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Towards the end of 2013, John Bytheway and I flew together to Temecula, CA and both spoke at a Mid Single's Conference. He told me a story that I will never forget, and by 'never forget' I mean, I mostly forgot the story, but not the message, haha (My apologies to John for butchering your story).
He told me of when he was younger and he was having a particularly hard time and he spoke with, I think was his Bishop, and his Bishop told him, "Don't worry John, this will pass." And he was right! The next day John Bytheway felt much better and he was filled with comfort and understanding and happiness! He happened to see his Bishop that day and he said, "Bishop, you're right! It did pass!" And his bishop responded, "John, this, too, shall pass." And so it is with life! Filled with really incredible days. Days where you achieve much, and give & receive much. Days where you feel unstoppable and productive. Days where you feel strong. Happy. Days where you feel particularly close to the Lord and His spirit. And then there are those difficult days. Weak days. Sick days. Lonely days. Stressful days. Days that leave you drained. Days where guidance and the spirit are hard to, not only feel, but to have energy or faith to even seek out. Days where you wonder where God is and question His hand in your life. Theme of life, yes. But also the theme of particularly my past 2 months. I have a confession... I am weak. And the past almost 2 months I have felt, more times then not, at my weakest.
Almost every day has been a challenge for me lately. Days of doctor trips, hospital trips, migraines, days off from work and weekends spent on the couch. Days where I was too sick to read scriptures and sometimes even pray. And days where I felt all I did was pray. Most days filled with frustration and discouragement. Frustrated with myself. Frustrated with my efforts. Days I was frustrated with God. Days where I would yell at Him. Mad at Him. Confused. Days it was a battle to hold back tears. Days that left me drained and achy. Every day thinking that the only solution to stop these health and personal complications was having our baby Gracie born. But each day and each week that passed, that didn’t happen and things didn’t change. Hard things will not just go away, (obviously), but also not only will they not go away, they may not seem to get better, either. Sometimes, (most times), they will last longer than you may feel you have the faith to last. It wasn't until the other day as I looked back and reflected on everything I’ve been going through and feeling that I realized something…
Relief doesn't have to be postponed until a trial is over, but can come with a change of mindset. A mindset of hope, one that seeks and notices the small but significant blessings from God saying He's there. A mindset and realization that you're still here. You're still standing, and you are not broken. A mindset that allows yourself to have open eyes that see past our narrow & mortal desires and see that even our loneliest and hardest days are, in fact, rich with direction & guidance to move you forward- not backwards- on the path God has for us to the best and most fulfilling journey. I have a confession…
I am weak. I am far from strong. I struggle. But I am oh so happy. A real happiness.
"Love where you are." A perfect reminder when things are hard to not spend your time looking ahead pleading for things to be over and things to be different. But just to stop. Stop looking backwards. Stop yearning and waiting forwards. Today, where you are right now, is a joy. Because today, right now, is the best place to be. Because happiness does await us in this day. Because His blessings & promises are here, right now. His love and blessings are not withheld from us just because we are at a different phase of our life. They are not withheld from us if sometimes we are not as strong as we have been or could be. They are not, nor ever will be, if we are not as good as we know we can and should be. No matter what we have, or don't have—no matter what we can do, or can't do— good times or bad, joy comes now. Happiness is in today. Because God is always mindful of us. Always there for us. Always waiting for us. Always loving us. Today- comfort and answers and strength and happiness and a chance to change and a chance to become better are available. So smile! And tomorrow smile, too. Because today, tomorrow and everyday after that we have all that we need available to us—because of Christ. If we turn to Him. If we seek Him out. Never are we alone. Never are you alone. Heavenly Father is constantly there. Constantly guiding. Constantly leading. Constantly teaching. Constantly helping. Hold to hope. Always look to God. Always allow yourself to seek and listen for the strength and progression that is surely there, daily, particularly in those hard times. And those times you may feel you are at your weakest will prove to be when you are at your strongest and prove to be some of your most sacred and rich times.
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