Thursday, January 19, 2012
How Are You Feeling Today?
It’s so much easier to talk and write about things that have occurred in the past, rather than how I’m feeling right now. I guess it is because the emotions are so real when I’m in the moment, as opposed to just remembering what and how I felt. That’s how it is with writing a blog. As I’ve written before, I began this blog thinking that tons of readers would share their personal experiences of how their trials have become places of holiness. While a few have shared such experiences, most of the posts, contrary to my well laid plans, have been up to me. I want my posts to be meaningful to my readers, and offer encouragement and hope. Therefore, I’m continually writing in my head about little things I notice or think of, but it’s a challenge to always feel like posting. Some days, I’m not happy. Some days I’m just plain discouraged or depressed. Who wants to share that side with the world? But, I’ve come to some realizations lately as I have done some self evaluating. I can’t always be on my game, and it’s alright to show that side of myself. Now, don’t worry. My posts aren’t all of a sudden going to me downers; however, I am going to try to share some feelings, thoughts, and emotions that I am currently feeling instead of the more comfortable experiences from the past. Most of the time, I do pretty well being happy, but then there are those other times. Being blind is inconvenient, but usually it doesn’t stand in my way much. Lately, however, I’ve struggled. It seems like the darkness I experience from blindness has gone deeper. It’s hard to throw off feelings of sadness and discouragement. I think there is a misconception that if you are faithful and righteous, you always feel happy. It is true that true joy comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ, and making wrong choices leads to misery. Yet, we aren’t promised that we will continually feel this massive feeling of happiness. There is definitely “opposition in all things” (2 Ne. 2:11), and there will be times when we feel sad or upset. That doesn’t mean we’ve lost our testimony, or done something incredibly wrong. It is just another chance to turn to Christ, to trust him, to need him. When I am down and need comfort, reassurance or strength, I love to read 2 Ne. 4. In this chapter, we see a different side of Nephi. We don’t see him with Laban’s sword, building a ship, or rebuking his brothers. We see the tender, vulnerable Nephi, who is turning to Christ for needed strength. He’s also reminding himself of the goodness of God, and talking himself through the feelings he has. This is a great example to me. Nephi, strong and mighty Nephi, the prophet that “will go and do” (1 Ne. 3:7), shows that it is alright to be sad. It is alright to realize how much we are in need of help from the Savior. I am so grateful that Nephi recorded his feelings, and taught us that his source for strength was Jesus Christ. Like Nephi, I know that Christ can lead us through the dark times. He experienced exactly what we now feel, and will continually be there to aid us in our journey to true joy. “O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.” “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” “Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen” (2 Ne. 4:3-35).