I can see them in every phase. It was the best advice I ever got. Dave and dated for a long time in the church's eyes, but we had a very short engagement.  I wouldn't change a thing about anything we did.  We knew what we were getting into when we said "I Do."  We knew who the other person was, and we knew we didn't want to spend another day without them. We knew that we wanted to go at the rest of our lives together.

I'm always grateful that I married my best friend.  This was especially important after Dave and I found out that we would never have children. It was an extremely hard thing to hear, and deal with, but I knew it would be okay if we never had kids because he truly is my best friend.  I love every moment with him, and I never want to be away from him. I look forward and count down the hours until he walks through the front door. I treasure every evening that I spend with him just sitting next to me on his computer.  We don't even have to be talking, but just being in the same room as him is something I treasure.  We love having our hobbies, our friends, and our separate lives, but the life we have created together is the most special thing to both of us.

Our eternal marriage was the best decision I've ever made. That choice to not marry anywhere other than the temple, was the right decision for us.  It has brought us so much peace and comfort over the years.  To know that no matter what happens in this mortal life, I have him forever.  He is mine through the eternities.  What a beautiful promise, gift, and thought. I'm so thankful for that gift my father in heaven gave us because we made the choice to marry in his holy home.

These past 5 years have been amazing.  I know that there's not anything that could come up that Dave and I couldn't get through. Marriage is a beautiful, amazing, and special experience. I believe everyone should do it, if they find the right person. Dave is my everything. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have him, and I'm thankful that my Heavenly Father loved me enough to give me him, and bless me with the gift of having him for eternity.