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.

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