Sunday, June 9, 2013

Reaching for the light

These past few months have been a constant battle of ups and downs.  I hope it is ok to bare my soul a little bit here.  I have battled depression before, but this time around has been so different.  I would go back and forth between feeling peace and happiness, and then feeling so completely sad that I didn't seem to care about anything anymore.  I felt darkness.  I felt extreme anxiety, guilt, and sadness.  Every little mistake I made felt like I had committed some horrible sin.  I tried everything I could think of  to live my life righteously, knowing that if I kept holding onto that, surely I could receive heavenly help to pull out of this funk.  Finally, I realized that I was fighting Satan.  I was having a hard time opening my heart during my prayers.  I often wondered if they ever made it passed the ceiling.  I literally could not feel the spirit anymore.  At church, I felt this wall blocking it out, keeping me from feeling the spirit there.  When I read the scriptures, I felt guilt, instead of their power.  I stopped seeing the blessings I know were surrounding me daily.  It was so hard to fight this.  So hard.  I have never felt this way before.
Finally, I realized what I needed to do.  I poured my heart out to Heavenly Father.  I told him that I was not strong enough to fight this.  I could not carry out my responsibilities as a wife and mother constantly feeling this way.  I needed His help to remove this burden from my heart, that I would not feel it anymore.  I acknowledged that only Satan could make me feel this way, and I needed Heavenly Father's love and support to rise above.  He did answer my prayer almost immediately.  I felt at peace for the first time in months.  I was able to be happy and see clearly.  I was able to enjoy the blessings that were all around me.  I had put off re-reading this conference talk by Elder Uchtdorf, "The Hope of God's Light."  For some reason, I had felt afraid.  But I finally read it when some of this darkness cleared, and I can't help but feel it was meant for me.  I am going to include some of it here:

There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you. You may feel burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things.1 It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.
This is “the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” which gives “light to every man that cometh into the world.”2

First, start where you are.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father? We don’t have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God’s blessings. In fact, the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven begin to distill upon us with the very first steps we take toward the light.
The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now. It doesn’t matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul.5 The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come.
Second, turn your heart toward the Lord.
Lift up your soul in prayer and explain to your Heavenly Father what you are feeling. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Pour out your heart and express your gratitude. Let Him know of the trials you are facing. Plead with Him in Christ’s name for strength and support. Ask that your ears may be opened, that you may hear His voice. Ask that your eyes may be opened, that you may see His light.
Third, walk in the light.
Your Heavenly Father knows that you will make mistakes. He knows that you will stumble—perhaps many times. This saddens Him, but He loves you. He does not wish to break your spirit. On the contrary, He desires that you rise up and become the person you were designed to be.
To that end, He sent His Son to this earth to illuminate the way and show us how to safely cross the stumbling blocks placed in our path. He has given us the gospel, which teaches the way of the disciple. It teaches us the things we must know, do, and be to walk in His light, following in the footsteps of His Beloved Son, our Savior."

This talk made me feel like I wasn't alone.  Surely there were others out there struggling with this.  And the answer to my problem is so simple.  Turn to the Savior.  He is the true Light of the world.  I can't believe I had forgotten it, and how the Savior had carried me so many times before.  Why would this time be any different?  And as soon as I asked for Him to remove this burden, He took it.  He carried it for me.  We are so blessed to have the knowledge of the Gospel.  I can't imagine facing my trials without this knowledge.  I would be lost without it.  I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for not giving up on me while I struggled to find my way.  I am so grateful to my Savior for lifting me when I couldn't stand on my own.  I hope that this can help someone else who may feel this way at times too.  And of course, here is my token song to go along with my post.  Click on the link below:

1 comment:

  1. Hey girl, So wow! call...Well it's probably because I'm extremely busy with all that I do. anyways so our lesson in Relief Society was about Lorenzo Snow and talking about not my will, but thine be done. Your not a failure, and there can never be failure when our hearts are turned to the Savior. I'm so glad to see that you didn't give up and that you did what most of us should do in those moments of heartache. Way to go to turn to the Lord, he is the best right? I know your girls can learn from this experience that you have faced, and that you are teaching by example through living the gospel and going to the lord. Thank you for all you do. Remember life sucks at times, but as long as we are on the straight and narrow path our life is bliss. :)