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Choice. That's what life is about. We always have a choice in life - no matter the circumstance (even if we are only left with a choice to forgive). All choices have consequences. Some good - some not. And what we learn from these consequences creates who we are. Return to www.choicesthatchangeyou.com

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Journey in the Wilderness

As I was reading my scriptures this morning I immediately turned to a random chapter and started reading. I felt like it was telling me some very specific things and I would like to share them with you.

1Nephi 17:1
"...we did take our journey in the wilderness... And we did travel and wade through much affliction..."

Not only is life a journey by itself but we also have several smaller journeys that we experience within our life. Sometimes the greatest journeys that we have are the ones inspired of God. Although we are not asked to literally travel into the wilderness we are quite often led to do things that lie within the unknown or that seem extremely difficult and scary. How many times does God give us personal commandments? Such as when He prompts you to do something very specific and you know you need to do it?

In 1Nephi 17:3 it continues:
"And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them..."

This also reminds me of the scripture in 1Nephi 3:7 where it says "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

From these verses we begin to know:
1- That we will all have periods where God leads us on a journey into the wilderness
2- We will have much affliction and it will not be easy (after all the wildnerness can be wild, untamed, unknown, and scary)
3- If we keep the commandments, he will nourish and strengthen us
4- He will never ask us to take that journey without also providing a way to accomplish this commandment

In verse 4 it says that they traveled EIGHT years before they got to the land Bountiful. EIGHT YEARS! Okay, I confess. There are things that God has asked me to do and I get impatient after a few months! I had to really look at my faith. I also had to wonder, how many times the people traveling with Nephi questioned when or if they would ever get out of the wilderness? If I know that God wants me to do something, why do I quickly get impatient and doubt that it will come to pass? And why when things get difficult do I sit there and think that it should be easy? I mean, hello? Wilderness does not mean 'taking a walk in the park'.

After they arrived in Bountiful, the Lord told Nephi to (in verse 8) to "construct a ship... that I may carry thy people across these waters". Talk about scary and unknown!!

Now that Nephi knows his mission he starts to build it. Then everyone around him tells him "you're a fool" "you can't do it" "who do you think you are to think that you can build a ship?!" (verses 17-18)

Then Nephi begins to be sad because of the hardness of his family's hearts and for their lack of faith. When his family sees this they say "we knew you were lacking in judment" "we knew you couldn't build a ship" (verses 19-20)

Albert Einstein once said "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Have you ever felt this? I know I have. Sometimes when I have shared my grand dreams with others they quickly shut me down or spew some kind of negativity at me. It's feels as if I have found a way out of a deep, dark pit but they do not want me to leave them in that pit - so they pull on my leg, tell me things to try to scare me, or try any other desperate attempt to bring me back down.

I have also noticed a pattern through the scriptures - God takes us through the wilderness to get us to where He wants us to be. It is the also referred to as the 'refiner's fire'. It reminds me of our body. Many times when we are healing from an injury, scar tissue builds up where the injury once was. The purpose is to make the area stronger than it was before. This is the same principle us. When we heal from something difficult, we can learn and experience things that will teach us very valuable lessons and certainly strengthen us more than if it had never happened in the first place.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When Choosing is Hard...

As you may know, I have been working on a book (actually 3 that build upon one another). I felt such divine inspiration for these books and then a couple months ago the inspiration just sort of halted. I kept moving forward and making a little progress but nothing was coming out right.

I have also been having a few family and financial struggles that have been a bit overwhelming. Feelings of failure and inadequacy keep creeping into my heart and mind. I'll shake them off for a while but they keep coming back.

So I pray... I pray for help, guidance, strength, confirmation, comfort, miracles... and nothing. I have faith that everything will work out the way it should and in the time that God wants it to. I turn to the scriptures for guidance:

"Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you"

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?"

"...faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

I keep having faith... and keep having faith... and keep praying... and keep praying... and nothing - not even peace and comfort.

I have felt abandoned and ignored. Depression and hopelessness has started to creep in - feelings that I have not felt to this extreme in years. It has felt like someone is screaming in my face "Give up" "Who do you think you are?" "You can't do it" "You are failing at everything" "No one wants to hear what you have to say" "Everyone else is loved in this world - but not you"

Last night was one of the worst. We live with my father and in the basement there is a room that we use for a playroom with all of the kid's toys in it. Well, my brother is coming home from his mission and that is going to be his room. So we are deep cleaning all of the bedrooms and purging all the things we don't use to make room for the things from the basement. Plus, my mom has been decorating for Christmas (which is HUGE and very messy) so there are little pine needles and other stuff ALL over the carpet. The carpet cleaners were going to come the next day, which was also my daughter's birthday, and I was completely stressed. It was physically impossible for me to do all the things I would need to in time. I got frustrated and stomped out of the house barefoot and sat in the car.

I started to cry (more like wail) and pray. Admittedly, it wasn't a nice prayer. I was hurt and angry and I felt alone. I asked things like "Why have I been left alone?" "Why are you not answering me?" "Do you love me? "Do you even care?" I was angry. I had been trying to do EVERYTHING God wanted me to do, so why have I been ignored?

I finally calmed down and went inside. I showered and put the kids to bed. I grabbed my scriptures (trying to find some peace or at least an answer) but nothing really stood out. I listened to my Ipod trying to find music to uplift me. Nothing was really answering my prayer. I turned out the lights, hopped in bed, and put my earphones back in so I could listen to relaxing music to put me to sleep.

All of a sudden, my Ipod skipped. It was strange because it skipped to something completely unrelated to what I was listening to. Even when I looked at the playlist that was still showing, that song was NOT on it. This was so strange, that I decided to listen to see what it said. Here are the words to that song:

Because I Love You

I got your letter [however, in my mind I heard prayer]
From the postman just the other day
So I decided to write you this song
Just to let you know
Exactly the way I feel
To let you know my love’s for real

Because I love you
And I’ll do anything
I’ll give you my heart, my everything
Because I love you
I’ll be right by your side
To be your light, to be your guide

If you should feel
That I don’t really care
And that you’re starting to lose ground
Just let me reassure you
That you can count on me
And that I’ll always be around

Because I love you
My heart’s an open door
…Won’t you please come on in
Because I love you
I’ll be right by your side
To be your light, to be your guide
Because I love you
I’ll be right by your side
To be your light, to be your guide

Waves of love started to pour upon me. Tears flowed from eyes and I knew that God did care, and I was not alone, and that he loved ME very much.