Sunday, March 7, 2010

Avoiding the Whale

Dear Friends,

So... remember back when I was funny?  Yeah, maybe those days will come again.  But today is not one of those days.  Today I need a little bit of advice.

Life's been pretty rough for the past month.  The hard part is, in many ways, rather than getting better, it's getting harder.  Here's the thing.  I have had many very significant experiences with Heavenly Father.  He has answered my prayers in many ways, ways that I think are impossible to misinterpret.  (For example, the day I chose to give up, and just walk away from my problem, I went to a fireside and Robert D. Hales spoke.  His topic was having faith through our trials and never giving up.  How else could I interpret that?) Through all of this, I have come to know that He is VERY aware of me, and I am oh, so grateful for that.  The problem is, He has told me things that seem perfectly impossible.  I know He's a God of miracles, and I see miracles in my life, but this one really, really big miracle that He's told me will happen just seems like it's too big of a job.

How have you dealt with something like this?  I have no problem believe in miracles in other people's lives.  I know that they happen.  And I've heard about a miracle that happened in my life.  But I was only 6 weeks old, so I don't remember it at all.

I guess... Well, Heavenly Father has asked me to do a lot of things.  He told me where to go to college, he asked me to go on a mission, he asked me to move to Texas, he asked me to move back.  Some of those things were very scary, and I didn't understand them.  I didn't know if I could really do them.  But I had faith, so I moved forward and did what I was asked.  And they all worked out.

What he has asked of me now is the hardest thing yet.  It hurts.  Every day I question the answers I've been given.  I've had people tell me that Heavenly Father doesn't want me to be unhappy, so why would he be asking this of me.  But he has.  And it doesn't make sense.  It's not easy.  I don't have perfect control.  When I was told to go on a mission, I started working on papers.  I had control over it.  Sure, I had to be living a good life, and pass all of the interviews, but I had control.  I don't have any control over this.  I just know the idea of what I need to do, but not how to do it.  And it really involves someone else who, to my knowledge, hasn't asked or received the same answers.  They don't want the same answers either.

So, what do I do?  How to I find the balance between having faith in something so hard, that I just can't see?  It's not logical, and right now, I don't even really want it.  It would be so much easier to just turn around and walk away.  That way my heart wouldn't have to break, over and over.  But I know what I've been told.  How do I have hope, and faith in something that seems so impossible?  How do I come to believe in miracles in my own life?

My dear sister, L7 bought me a book.  It's called Believing Christ.  So far it's good.  But it's mostly about believing in the Atonement to cover your sins.  I know I'm not perfect, but I don't really question that.  There have been some things that have really touched me in the book, but I'm not quite there.

Don't think I'm questioning the Gospel.  I'm not.  I'm just questioning my ability to do this.  So, dear friends and family, how have you done it?  Because I don't want to give up.  When the Lord tells you something and you do something else, you get swallowed by a whale.  That would be a total bummer.

Ok, so the big question is:  How do you have faith in the impossible?  How do you get yourself to believe in the illogical?  And how do you find the strength go keep going when everything else around you is telling you to just move on?

"If you are helpless, He is not.  If you are lost, He is not.  If you don't know what to do next, He knows.  It would take a miracle, you say?  Well, if it takes a miracle, why not?" ~ Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report October 1970


Kaylee said...

Wow, how much can I relate... I don't know how to explain how it's done. You have to hold to what you believe and tell yourself that what you know is real. Don't deny what knowledge and impressions that have been given you. Just keep moving forward and trust that the Lord will place you where He needs to be. A lot of the time, you just have to follow His timing, and that's the hard part.

Happy Mom said...

Fabulous quote by Elder Packer!

I agree that it's easy to believe in miracles in others lives, but not as easy to expect them in our own life.

I don't believe I've ever been in a situtation that was analagous to yours. So I don't have any advice.

However, I want to point out a few things:
1. You have a deep and abiding testimony.
2. You are faithful and the Lord's promises are sure.
3. You are seeking and so you shall surely find (but not necessarily on your time table)
4. You have not lost your sense of humor. "When the Lord tells you something and you do something else, you get swallowed by a whale." That's funny!
5. I love you and think you're fab!

Laree said...

So at first my comment was going to be "I've got nothing, but you're cute!". However, after clicking on the comment button, I proceeded to run around chasing munchins for a hour, and had a chance to think. My thoughts will most likely be completly pointless, but I'm going to try anyway.

Yesterday I was talking with my mother in law and Happy Mom about being a mom. I talked about a time when I needed my Hubby to help with my 'Lil Flower. As he was making a bottle I told him several things that needed to be done (he was holding the baby). He turned to me and said "I don't have 6 hands". I just stopped and said "Oh, you're not a mom."

As moms we do stuff all the time that sounds impossible. We live on no sleep, no food, no showers. We have to put so many fires out, do so much, love so much. I honestly and completley have no clue how I do it. You just do because you don't have a choice.

