Its interesting what being across the country and unable to contact the people you’ve always relied on when you’re in distress will do to you.
This past week I’ve thought often of those moments on my mission when I felt as if the world was going to end and my heart was going to explode. I had two choices, turn to God and wok it out or give up and go home to the safety of those who love me. I’m ashamed of how often I’ve neared the edge of giving up. Sometimes it took several days of moping before I finally fell onto my knees. Sometimes I reached out to everyone except God trying to get answers to questions only He could answer.
This is not a problem singular to missionaries. At some point in each of our lives our support system of family, friends, and loved ones will be torn away and we will have to make a choice, turn to God or throw in the towel.
I know if we learn to turn to God first then when our support system is stripped away we will know what to do. Support systems are great! I love my family! But my capacity to endure trials and tests cannot depend on them because ultimately there are three people in this world we can rely on who will ALWAYS be there; God our Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and ourselves.
Before my mission I thought that list was much bigger. If I was having a hard day one of the first things I did was text my mom or call a friend. Then after I worked through my problems with them maybe I would go to God if it was still bothering me. That was most definitely backwards. It should be the other way around, but the truth is…I knew who Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father were, but I didn’t know them.
Being alone and facing some of the greatest difficulties of my life has given me an opportunity to reach out to Heavenly Father and talk to Him like I would talk to my mom or a friend. And in the process of doing that I have come to know Him and His Son. So let me introduce you!
First, to my best friend. His name is Jesus Christ. Also commonly known as The Savior of the world. He understands me like no one else ever could. I don’t have to explain why I’m having a hard time because He’s been there and He gets it! He bears my burdens when I’m feeling too weak to do it myself (which is always) and He helps me cast out doubt, fear, anger, and grief. He makes me smile. His peace rubs off on me and when I’m around Him I can’t help but feel like everything is going to be ok.
He is my way to Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father listens to me better than anyone….even when I tire Him with the same questions over and over. He counsels me on how to address challenges and He helps me understand the scriptures. I’ve never had a better teacher or coach. He sees something in me I rarely see in myself and pushes me to become that. When He gets after me for doing something wrong I never feel beat down or discouraged, but determined to do better. He accepts my sincere apologies for when I do something disobedient and always welcomes me back with warms arms and the constant encouragement, “Move forward with faith.”
Wouldn’t we all run to someone who could tell us exactly what we need to hear in order to get through what feels like Hell? Wouldn’t we all pay whatever we had to feel perfect peace? God really is the one with all the answers. He’s given us His Son and the Gospel and they truly will get us through anything. Many of us are fortunate to be surrounded by loved ones, family members, and friends. But lets be careful not to rely on them before we rely on God. If we build our foundation on Christ we will never fall (Heleman 5:12).
I love you all so much and I love my family. I feel so blessed to honestly say I love and trust my Savior and Heavenly Father in the very same way. With God as our guide I know everything will always work out no matter how daunting our struggles may seem. Instead of getting scared of what lies before us we will feel inclined to say, “Where’s the mountain and whats the record?”
The Rt. 11 annual yard crawl! A yard sale that stretches over 50 miles from Stephens City to New Market!