Monday, September 24, 2018

Three Life Lessons

Life lessons:

There is not enough time in 24 hours for me to accomplish all that I need to do. I cannot help my children learn their ABC’s while also teaching them to share while also cleaning the kitchen while also going grocery shopping while also cleaning their bums while also...This is where we learn to lean on the Lord. At the end of the day, when my kids say their prayers at night, I know I’ve focused on what was the most important, and that is developing a healthy relationship with their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I want my kids to learn and value education—which they will. But more than that, if they can only learn one thing each day, I hope it’s that they are a Child of God. They are loved beyond measure. We are here on earth for so much more than learning to count to ten, than becoming famous, or for making lots of money. I hope they never lose sight of their divine potential and purpose.
I’ve learned that people do not want to see the icky side of life. Eons ago I sought support when I was dealing with a loved one immersed in addiction, an abusive adulterer who others saw as charming, funny, and giving. Our own bishop washed his hands of us. It was heartbreaking. I was alone. I wasn’t out to paint this man as a bad guy, I simply needed comfort for the truths of what was happening behind closed doors. No one believed me, and even went as far as defending this man in the public eye. It wasn’t until years later that by his own admission people realized all I’d said was true, but it was too late. I’ve always wondered if healing would’ve come sooner if I’d gotten more help. More recently, I’ve sought similar support for my tattered relationships and have discovered that some of the atrocities are so ugly, 9 times out of 10 people bury their head in the sand instead of helping. It is often TOO painful to acknowledge. How could someone so smiley and bright on the outside be so manipulative and conniving behind closed doors??? The evils are just TOO awful. People don’t really purposefully hurt each other, do they? Good men don’t cheat, do they? Parents don’t abandon their children, do they? Church going Christians don’t lie and steal, do they??? This is where we learn to lean on the Lord. He is the ultimate comforter and supporter, and He is the safest place we can go to when we need a Listening Ear. He gives wise counsel and bears our burdens when humans are fallible and fragile. I understand now that even when I’m advised by a counselor to seek a mentor and sponsor, humans can not be relied upon to bear the burdens of eternal consequence. My Savior is there for that. It isn’t fair at times to place those heavy truths on the minds of mortals. It isn’t fair to taint their perspective or deprive them of the innocent perspective they have of others. We don’t have to be alone, we have God.

Last, I’ve learned that God will send us through the tests we least desire & are least capable of passing. This is where we learn to Lean on the Lord. He makes more of us than we ever thought possible. On my own, I am not equipped to handle the battles I face, but when I put more faith and trust in God and Christ, I find talents and skills emerge that I didn’t know I had. My strength doubles. My fear abates. I’ve walked through the fires that scared me the most, I felt the flames lick my skin, and I thought I’d been scorched to the point of permanent scarring. I had two basic deal breakers. In my mid twenties I realized that I’d been through a lot of the icky stuff (that most people bury their heads in the sand over) and it had helped me be stronger in “choosing my battles”. I’ve witnessed women break down in tears over children who misbehave during sacrament meeting at church. I’ve felt compassion for them because I know that there are so many bigger things to be fretting about, and God has refined me because I was ready. I was born ready. I faced things as a child most people won’t even face in adulthood. God has obviously treated me as a born soldier. He prepared me in the pre existence. I didn’t know it for a long time, and sometimes I still doubt it. But through the atonement of my Savior, I’ve seen a growth and a power that was not present before I faced these battles. He has consecrated my afflictions for my good. I will forever be thankful for that.

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