A VISION OF HOPE

Journey - 1-B.png

DESIRE - CONTINUED

“You may run, walk, stumble, drive or fly

but never lose sight of the reason for the journey.”

~ Gloria Gaither

OUR HEARTS DESIRE

I hope that you have begun thinking about what your heart wants from this Journey, it could be that you are needing a miracle from the Lord to help you with a present struggle or challenge, or maybe your heart is simply yearning for a more personal relationship with the Lord....or to be of better service to Him. To have and keep a vision in your mind of your ‘Desire’, whatever you choose, will give you the hope and direction you need to be successful on this ‘Journey to Bethlehem’.

I have found that my heart is what keeps me on the right path. It seems to know what is important and what I need to do, to embrace hard things that can elevate me and strengthen me so that I can reach the destinations I desire.

I’m sure all of you were touched and encouraged by the words of our Prophet and our General Authorities this last week in our 188th Semi-Annual General Conference.

I was so glad that we have already begun our ‘Journey to Bethlehem’ because I feel that we can follow our heart’s desire and do what is required when we have chosen to seek Christ and come to know more about Him, and as Elder Gong put it, “...live in new and holier ways with all our might, mind and strength”.

I felt a strong confirmation of all the changes that have been made in this Conference and the last Conference in April, when I read in my scriptures this morning in 3 Nephi 15. Jesus had come to the Nephites and was spending time with them teaching them all that God had directed that He should teach them...then He announced that ‘old things had passed away, and that all things had become new.” 3 Nephi 15:2

I felt like we had just experienced the very same thing!

On this journey, we too will be leaving behind all that we were doing before. I love that this new direction will help us to move forward with faith, taking more meaningful steps to fulfill our desires and become as He is.

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices,

and choices determine our actions.

The desires we act on determine our changing,

our achieving, and our becoming.”

~ Elder Dallin H. Oaks - Conf. Address April 2011, Desires

CAN YOU SEE IT?

Can you see it? What will your desire look like when it’s fulfilled? Can you see the pathway to make it happen? Are you able to go this path on your own?

We have had some time to think about what our desires might be for this journey. Hopefully you have been able to consider a couple options and will be able to get it down to one purpose or desire that will bring you to your desired destination...to your becoming.

Have you ever been in a situation where you had the thought, “There’s got to be a better way!” or “I can’t do this!” or “This will take a miracle!” I think it’s pretty common to think along those lines. I think that when we are confronted with a challenge....we honestly have no idea how to solve the problem, or how to begin working through it or even think that our desires can possibly happen, now or ever! We become overwhelmed and all we know that we need a miracle now!

Three quarters of the way through my Cancer Challenge, I came to a moment in time where I knew I needed the Lord’s help more than ever! I couldn’t see how I could possibly make it another day. I had done all I knew to do to keep the pain and fatigue at a level I could endure. I felt my life slowly being swept away and I didn’t know how to hold on to it any longer. Knowing prayers were being whispered in my behalf, I sent my own pleas heavenward. I felt strengthened by the Spirit and made it through that moment and then another moment and another and then I knew that my Father in Heaven had provided the miracle I needed. I couldn’t see a way, but He was there and He provided the Miracle I desired.

This is when I finally understood that, it’s when we have no idea how it’s going to happen, but we desire or need a miracle today....that we will finally turn to the Lord with the faith that is required. We need to go through a humbling, a knowing that we can’t do it on our own....only then is when we can begin to have the faith needed to allow our Heavenly Father to bless us in the ways we need the most. We need to be open to His help, His inspiration and direction.

If only we could ‘see’, God is our only hope!

“Those who leave everything in God’s hand

will eventually see God’s hand in everything.”

~ Unknown

BELIEF IN GOD WORKS THE MIRACLE

It’s when we choose to ‘see’ that we will recognize there is hope. When we place our faith and belief along with that hope we can allow God’s hand to work the miracle.

Maybe you are struggling with a weakness, sin, injustice or insecurity. Something that has kept you bound for years. It’s time to get rid of that weight. Let go of all that is holding you hostage. It takes time to ponder and honestly consider what that might be...but, you can be freed, on this Journey, you can be strengthened and removed from that weakness.

