I have had a difficult time writing this week. My feelings have been all blocked up for a number of reasons, which I won’t go into. But it has been difficult for me to say anything because my emotions are all tied up and my brain was in a fog, meaning I couldn’t really think and write because then I might have to feel. You know how that is? You probably don’t. You are probably much more in touch with your feelings than I am.
But neither here nor there. I am working through my feelings and figuring out what I am thinking and why. It is a painful, time consuming and difficult process. So between that and trying to keep my seminary class afloat, my brain and abilities have been consumed.
|copyright: Karen Larsen photography|
Today I attended General Women’s Meeting. Good grief, I love that meeting!! It makes me feel whole! I always come away uplifted and hopeful and like I can conquer the world!! And then to do it with a few of my sisters in Christ, who live here in my area and are trying to build the kingdom with me, I just feel so loved and supported! When I look at the congregation in the Conference Center and see all of those women, and then think about all of those sisters who are gathered in all of the meeting houses all across the globe, gathered to watch that meeting, I recognize that I am not alone in my thoughts or trials! There are millions of other women trying to live the same standards that I live, love and support!! What a motivating meeting!
At the end, I LOVED President Uchtdorf’s story and totally saw myself in the story. I will try to see if the link is up yet, but good grief! I am totally Ava. There are plenty of things the I think the Lord wants me to do and I DO NOT want to go and visit my Old Aunt Rose, no matter what! And then I have an attitude while I am doing what I am told. And then it takes me a long time to change my attitude about what I have been asked to do. But when I keep doing it, eventually I see the blessings of having been obedient and doing what was asked, in spite of my attitude! I must be 11 too!!
But mostly, I wanted to touch on Sister Wixom’s talk. She spoke about our divine nature, each and every one of us! (The links aren’t out yet, but when they are, I will stick them in.) I will paraphrase badly, since I don’t have the exact quote, but loosely, she said, We identify our divine nature as we give and receive love. I didn’t put it in quotes because I am sure those are not the right words. But basically, as we learn to love others, we find ourselves. And, this she did say, “When we doubt our divine nature, we should kneel down and ask, ‘Am I really thy daughter? and Dost Thou love me?’ ” Heavenly Father, our Heavenly Father knows each and every one of us. Though He has created and peopled more worlds than the sands of the sea, yet He is aware of each and every sparrow that falls, and more–He knows and loves each and every one of us regardless of our sins, abilities, race, color, religion. Whether you believe in Him or not, He believes in you. It just really hit me tonight. There are so many places and times and reasons why we distance ourselves from God and forget who we are and how He feels about us. If we would just remember, just reach out, just ask Him when we forget……..
When we remember and know we are His children, His child whom He loves and knows, we have self-esteem because we not only have the ability to become like Him, but we know we have His help in becoming what we need to be. We can conquer the world, literally and receive our exaltation and eternal life. Because we know He is there and He will compensate for our weaknesses if we will just ask for His help and then do what He says. It is not a difficult formula. Difficult application? Sure. But the formula is easy. So why do we fight it so hard? Why don’t we just believe Him and act in faith, like a child? Why do we have to fight and have an attitude and throw our little tantrum?
Maybe you don’t. But I do. And they are not usually little tantrums, there are pretty big and loud, even though I do not usually share them with the world at large.
Today the Spirit was so strong and I felt so uplifted that I even went up and hugged Sister P and asked her how things were going for her. That is a major accomplishment, for me, not her. I really do love her. Sometimes I am just done with her antics and then I am not nice to her. True story. I don’t mean to be mean. I am just intolerant and that hurts her feelings. I could be nicer, since God loves her too. Maybe I should try a little harder?
The other thing Sister Wixom said was that “Once we see the divine nature in ourselves, we will see it in others”. I totally know that is true! And it is validated in the story Enos, where after he receives forgiveness for his sins, it is then that his heart is turned to his brethren, first the Nephites (people he lives with) and then the Lamanites (his enemies). He recognizes their divine natures and desires them to have the same blessings he has. I know God loves me! I know He hears my prayers and is aware of my struggling and my feelings, blocked or not. I know I have worth in His sight! Tonight I wanted Sister P to have those things too. I know she struggles with her self-esteem and loving others, because she is afraid. But since God will compensate for her weaknesses, if she knows He loves her, she doesn’t have to be afraid of other people and she can learn to love them.
|copyright: Karen Larsen photography|
In seminary this week we had an amazing discussion on Friday! I am always excited when I feel like the class has stuff to say and things they want to contribute. They share themselves, which is a scary thing for teenagers. But sometimes we have the right atmosphere in our class and people feel comfortable sharing their private thoughts and feelings. As we do that, we reach into the core of their souls and help to lift them to a little higher place of understanding. Friday, we did that for those who were there. Not everyone was there. My heart wants all of my students to feel that way. But I cannot override their agency. There is something they have to bring to the table. And if I don’t ask them to make some kind of a sacrifice and bring it, then the reward for doing it never materializes in their hearts. However, Friday they made those sacrifices and were uplifted.
The other thing that happened tonight that I found amusing was someone told me they had heard though the rumor mill that my family was moving from the area. Maybe someone read my ‘maybe moving’ posts and didn’t quite understand them? I hadn’t even thought of that before I was typing this……Man the people here can really talk. Two months ago the rumor was that I was pregnant. I thanked the woman who shared the rumor with me and let her know it wasn’t true. We are not moving, and we are not pregnant. So funny. Then we had a discussion as to why we might be the subject of the rumor mill. I will save those speculations for another post and another topic.
Anyway, just know that God loves you. He hears your prayers. He knows where you are and what you need. He will help you, if you will listen and talk to Him.