Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's just hard...but it's worth it!

I was reading this talk by Linda K Burton, the General Relief Society President and was touched by the power of the Atonement.  She asks such a great question that got me thinking, "do I have a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ and in His infinite Atonement written in MY heart?"  Reading this talk led me to another by Richard G. Scott that was very touching to me especially because...

This last weekend, I had been letting A LOT of little petty things that others have done or said (perceptual reality) get the best of me and I had let a lot of it fester until I was all sorts of wound up and thinking everyone was against me, I was paranoid and confused.  These feelings overcame me.  I was ornery all day Sunday and yesterday, I was uptight with my amazing husband, snappy with the kids. Feeling ungrateful for my house and it's messy state. I was negligent in getting dinner and family home evening going, we went to pick out pumpkins and I think I must've even glared at a few pumpkins.  :( I was distracted during my hubby's lesson and just watched him put all of the kids to bed while I just sat there...FESTERING of a sort.

Soon after I left the house and went to the store.  I angrily put the milk in the cart and was building up a great case against all of these other people.  Who do they think they are?...  What right do they have to MAKE me feel this way?  I threw the bread in the cart and was having a dialogue with myself and having a bit of a pity party.  When I was checking out, I found myself getting uptight and frustrated with the innocent checker taking her own sweet time and of course I was impatient when I went to leave out the door and the worker had JUST locked it down for the night and suggested I walk ALL THE WAY around to go out the other door.  Ughhh.  It only added fuel to the fire and of course I rolled my eyes at the worker bitterly and said "seriously".   Nice!

I got in my car and started to drive home, but instead I put on some music and drove around...for  what ended up being 2 HOURS!  I just drove and listened to some of my favorite tunes.  I started to contemplate and reflect on the source of my feelings and why this had gotten so out of control (normally I'm an in control of my emotions type of person)  Could it be my hormones are out of whack?  Could it be the miscarriage I just had?  Could it be that I didn't read my scriptures or pray hardly at all the week before? Could it be my messy house?  All of these thoughts crossed through my mind when a song by my favorite artist Mindy Gledhill came on called "Hard".  I've always loved this song, but last night it struck even deeper.  I realized,  it was none of those things I had thought about previously.  The conclusion I came to is that it's JUST HARD to be Christ-like.  It's hard to be like HIM.  It's hard to turn your heart over to Him especially when you want to be angry, when you want to feel sorry for yourself.  It's hard when you have to humble yourself.  It's hard to admit you need Him.  I realized the source of my feelings was the devil.  He stirs things up, he wants us to feel uptight and miserable.  He wants us to cause contention and turn tiny mole hills of differences into mountains of conflict and confusion.  He wants us to feel conflicted and angry, like fighting or giving up.  He want us to feel discouraged and alone.  I realized that I needed to repent and look at my own contribution to the these feelings, to dig deeper and cleanse my inner vessell .

So,  I decided to turn it over to the Lord, to believe in Him, to let go of those unprofitable and unnecessary feelings and thoughts, to hand them over to Him.  They weren't doing anybody any good, especially myself.  They were causing contention, doubt, frustrations and guilt and to paraphrase one of my favorite quotes from Sweet Brown, "ain't nobody got time for that"  :)  I had to get over these bad thoughts and feelings.  I needed the Atonement.

What does my little experience have to do with the Atonement of Jesus Christ?  After all, it was just a normal outburst of emotions, a little something all of us go through from time to time.  Well, the answer is...

EVERYTHING!  It has everything to do with the Atonement.  It is exactly what the Atonement is for. Everyday use, not only for occasional, dramatic uses.  It is there for our weaknesses, sins, troubles, fears, sicknesses, doubts, addictions, depressions, frustrations, abuse, loneliness, trials, goals, desires, worries...everything.

A lot of times, we think we only need the Atonement for the big heavy things and the major major SINS, but that's not true.  We need the Atonement for the every day small and simple things.  If we can apply the Atonement while things are small and simple, we will definitely be able to use the Atonement for the bigger, weightier matters and troubles. If we use the Atonement by repenting and changing while things are beginning or before they get out of control, it can save us from harm or danger both physically and spiritually in the future. It can keep us from harboring unhealthy feelings, it can soften our hearts daily so we can be better people.  So, the Atonement is especially important in our DAILY lives.

I need the Atonement and Jesus Christ to heal my "broken" heart.  I need Jesus Christ to forgive my angry and rebellious feelings and to help me conquer fear and doubt.  I need the Holy Ghost to work through the power of the Atonement to help me feel peace and happiness to be comforted and uplifted. I need to have faith in my Savior and in His strength to help me control my emotions and move forward with more determination and confidence in fulfilling my obligations, desires, callings, dreams.  Through His help and love, I can do anything.  I need to feel His love so I can show love to others, especially my family.  This is truth!  It is hard, but it's SO necessary and once we ALLOW it to take place in our heart, it makes everything easier.  We need to give our hearts to Him...the only thing we can give to our Father that is OURS to give. What's the trade off?  We trade anger, impatience, bitterness, selfishness, doubt and contention for understanding, love, selflessness, faith, peace, confidence, etc.  When we think of what we get for our "sacrifice" it doesn't seem like is should be that difficult.  But it is, and HE knows that.  HE waits patiently for us and works with us through the Atonement.

Finally, I love what Sister Burton pointed out in her talk.  "All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  There is power in the Atonement to enable us to overcome the natural man or woman and become true disciples of Jesus Christ.  The Atonement is the greatest evidence we have of the Father's love for His children."

Why do I promise I'll never turn back
When one step ahead steps right into the past
And I'm back to the start 
Where my head's taking over my heart, again

Twisting and turning, I'm tangled and torn 
Too broke and too bent to be fixed anymore
Half crazy for home like a castaway prisoner of war

It's hard to believe
That you could love the hardest parts of me
And it's hard to conceive
The way your love unravels me
It's not that I don't want to give you my heart
It's just hard

Some mornings it hurts just to climb out of bed
When the ones that I love are there shaking their heads
And like a fly on a screen, I'm just buzzing between
My life and my dreams

It's just hard to believe
That you could love the hardest parts of me

And it's hard to conceive
The way your love unravels me
It's not that I don't want to give you my heart
It's just hard

So bring on the fire
That feeds this desire to feel unbreakable
'cause it's make me or break me
So please make me wake up to something more

'cause it's hard to believe 
That you could live the hardest parts of me
And it's hard to conceive 
The way, the way your love unravels me
Oh, it's not that I don't want to give you my heart
It's just hard

Oh, it's not that I don't want to give you my heart
It's just hard. 

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