I’ve always had a weakness in writing. I was NEVER able to think of words or phrases to express myself....in fact there was really nothing in my head....no thoughts, ideas or stories. I couldn’t think of a single thing to write, so my school papers consisted of a sentence of two....that was it! And, yes, my grades in English were horrible.

Soooo... many years, feeling inadequate in writing or expressing anything at all. Then, because of the fear, pain and fatigue of cancer I decided I NEEDED to write, to express my inner thoughts and feelings. I had desires to not only help me...but, help anyone that was broken, through their struggles and challenges.

Father knew of my need, so He sent me to read my journals.

I have written letters to my Heavenly Father in a journal through the years, expressing all my thoughts, painful experiences, triumphs and growing testimony....He knew me inside and out. As I read through the entries I gained the vision I needed to ‘see’ that there was a possibility....there was hope that I could write and express my feelings and touch broken hearts.

My belief in God, and my vision of hope gave me courage to try my hand at what I always thought was....Impossible!

I called upon my Heavenly Father to strengthen me and help me say the words and phrases that would help me write my Blog, I proceeded to write, and to express and.....I began to OVERCOME something that made me feel so incomplete and broken!

Again, God’s hand has worked a Miracle in my behalf! You too, can put your belief and trust in Him. Turn to Him at this time, know that you can ASK for anything your heart needs or desires from Him. Pray and have faith that the desire you seek is the desire of the Lord for you. Remember, His desire is to fulfill your desires.

What is your weakness or inadequacy that is in need of Heavenly Father’s hand? What is needed to give you strength and courage to allow Him to help you....to make a desired change? We have mountains that need moved out of our lives. Over-whelming tasks to conquer, health concerns to understand, harmful drugs and substances to overcome, destroyed relationships to heal, questions that plague, sin that promises to destroy, weaknesses that keep us bound, and hearts that are broken. No one is exempt from trials and adversity. Don’t be destroyed by that which is really an opportunity, one that can free us and bring us joy.

Don’t try to limit your challenges, but open up and challenge what you see as a limit. With the Lord there to help us and strengthen us we can OVERCOME and BECOME as He is.

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves

come when life seems most challenging.”

~ Joseph Campbell

Trust that your heart has a plan, and even if you can’t see it completely, know that everything will unfold as it is meant to. Invite the Lord to join you on this Journey.

THIS WEEKS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

1 - On your Journal page, write out what you have decided is the ‘Desire’ that your soul yearns for. Remember, when we find the Savior, He will be the one to bring the miracle that you are seeking...what miracle are you seeking...what will be the ‘Destination’ or Bethlehem you are hoping for on YOUR ‘Journey to Bethlehem’?

2- Also this week, for your journal page, you will begin your ‘Sacred Journal’. This is a journal of letters you will write to your Heavenly Father. It is more effective if you pray before you begin so that you can feel His Spirit guide your thoughts. Ask that you will be directed to know what to write and that you will be inspired to know what His answer or direction would be for YOU.

Write, Dear Heavenly Father, (or whatever you choose)at the top of the page, as you would when writing a letter and then pencil out your thoughts and feelings about what your ‘Desire’ is for this journey. Please share with Him anything else you want or need to express. When you have completed your heart felt letter, sign your name at the bottom of your letter and turn to a new page.

Write Dear (your name), at the top of the page. Open your heart to receive His inspiration and guidance to the letter you have written to Him, and write what comes to your mind. Treasure this because this IS His direction, counsel or inspiration for YOU. It will seem hard at first to feel like you are receiving the right answers, but trust in Him to direct you.

Write these letters as often as you choose. They are very instrumental in helping you to stop and listen for the answers you are needing. But, please be sure to converse with Him as you have been doing. He needs you to take time to include Him in your Journey.

You can print off as many pages as you need. Or, you can purchase a journal so your letters can be kept together. I love returning to my letters and read them again and again. You will see then that it was divinely directed!

3 - On the ‘Journey to Bethlehem Map’ write a summary of what your heart needs in the space labeled ‘Desire’ and then hang it or place it in a prominent place so you can be reminded of your ‘Desire’ and the purpose for your journey.

Find the Journal Page, Journey to Bethlehem Map, and Sacred Journal page under ‘Journey’ on the navigator tabs.

Stay patient and trust your journey,

Love, Jeannie