For those of you who read my "Thoughts from Savasana" post - you know that last week I experienced an image of myself at 8 years old walking around the church parking lot with my dad the night I was baptized and confirmed. This image brought to mind so many things: My relationship with my father. The decision I made to be baptized that night. The realization that this really was MY CHOICE and not something I should do just because it was expected. The reassurance that this was really what *I* wanted. The spiritual experience I had later that night that served as a witness to me that I had made the right decision - that the gospel was true and that I had truly received the Gift of the Holy Ghost that night and that my Savior was with me. (Although I didn't understand all of this at the time that it happened.)
This morning as I went to pray, I struggled with it. I realized that though my Savior has become so much more real to me, my Heavenly Father still seems like a big scary entitiy someplace out there. I can speak to my Savior but praying is still hard.
I know that Christ said that if we know Him, then we know the Father. But my spirit seems to be a true doubting Thomas and wants to see EVERYTHING for herself. And so, still I struggle.
This morning, I was going to read the chapter on Principle 6 in HDDMFB since I just finished the preparation exercises last night. But for whatever reason, I ended up flipipng through the book and landing in the back of the book on the essay about opposition.
Reading this brought to mind my experience last week - how I saw the adversary as a black snake coiled in the dark corners of my mind, hiding from my view and feeding me lies. I remember how my Savior helped me to understand that as much as I hate it, it is necessary to let him do his job and provide that opposition.
As I was thinking about this, that same image of me as a child in the parking lot with my father popped into my head again. But even though it seemed the same in so many ways - suddenly it was different. I was no longer walking in a parking lot, circling an earthly meeting house. The hand I held no longer belonged to my mortal father.
It is the day that my spirit is to come to earth. I am walking around a waiting area near the door with my Father.
The look on His face is happy and sad all at once. At once I know that He is so pleased that I have decided to take this step, and yet He feels compassion for the difficulties that lie ahead of me.
"I have a feeling that things are going to go hard for you," He says.
I look up at Him, not worried at all by this statement, but just curious to know more.
"You are my strong, intelligent, beautiful girl," He continues. "But you are very prideful."
There is no feeling of judgment or censure in this statement. There is only Love.
"I know that you love your big brother. But I also know that you don't want to rely on Him any more than you absolutely have to. You don't want to bother Him. You don't want to cause Him pain. But it's not going to be up to you to decide how much to give Him and how much to carry yourself. If you want to make it back to me, you are going to have to give Him EVERYTHING."
I hear His words, but I don't quite understand them all. But I know that He loves me. I know that He's already been where I'm going. I trust that He knows what He's talking about.
"I know you," He says, smiling and holding me to Him in a great hug. "And I need you. There will be a great work there for you to do and you must be my hands." He holds me at arm's length so that He can look at me again. "We need each other."
I nod, taking this responsibility very seriously.
He knows my heart. He knows my thoughts. And He smiles. "Although you have great work to do, you will do nothing alone. Your big brother must be there with you. You must allow Him to carry the load and fight the battles and complete the tasks. You won't be able to do anything on your own, though you feel sure you can."
He pauses, and speaks in a serious tone. "Your greatest strengths will prove to be your greatest weaknesses. Lucifer knows this, and he will be there, trying to convince you that you should be able to do it on your own. He can lead your from your path before you realize it if you listen to him."
"I won't listen to him," I say with the grave seriousness born of innocence.
He smiles. "Everyone listens to him sometimes. He's just too loud to ignore. It's okay. All that's important is that you let the journey teach you to recognize him. And when you do, don't try to take him on yourself. You let your big brother fight those battles for you, okay?"
I nod, not really understanding, but wanting to be obedient.
He looks serious again. "I know you. You will experience a lot of pain before you are broken enough to learn what you need to learn. It's going to be difficult. But you will never be alone."
I wonder if I look stricken in that moment, because He gathers me up again to comfort me.
"I know that this doesn't all make sense to you now. But the journey will teach you everything you need to know, and it will all make sense in time. All you need to know now is that no matter what happens, you are safe. I am watching over you and your brother is there with you."
The time has come and we approach the door. He turns me to face Him, looking deep into my eyes to make sure I cannot misunderstand Him now. "The decision is still yours," He says. "You don't have to go unless you want to."
I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. My heart is jumping in nervousness now that the moment has actually arrived. It was all talk and dreams and ideas before. But now - now it's real. It's really happening.
But there is no question. There was never any question. My heart never wavered.
I look Him straight in the eye, wanting to make sure there is no doubt of my desire. This is not a matter of duty or expectation. I do not go grudgingly.
"I want to go," I say.
His smile is so bright, it is dazzling. I feel His pleasure and Love full force. It is the last thing I know before I step through the door.
Overeating, dependence on food, obsession with eating, etc.
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