Thursday, June 6, 2013

Finding the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hey there friends! 
It's been a while, but I'm back for a quick post!
I've finished my first draft of my book and hope to
be able to find more time to dedicate to writing here.

I've been looking back the last few days at how far I have come.
It's kind of crazy to think about where I've come from
and how different my outlook on life has changed.
Yes I still sometimes fall back into my old patterns,
but the thing about that is that now I can
recognize that I'm doing it and
if I choose I can take out some tools
to shift myself back to my new perspective.

The school year for me is winding up in the next few weeks.
I am not going to lie and tell you it has been
the most amazing year I've ever had.
I have spent a lot of time in the last 10 months
complaining and complaining a lot.
I forgot what I knew to be truth,
and instead went back to my old patterns
of eating, talking, and thinking.
Isn't that how it goes?
We're going on through life and doing well.
We've grown as much as we can.
Heavenly Father wants us to keep progressing
and knows that in order to do that
we need a new learning opportunity.

Learning opportunities come in all shapes and sizes.
For me it came in the shape
of an eight year old boy with a big heart
and no ability to control his behavior.
I don't know if he's really learned much this year,
but he has been an instrument in teaching me a lot.

One of the biggest things that I learned
was that I can't do it all by myself.
I need help from others who
have more knowledge than I do.
I get to ask for help.
Even more importantly I need my Savior's help!
And He's there just waiting for us to ask for assistance!
I truly came to see my own nothingness,
and realize on a deeper level that
there was only one way to overcome my weakness--
I had done all I could do under my own power.
All I had left to do was take my weak humble self to the Savior
and have faith in the enabling power of the Atonement
to make up the difference.
To "make weak things become strong" (Ether 12:27).

I can't say the situation really got better with this student,
but I was strengthened to be able to handle the situation better.
I truly learned that
"I can do all things through Christ which
strengtheneth me." (Phil. 4:13)
The Savior has enough grace and mercy and love
to make up for our weaknesses and shortcomings.
He is just waiting for us to admit to our
great need for his help.

Another small, but very important thing
I've been reminded of
is how important it is to be
grateful for all the small things.
In 1 Nephi 1:20 we read,
"...but behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."
I know I've written about tender mercies before.
This past year I have looked more closely for them in my life.
Every night I sit down and write in my journal.
I ask myself a couple of questions (from here).
Did God send a message that was just for me?
Did I see His hand in my life?
These questions have led me to
see the small and often missed
blessings that I receive daily.
The tender mercies that are
as little notes sent daily
of God's love for me,
reminding me that He is there
and that I am a choice daughter
with a divine nature.

As I've been writing my book these last three months,
I've been reminded of some pretty amazing
experiences I've had in my life.
The other day I was thinking about darkness
and was reminded of a place I visited in China.
I wish I could remember where exactly it was,
but I didn't write it down.
Wherever it was,
my friends and I went on a tour of
a cave that went deep into a mountain.
We walked down into this cave
and saw many beautiful rocks and crystals
that you often find in caves.
We stepped into one of the larger caverns that was lit by many lights.
To show how dark caves can be,
the tour guide turned off the lights in the cavern.
We were completely surrounded by darkness.
I can't even give you a good description of it.
It was suffocating.  I literally couldn't breathe.
And then the tour guide turned on a small flashlight.
It was amazing how that small light
could light up that large space
helping us to see the beauty
that surrounded us in that room.

I think this is a great reminder of our lives.
We live in troubling times with wars, rumors of wars,
natural disasters and many other evils surrounding us.
Many times it feels as if we are
standing in a dark tunnel with not even an ounce of light.
We get so focused on things we have no control over.
The darkness surrounding us is our fears.
It is overwhelming and can be suffocating.
Many of us become depressed
and/or shut down and do nothing.
The thing we need to remember is that we
"...have not come this far save it were
by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in Him,
relying wholly upon the merits of Him
who is mighty to save" (2 Nephi 31:19).

There is a Man standing in the cave with us.
Holding a flashlight.
He's just waiting for us to humble ourselves and
ask in faith for Him to shine light on our path.
Then He will deliver us from the darkness.

"...behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in ALL cases among the children of me, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him" (Mosiah 29:20).

I know that as we humble ourselves
and place our lives in His hands,
we will be led by His light during
the dark times of our lives
and we will find happiness, peace
and Love as we have faith.

Meg :0)