Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gentle. . . .

I've had something on my mind a lot lately. Something that keeps popping up in conversations and little moments in my day. It's the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday was Ward Conference and the theme for the year in my stake is the Atonement. The talks presented by my bishop and stake president were wonderful and have stuck with me. They've stuck so much that even little songs on the radio or conversations with friends or thoughts of marriage and dating have brought up the Atonement in my mind. This is something I am very grateful for.

About 18 months ago I had a personal experience that forever changed my course in life. It's too personal to share, but still the idea of one remains. It was not a good one. I've spoken of it in past blogs, but it was something that caused me to question my entire existence on this earth. I am happy to report that I am still alive and owe my life to Jesus Christ. I am embarrassed to reveal that I had such a questioning in my life, however, am more than willing to share my personal conversion that was 30 years in the making.

I pleaded with God for many months over trials in my life. Many days were spent in tears over questioning and confusion as to where I should go. (Divorce can do some serious damage to an individual and my heart goes out to all who experience this.) Emotion guided choices and consequences prevailed.

Going back to my bishop's talk in ward conference, he spoke of the parable of the bicycle. For those who don't know it, it's in the book, Believing Christ. It's about a girl who wants a bike and works to save all she can to get that bike but comes up short. Her father then says he'll make up the difference and gets her the bike. It parallels Christ's willingness to make up the difference in our own lives through His Atonement. But what struck me the most is when my bishop then stated how He'll give us a new bike when we wreck the first one he give us. That even when we damage and destroy that beloved bike, He's still willing to give us another because He loves us that much.

I had prayed and prayed for so long before my forgiveness was given, that when this parallel was spoken, I realized I had broken my bike. But not only broken it, I destroyed it to an unrecognizable pile of ash and Christ still gave me a new one. That His Atonement was so continual that even when I keep dinging up this new bike, He's there to polish it and make up for all my mistakes.

Now this may be a concept that is old to some of you. But to me, it was what I needed to hear to again, partake in the bond I have with my Savior and His atoning sacrifice. I know that I am going to keep dinging up my bike and though I pray that my lessons in life will be gentle I know that they will be hard. That they'll be hard because the Lord wants them to be.

For those of you at any stage in your life, whether you have a trike or training wheels or are a seasoned cyclist, I pray that you partake in the Atonement of Jesus Christ every day and know that you are loved because of your flaws. That he loves you knowing full well the outcome of your trials. He loves you. That will never change.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Breath You Take. . . .

Have you ever had one of those epiphanal moments where you come across a logic that you've never discovered before? Well I had one of those today. (And I'm sure someone else has discovered this because nothing is original at all anymore.)

In my mind pondering drive today, I came across an idea that helped me feel good about this messed up world. Nothing in this world is perfect. NOTHING!! And for all you religious persons out there, bare with me, Not even religion. -Now hear me out. I am a faithful LDS member and still feel this way. Nothing in this world is perfect, not even religion because it will always touch something that is not.

In science there is this point of freezing, it is the coldest point of cold anything on this earth can get. And nothing on this earth can completely get there. (Now for all you science geeks out there, back me up. I know there's a better way of explaining it and that I did learn this concept in high school.) Picture a snowball. And it's in an environment where it rests upon the tip of a mile long pin in the air in the middle of a freezer that can in fact freeze this snow ball to that lowest point of all temperature, but it never gets there. Why? Well it's because it's touching that mile long pin that is attached to the floor a mile away that transfers enough heat to keep that snow ball from becoming that perfectly frozen ball of science. It is proven in a much more scientific way than I can explain that nothing on this earth can reach that frozen point. I feel the same way about life on this earth. That nothing will ever reach that perfect point on this earth. At least nothing tangible to us. Because even the gospel touches imperfect people.

Now this in no way wavers my testimony about God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact it strengthens it. It proves to me that faith is what will get us to that perfect place. That nothing on this earth will support a perfect life except God and every step I take on this earth is imperfect no matter how guided I may think it is. So how in control are we really? Well, we are in control of our choices for sure, but they are never perfect choices and once I grasped that, the Gospel and Atonement of Jesus Christ was opened even wider to my small mind.

This may only be epiphanal to me. And that's okay, no one's perfect. However, I do hope this gets you thinking that every step in life is more a learning experience than a line of mistakes. Forgive yourself and move one, become stronger, walk with love, and remember NOTHING is perfect so smile. We're all a bunch of screw ups.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lasso. . . .

My grandfather died in April. It's been really hard on my grandmother to be without him. Today I met up with some of my female cousins and we got on the subject of Grandma. One cousin commented that when she talked to her last, Grandma had said how she's just praying for the Lord to take her. As the outspoken cousin she is told her that just because you want it so bad, he's not going to give it to you. He's not going to give you an out.

That logic resonated with me. It stuck with me throughout my day and into my evening with a very charming man. This man has been very honest with me and told me how he cares for me, but that he's not looking for a relationship. It's becoming perpetually more and more difficult to see him because I want something so much more than he's willing to give. Therefore, I always come away heart broken from our outings. So this logic of God not giving us an easy out echoed almost with a laugh at me tonight. I've probably touched on this before, but have you ever wanted something so bad that it's anti-productive?

In aerobics, there's a point of exertion that's called anaerobics. It's where you have your heart rate up so high that it's just burning oxygen instead of fat. Making all your efforts counter productive. You are essentially trying so hard that you are no longer effecting your goal. I think of my grandmother and myself in this notion. She wants to be with her husband so bad that she's no longer living. And I want to be loved by someone else that I'm no longer living. We both put forth such effort to achieve our goal, whether it's in action or thinking, that we become exhausted and ultimately still too far away from our goal.

So how does one bridal that passion of the heart? How do we ignore the pain and try to heal even when every part of our being is engulfed in the trauma of our desire? The only thing I can decide is that I need to focus on something else. Basically ignoring the pain. My grandma has been obsessed with changing things in her home. Going through all of my grandpa's things, removing them from the home. I know most of her kids don't understand why she's doing what she's doing, but I do. It's something tangible that she can focus on to forget the pain. For me, it's running. I foresee it becoming a bit of an obsession. But I'd rather be alone doing something I love, like running than being alone with the reality of why I am.

I haven't given up on the idea of being one in a pair. I don't think I ever will. However, I'm going to need to do my best to ignore it for the time being. One day, I hope to be strong enough to handle it head on. But for now, I'll just deal and try not to want it so much. My efforts in life need to count. My daughter says this saying all the time, "You only have one life. Enjoy it!" Believe me when I say, I plan to.