It's another beautiful Sabbath day. I have really grown to love Sunday and appreciate the "Day of Rest" aspect of the 7th day of the week. Having said that, I have to work most Sundays and am even away from home so on these rare days when I am in town, I really soak up the serenity of the day,
For the past few weeks, I have been struggling with an issue requiring unconditional love and tolerance. An issue where a lot of dycotomies lie. I am happy and I am sad. I am hopeful and I am fearful. My heart is full, but broken at the same time...I know this sounds confusing, but out of respect for this person, I want to keep details out of this post. Suffice it to say that I have struggled.
As I have pondered this particular situation, I have felt prompted to seek out the "counsel" or maybe even just a listening ear from a sweet friend whom I have known for several years from my church. I have never had a very deep conversation with this sweet lady, but I have admired her endlessly since the day I met her. She's AMAZINGLY compassionate, wise and unconditional...I saw her at church and told her I wanted to talk with her...we met at a public place, shared chips and salsa and talked.
Unsure of exactly what I needed from her, we sat down and I began to tell her my situation. As I was explaining my concerns, it dawned on me that what I was really afraid of was my "Being Afraid". She sat across the table from me and listened to my heart. Her eyes displayed compassion and love for me and my heart swelled. We talked...and talked...and talked...it was beautiful. I told her that I felt "prompted" to call her...she said that maybe I was prompted to call her because she was going through an almost identical situation!
Her ability and capacity for unconditional love is unmeasurable! She is wise beyond her years and as a result of her life's experiences and undenied faith, I look up to and respect her more than she will ever know. As we sat together today, two women of faith who struggle with challenges like everyone else, I felt a connection to her that is now eternal.
So this is basically what we talked about...
She said to me, "Mary, God loves us exactly where we are..." I thought about that. As a recovering addict, she shared that in her very darkest moments, He still loved her. She wasn't in a good place, but He was there with her when she called upon Him...He never let her down.
She referred me to an LDS Conference talk...It's entitled: "The Hope of God's Light"...here's an excerpt that resonated with me.
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. 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. (May 2013 Ensign, The Hope of God’s Light, By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
I think that sometimes I feel as though I need to be "further along" in my journey of life. I am hard on myself and sometimes those I love because I want the best for them. This sweet angel told me today something to the effect: "who are we to interfere with someone else's journey?" They may be going down a path that is different from mine or different than what I THINK they should be going down, but they are God's children and I have to have trust and faith in Him that He will help them along their way.
How grateful I am for Hope...For God's pure love...For dear, sweet friends who take time out of their day to listen and love me. For words of wisdom that are shared from the heart and heard differently when I listen with my heart.