2017, The Year of Me, Just Let it Be

2017, The Year of Me, Just Let it Be

I started this blog at the beginning of the year. I wasn’t sure why I was starting it. I was searching for something, just something to get myself out of the funk that I was in, I guess. The previous year had been a difficult year and I was just mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.  I was a shell of my former self.  So I started this blog, I think, hoping it would just create some sort of outlet for me to express myself, or hoping it would somehow fill that void. I was empty inside in every sense of the word. There just wasn’t anything left.  I know I haven’t written anything in about 6 weeks or so. I had tried to start writing something a couple of times but couldn’t finish them. I was trying to figure out why writing was so easy before and now it was just not there. I think the answer is that these last 4 months have been AMAZING! So much has happened and it’s happened so fast and there was almost too much to write about and of course some of it was just way to personal to blog about.

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As you may recall, if you’ve read the previous blogs, that I’ve taken a spiritual journey over the last 4 months. It’s been quite a ride. It started with a song and there is no end. The song was the catalyst that got the ball rolling and once the ball was rolling there was no stopping it. It just kept gaining momentum.  It’s hit a few bumps here and there, maybe got stuck in a couple of narrow passage ways, but it always broke free and kept rolling.

This year will go down in the history of my life as one of the best years ever. For one, a new President took office in January, one that this country really needed. A President who didn’t just talk the talk but walked the walk. He had a plan and started executing it on day 1. Hallelujah! Then of course there was the song that I performed with my dear friend Griffin, who is a genius with music, by the way. I started going back to my ward at church regularly, met with the Bishop, and now I have a calling in Primary. I seriously didn’t expect all of this when I agreed to sing the song. I had no idea that it would transform my life, like it did. I started reading the Book of Mormon daily and trying to pray daily (which is a bit of a challenge for me). Just doing these little things has made all the difference in my life. Fear has been replaced by Faith. While sometimes I do still worry and let fear take over, I find that I’m able to brush it aside much more quickly than I used to be able to. I don’t dwell on it too long anymore. That is the difference of faith over fear. You learn to just say that it will all work out somehow. If I do the things I know I’m supposed to and if I have done everything in my power to fix whatever the situation is, then at that point I’ve done all I can do and I can just let it go. Let it be so to speak.

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What I’ve learned is that the Lord never leaves me. Sometimes he doesn’t give you the answer you want or the answer you expected to get but he is always there and he always answers. Even if the answer is just no, and sometimes the answer is “let it be”.  I’ve learned that the power of the priesthood is absolutely a real thing. I’ve had more than one experience with the blessings received by the power of the priesthood. Who knew right?! I didn’t know, because the priesthood had pretty much always been absent from my home both as a child and as a grown up. So I didn’t really understand its true power until just this year. I’m so grateful for worthy priesthood holders who are willing to share their priesthood blessings with me when needed. It’s just been miraculous to see and to witness and to experience.

I realize that there is so much more to this gospel of Jesus Christ that I never really realized before. I’ve been a member my entire life and there are things that I didn’t understand until just this year. It’s like a light bulb came on and there it was. I have a testimony of the power of a Ward family who fellowships one another and who looks out for one another and who never turn down an opportunity to serve. Service is a huge thing that I think I was missing. I still don’t feel I have the opportunity to serve much yet, but I’m hoping to be able to serve more as time goes on. Accepting the primary calling is a start.

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I’ve learned that the Lord sometimes puts us in other people’s lives for a reason so that we can help that other person with something they are struggling with. It’s very divine and very orchestrated and once you stop and look back at it, there are no coincidences. Someone may be put in your life to help you or teach you something and you may be put in someone else’s life to do the same thing. It’s actually pretty inspiring to think about how God’s hand is in everything. I can definitely see how my life has been blessed this year. That’s not to say I haven’t had some very dark times or feelings this year, I have, but because people were put in my life this year to help me navigate that and to help me to not give up, I came through those brief dark times and gained strength and gained a testimony of the truth of the Gospel. I also gained a testimony of the power of the priesthood, the blessings of serving others, and probably most importantly that I am a divine daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me and who never gives up on me and who wants me to be happy and healthy and return to him one day. I gained a testimony of the power of the temple and the blessings afforded by the temple. I currently don’t have a valid recommend now, but I’m hoping to have one, hopefully this year. But regardless it will be in His timing, not mine.

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This year has been a year of self discovery for me. I’ve discovered things about myself that I didn’t even know. I always thought I knew myself pretty well, but there were things that were pushed down so deep that I didn’t even know they were there. So this year has also been me purging all of that. Just letting it go and getting rid of it. All the negativity, all the junk, all of the self-deprecating thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, just purged. Does that mean I’ll never feel those things again? Probably not, it just won’t hurt as much, if at all. I’ll still remember them, cause unfortunately the atonement doesn’t erase minds or memories, but I don’t have to feel bad about them anymore, it’s like remembering someone’s memories that aren’t your own. You sort of see it from an outside perspective after that. You know it was your memory but you don’t feel the pain that goes with the memory, it’s just that, a memory. Almost like it wasn’t you, and that is very powerful. Because it frees you, you don’t feel the weight of it anymore.  In fact, you didn’t even realize how heavy it was until you let it go.

