Journey to the WILDERNESS...

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Christ Rose Above It All And So Can We!

“What will it matter... what we suffered here if, in the end,

those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life

and exaltation in the Kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?”

Sister Linda R. Reeves

I’m excited to be back again the writing arena...I’ve missed it immensely!

For two and a half months Elder Puzey and I have dedicated every minute to our mission, getting to know the people and the role we would play in their lives. It has been so rewarding. I would say the most joyous time of my life! ♥♥♥

I have been desiring ‘one day’ that I could dedicate to journaling our mission experiences here in Fort Wingate, N.M. Then, of course, a blog written to document the learning experiences along the way. Excited that I have got on top of my assignments and can now have a day for the desire of my heart.

I want to go back about 14 days and share a most joyous day for me. I had just accepted the invitation to teach the Relief Society class the next week, while Elder Puzey was volunteering us to speak in Sacrament Meeting whenever they had a need. We had talked about using a Sacrament Meeting opportunity to help get the ‘Come Follow Me’ Program off the ground and into people’s homes.

Of course there was an opening the next Sunday so he accepted. When I realized that I had a lot to prepare for on top of Seminary class, Temple class, Member visits, Family CFM training and feeding the missionaries, I quickly became overwhelmed!

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t enjoy teaching or giving talks. It’s not aligned with my nature so I was getting very tense....but, only for a few minutes because I remembered that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there for me, and have been even more so this last year and a half. I was than able to turn my concerns over to Them and felt peace from that moment on.

All assignments came and went without any stress. Peace prevailed!

I wrote my talk and put together my Relief Society lesson with so much passion, I was actually excited and looking forward to give them.

Sunday came and my anxieties never got the best of me, which would be my normal course of action. I was just excited to share the truths I had learned about the CFM Program. ( I love this course of study!!!)

While standing by the Branch Pres. waiting for our Branch members to arrive, he asked me if I would say the opening prayer, I said sure and reminded him that I also was leading the music for another Sister that couldn’t make it....wondering if he would choose another person to give the prayer, but with the reminder, he immediately wrote my name down and we began our Sunday Worship.

It turned out to be pretty much a one-woman show....and I was at peace! I was excited to share and serve.

I was interested in the passion that I had as I talked and as I gave my lesson in the next hour block....it was not me at all! I felt like Heavenly Father had changed me into a new creature! I felt magnified like I never have before and I felt ‘light’!

I had never felt His love and Glory like I felt it that day and I didn’t want to ever lose that feeling! I found that I couldn’t share the feelings I experienced...it’s hard to find the words and someone that understands. So, like Mary, I have held the experience close to my heart and have pondered the peace, light and glory of it all. It was like waking up and walking into a ‘newness of life’.

Now a week later I have had an experience that took me the opposite direction...it’s heavy and hard. One minute I felt like the Spirit was directing me and I was excited to share what was in my heart....only to be misunderstood. I can’t express the hurt and sadness that overwhelmed me and held me in a miserable, dark place for a very long time.

Christ rose above it all and so can we!

There is a beautiful picture that I have hanging on my bedroom wall of Peter, having lost his focus when attempting to walk on water when Jesus bid him to ‘Come’. In the picture, Peter is in the water....when his faith waned, he began to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me.” Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31)

I love this picture.... and hung it with the word ‘peace’ next to it to help me remember the peace that comes when we choose to put our faith in our Savior and focus on Him.

A reminder that when we are drowning in thoughts of doubt and hurt and humiliation, that come from being a part of this world.....Christ holds out his hand and invites us to put our faith in Him and ‘walk on water’.... or.... do that which seems impossible to us at that very moment.

All we have to do is focus on Christ!

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not fear not.” D&C 6:36

My faith was challenged, my focus changed and I struggled to feel beloved! But, now His Grace has reached out to me and helped me to pull out of the consuming deep and to feel His love and tenderness once more!

I’m remembering last week’s message in the ‘Come Follow Me’ Manual, there was a quote from Sister Linda R. Reeves’ that really spoke to me. She taught, “I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, ‘Was that all that was required?’ I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter... what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the Kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?” Oct. 2015 Conference Address, “Worthy of Our Promised Blessings”

Remember, in a time of trial, Christ Jesus offers us ‘Grace’ - Divine help or strength given to us because of His bounteous mercy and love. An enabling power that lifts us and strengthens us to do good works that we otherwise could not be able to maintain. (See Guide to the Scriptures - Grace) I love the comfort and power that comes with these words!

Trials come, there isn’t a way to avoid them, no matter how good life is at the moment. Always keep your focus on Christ...doubt not, fear not! Turn to Him in all your challenges and then walk in a ‘newness of life’.