Usually this would be something I would post on my other blog, but since it relates so closely with the things that have been happening in my life, I figured it would be best here.
The other night I was having a really difficult time. I’ll admit it. I have anxiety issues. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can’t really sleep (like tonight). I needed to go to bed, but I still wanted to talk to Heavenly Father and read in my scriptures. So, I prayed.
It’s funny how sometimes when I am tired my mind seems to open more and I’m able to be more honest with myself and with God. I know he already knows everything about me and that I don’t even need to say anything for him to know what’s going on, but talking to him really does give an outlet for personal discovery.
That night, I asked him why I had to go through this stuff. Why I am having such a hard time dealing with certain things.
With my eyes wet, I opened my Book of Mormon to Ether chapter 6. And holy cow, it hit me hard.
(If you are unfamiliar with the book of Ether, I encourage you to read it.)
The story in this chapter follows the Jaredites’ voyage to the Promised Land. They had these barges that were so well made that water couldn’t get into them, even when they were submerged in it. Some of the verses hit me as I could see them as an allegory for my situation.
“3. And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.”
The light that I have to guide me is my testimony of my savior, and the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father gave them to me.
“5. And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
6. And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.”
I feel like we often forget that the adversity we have to deal with is usually the exact thing that we need in order to keep moving forward. The issues I am dealing with are pushing me to the place that I need to be.
“7. And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.”
They had hard times. I have hard times. The Lord protected them and pulled them out of the water deep. He can and has pulled me out of the deep depression cycle I get into at times.
“8. And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.”
Sometimes, it will feel like the trials never end. Adversity and opposition will always be there.
“9. And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto to Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.”
They sang. I love singing. It kept their spirits up, and it heals mine.
“10. And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water of under the water.”
If I keep my testimony bright, I’ll be safe. I can be in the deep, but that doesn’t have to mean I will drown in it.
“11. And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water.
12. And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.”
The Jaredites couldn’t see where they were going. All they had was faith that the Lord would get them to the place they needed to be. They didn’t have a map, or even a window just to see what the path in front of them looked like. Just like me. At times, I don’t know where I’m going or even which way is up sometimes. I just try to have faith that the Lord will carry me to where I need to be. When I get there, I know that I will be able to see that all of the trials I am facing were to help me get there, to my own personal promised land.
With this incredible answer to my prayer, I also got a little bit of a glimpse of my future:
“13. And it came to pass that they went forth upon the face of the land, and began to till the earth.”
The light at the end of this particular tunnel in my life does not simply lead to greener pastures where I will have all the peace and happiness I can handle. There will still be work to do. I’ll have to learn how to navigate the new experiences and challenges that come with whatever is the next step in my life.
The good thing is that I’m getting there. My perspective is changing and things do seem a bit brighter. I’m taking it one tiny step at a time. And when you pray for understanding, you just might get it.