I can’t change my past. But I don’t have to live in my past anymore. Because this year is all about me! And when the Spirit tells you to let it be…..trust me, just let it be……

Blessings of the Atonement -Are they Real?

Blessings of the Atonement -Are they Real?

YES! End of Blog!

Just kidding….the short answer is yes. The blessings of the Atonement are real. Absolutely. How do I know? Because I’ve lived it. If anyone who has read my blog and actually knows me, they know that I don’t blog about things I haven’t experienced or that I don’t have some experience with. As my blog states, everyone has an opinion, here is mine. So my opinion’s are very much derived from life experience. Also, if you’ve read my blog, you have seen somewhat of the journey I have taken since January. Not necessarily the specifics, but you get the gist.

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Here is what I know about the Atonement and blessings. I know that Jesus Christ selflessly died on the cross for our sins so that we can return to our Heavenly Father one day. I know that Heavenly Father sacrificed his son to do this for all of his spirit children. That is the basics of it anyway. The short answer of how we have the atonement. But what is the atonement? The Atonement is more than just the act of Christ saving us. It is the process by which we come unto him with broken hearts and contrite spirits. The process of recognizing our weaknesses so that he can turn them into strengths. The process of letting go of our pride and giving it up to Him. Letting Him shoulder our burdens so we don’t have to feel them alone. The atonement is so much more than just sinning and repenting. When you truly recognize the spirit in your life, when you finally realize that you are not ever left alone if you just submit to His will, you feel of his eternal, unconditional love for you. You realize that He never abandoned you, but that you walked away. He never left. You did. Once you recognize that even if you left, he is still there eagerly awaiting your return, you can fully appreciate the sacrifice, the love, the yearning that He has for you to recognize your true potential in his eternal plan. His plan is perfect, His timing is perfect, and you are perfect in His eyes. There is nothing you have done or could do in the future that He will not forgive. He will always forgive you. All you need do is ask, with a sincere and humble heart and He will give it freely.

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Once we have come to this place of a broken heart and contrite spirit, and we submit our Will to His. The blessings are poured out. It will be impossible not to see them. At least it was for me. It was impossible to see all of the miraculous things that happened as anything but divine intervention. I mean, there are coincidences and then there are miracles. So what’s the difference, well, for me it’s the timing of things. It’s how things appeared orchestrated from above and there being no way that many coincidences could happen all at once. But mostly, it’s the spirit testifying to you that these things are true. It’s the spirit telling you that this is His plan for you. I promise you that if you align your will with His, that you will see it. It will be impossible not to see it. That’s the best way I can describe it. It will just be undeniable. Things that used to be so important to you, that were not aligned with His will, will no longer seem important and you will naturally steer yourself away from them.  It will just happen so naturally.

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I used to think the atonement was this abstract concept that sounded nice in theory, or even sounded scary a bit. It was because I’d never really tried to use it. I mean I did, a few years ago I went to the bishop and confessed 20 years worth of sins and I felt better. I even went to the temple in 2010. I’ll be honest, I thought I was converted at that time. I thought, I made it to the temple.  A place I never thought I’d go. Truly, I never thought I’d make it there. But there I was taking out my endowments. It was a blessed day. My mistake was that I wasn’t really ready. Yes, I’d gone through what I thought was the repentance process. I thought I’d done what I was supposed to do and that I’d arrived. So why did it not work? Well, it did, in part. I was forgiven for my past sins. They were washed clean and I didn’t need to worry about them anymore. That was absolutely true. But what I lacked was the rest. By that I mean, I didn’t understand God’s plan for me. I didn’t understand that he would always be there for me. I didn’t understand how to earn a blessing. I didn’t.

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The stark difference now, is that I recognize (through the help of dear friends and the spirit) that I was so much more to my Heavenly Father than I realized. That He cared about me personally. That He had a divine plan for me. That He allowed me to go through some things alone so that when I was ready, I could feel His full power, and the spirit in all it’s glory. Had I not taken a different path to get there, I would not have recognized it. Sometimes, He let’s us stray. I didn’t understand that. I always thought, why would He let me go so far off course without warning me? And to be fair, maybe he did and I ignored it. But I also think, sometimes He let’s us stray enough to see the other side of things, so that we recognize the truth more when we see it. It’s kind of like when you tell a child not to touch a hot stove and they reach out and touch it anyway. Why? Because a hot stove to a child is an abstract concept. They don’t know what hot is, so unless they touch it and feel that hot burns, they don’t get the concept of “hot”. I think it’s the same with our Heavenly Father, sometimes, He let’s us touch the stove because then, we know for ourselves and the idea isn’t abstract anymore. But, just like when your kids burn themselves on the stove, they come to you to heal them. To make it better. Heavenly Father does the same for us. He heals our souls when we have touched the stove and need to be healed. The atonement is the healing power. The blessings are that, while our Heavenly Father grieves with us over our pain, He doesn’t say, I told you so. He just applies the healing power of the spirit, and then blesses us with peace, with support, with all the things we need to get better and to stay better. Those blessings are absolutely real.

I know that these things are true. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and blesses my life daily. I feel his love for me. I feel how He is rejoicing for me right now for finally not touching the hot stove. For turning to Him so he can heal me. If you haven’t felt the blessings of the atonement in your life, you should try it! It absolutely works and I have a testimony of that. I know the stove is hot now! Don’t touch it!