Feb 9, 2004

He lives to grant me rich supply,
He lives to guide me with his eye,
He lives to comfort me when faint,
He lives, to hear my soul's complaint!
He lives to silence all my fears,
He lives to wipe away my tears,
He lives to calm my troubled heart,
He lives all blessings to impart!

I just want to bear my testimony that I know my Savior lives. I know he suffered for me on the cross. I know that the horrible pangs I am feeling right now he felt...he felt that very piercing to the core, the kind of pain that racks your whole body with torment, the kind that is not from sin, but what comes from life and what comes from grief...and what comes from experience. He bore the suffering for our sins too. He bore the suffering for every thing we have experienced and will experience...and he did it all for each one of us. And if it was just me on this Earth, he still would have come and died for me. If it was just you, he would have come and atoned for only you.

I want to bear my testimony on love. I have learned that love is a gift, but it is also a choice. We can choose to love and we can choose to not love. I know that it is false to think that we cannot control the feelings of the heart! I know from experience, that if you want to love you can. How many marriages succeed when the couple knows this! It is a sad world that love does not conquer all, when in fact, if we chose to allow it, it would...because God is love. I've always known the pain and bitterness that love brings, yet despite all that I have experienced in my life, I would never, ever, stop loving. It's the rare power within ourselves...the only power that we, as humans, have in common with our God. We share that power and capability. So few people exercise it. So many people are afraid of it. And all of us are hurt, tortured, and betrayed by it or the lack of it. Too few recognize the beauty and the preciousness that lies within it. Seldom do people see the power they have when they exercise it, and the terrible damage they do by not accepting it or rejecting it. Sometimes an individual might feel he does not deserve love, because love is the greatest blessing of all. "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." Yes, even after committing sin. Through repentance and the suffering that accompanies it, we are allowed to experience joy. God wants us all to know what love is. He wants us to share it and embrace it. And we all deserve it, because God loves each and every one of us. He never asks us to do more than we are able to. He never asks us to bear more than we can bear. His love is all around us, shining down on us. Through the people in our lives we experience only a taste of what Godlike love truly is.

Love means accepting and being willing to fight until the end. It means never giving up. Love is not always pleasant. It's not always butterflies and happy endings. Love is what bears the burden when we are so weary we feel we cannot love any more. Love is what ignites us to live. It is at the very core of what urges us to serve others. But most of all, love is what enables us to truly be remarkable. It is selfless and merciless...it means true forgiveness and acceptance. It means, when everything seems like it's going wrong, when there seems to be no way out -- love is there to rise us above and remind us of our inner deity and our marvelous potential.

To be loved by someone who knows this, and knows how to love, is the greatest blessing the Lord can offer to us while on this Earth. This is the reason and the foundation of the family. Without the family, God's work cannot continue. Therefore our thirst and our desire for love and acceptance is a gift from God; it ensures not only that we continue to multiply and replenish the earth, but it also lends hope and faith to the knowledge of eternal increase, and to being humble enough to recognize our errors and our sins, to repent, and then to recognize that God made us that we might have joy. Yes, even in this life . God wills us not to unwittingly suffer...he does NOT require us to punish ourselves. Through his grace and through the Atonement, all necessary steps to repentance are already given. What an err it is to believe that, even after we have repented, that we are still responsible for our sin! What err is it to believe that we are never going to be good enough because of our past transgressions! This is a blatant slap in the face of the Atonement - how dare we do this, after all that Christ has done for us? He is truly our advocate to the Father. In recognizing this, we realize that not only must we repent for our mistakes, but then it is a commandment that we forgive ourselves.

I love the Lord. I do not understand all things; I do not know why things happen the way they do. But I know He does not lie to me, and He will never lead me astray. I also know that I will always, always support my husband, my family, and my friends in their walk with the Lord. I am gravely hurt that some might think I would not. My experiences in my own life have not lead me to become the woman I am today...to sit there and cast judgment on another. If I at first question, or don't immediately have a sudden prompting that the choice a person has made is right, I only do this to encourage my loved ones to make sure they are indeed walking with the Lord, and not the Adversary. I do not question or murmur righteous desires. I just feel it is necessary to be absolutely sure. Once that is the case, I no longer question. Even during my questioning one might think I am not being supportive; but the truth is, in my questioning I'm being more supportive than I would be if I just sat idly by. If I love someone enough, I want what is best for them. In questioning and encouraging them to ask the Lord if their choices are indeed right, I am actually encouraging them to truly walk with the Lord. To me, this is perfectly clear.

I am in great pain, but Christ will deliver me. He can truly feel my pain. He has been there. He has encouraged me to continue along the path I have chosen, and I have been told that God is pleased with where I am and where I am going. I am making correct choices, and I am walking with the Lord. I know the promises the Lord have made to me are true and sure, and although I was told in a blessing that things don't always work out as I expect, the promise is still there, and it is sure. I have faith in this. I have faith in the Lord and in his guidance. I have faith in the Holy Ghost. People can slander my name and I can walk this earth alone for the rest of my life, but I will never, ever let my integrity be taken from me. I will never deny that which I know to be true. I will never deny those sacred gifts of promise and revelation that I have received. Even as I spoke with my bishop, tears streaming down my face, anger threatening to tear me apart, I recognized the Spirit whispering to me a message of peace and hope. "Oh ye of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

My life will never be easy. I yearn for rest and for joy, but that is not mine to have at this moment. Yet I know my potential and I know how the Lord sees me. I know of His love. I know what expectations he has for me, and I know He, The Lord my God, trusts me enough to get through my second Abrahamic trial. And this one is just beginning. Yet as I sit here, a gentle calm has settled over me. I am more determined than ever to not let Satan win. I will not let him win. I cannot speak for anyone else, but as for myself, the Adversary might as well as go find someone else. He's going to get bored real soon. Because this time, with the help of the Lord, I'm taking control.

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