Happy Mom talked about a pioneer mom that lived in a wagon for 2 years before she could put a roof over her children's heads. I don't know how she could live with 7 kids in 10 sq feet worth of space, but she did.

You may not be a physical mother, but all daughters of our Heavenly Father are mothers. So you too can just do it. If it's important, if God asks it, if it's needed, you can do it. I don't know how, but it will work.

Love you!

(wow, I got long winded there didn't I !)

Kaylee said...

I'm back for round two.

"I've had people tell me that Heavenly Father doesn't want me to be unhappy, so why would he be asking this of me."

Oh man, oh man... that could be PRECISELY why He is asking that of you. The one thing I have learned in this life, above all else, is that sometimes to get His happiness, we have to be pretty darn miserable first. Not that he wants us to suffer, mercy no. But that changing from the natural man/woman isn't easy... and letting go can feel miserable.

My favorite quote is about Christ changing a little cottage into a beautiful palace by C.S. Lewis. It was shared in Relief Society when you were there with me, so I'm going to assume you know it (if not, look it up or ask me, I'll gladly show it to you). The part that stood out to me was how much pain the little cottage was going through, how the cottage asked, "Why? Why would you hurt me like this?"

The truth is, the Lord's happiness is so divine and truly beautiful that our little mortal selves can't comprehend it without change.

To quote from the broadcast last night, and from the lovely scriptures:

"My daughter, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."

You CAN do this, and you will be better for it. Stick with what you know is right. Trust Him to guide your life and let Him be in control. A wise ship captain knows how to navigate the sea. He's studied the charts of the currents and depths, where there's rocks and how the wind blows. But the Lord is creator and master of them all. Let Him sail your ship.

Sarah said...

1) Taking the time to notice the small miracles in my life as helped increase my faith that the Lord will bring about greater ones. The more you look for them, the more small miracles appear.

For instance, last Friday, I had a project due and a lesson to teach and the morning of neither of them were finished (one of them had barely begun), yet because I prayed and had faith, the Lord helped me accomplish all of those things. It was a small thing, yet it was something I needed help with. My project was finished, and my lesson was one of the best I've ever had. It may seem like a small miracle, but I know that without the Lord's help those things couldn't have happened... and my faith has grown.

2) I don't know if you've seen the documentary on Pres. Monson called "On the Lord's Errand" (it's on if you'd like to watch it. I'd recommend it) In it Pres. Monson says "and I always want the Lord to know, that if he needs an errand run, Tom Monson will run that errand for him."

I have gained a testimony that when I take the time to "run the Lord's errands" He takes time to perform miracles in my life. I know this principle is true for I have seen it in my life. In my miracle last friday, I prayed that the Lord would bless me to accomplish the tasks before me and then found thoughts come in to my mind like "I should do the dishes for my rooommate", "I need to take the time to talk with my friend and really see how she's doing". The world would tell me that I should have spent that time working on my projects, but I could not ignore those promptings. I followed those promptings and the Lord in his mercy blessed me to do what I thought was impossible.

Know that I love you and am praying for you.


chelsea said...

Love you miss buckets! Thanks for sharing! I don't have any major advice, but I will give you my two cents. When I have had to deal with things I didn't know that I could (ex Syd going to Iraq) I said lots of prayers and actually on the way home from him leaving the first of the 3 times we had to say good bye I was crying and felt very overwhelmed. I was driving, but praying in my heart and I saw this amazing rainbow...and then thought wow how beautiful if God could make that beautiful picture of nature surrounded by all this sage brush he can make my life also into a master piece if I put my trust in him! Trust is an on going thing we get to learn. The second thing I had to learn was just to "keep swimming!" Yea hear it like it is said on Finding Nemo...just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....
It is true that you really don't know what you can withstand. So just keep going. Try and find the humor in life, and keep a good attitude. It will work itself out!
Last, but not least...if you are just all so stressed me! I will give you that massage I owe you and hopefully you will relieve some of the stress!

Grandma Nelson said...

I was serving with a lady that was sick last week and was told to go home. Her comment was "I'm not a quitter". When I read your post that thought came to me "Paily is not a quitter" You have so many wonderful qualities, I'm not even concerned about you in the long run, but I'm sorry the present is being so hard. I'm praying for you, and love you with all my heart!

Lynn said...

Hey Sis!! I'm soo sorry that things are hard, I know that you are a tough cookie and that you will know what to do, I wish that I had the answers in my back pocket and could pull them out for you, I have cried through the comments left to you, I'm stuggling too, (Big R has been off work for the last 6 weeks) and I'm feeling very less than. I wiil girde up my loins, fresh courage take (along with some chocolate therapy) put a smile on my face and go forward with the knowlege that we are from the best family ever and with all that love behind you, we can not fail, Hugs

Laura said...

Hey Sis, I know when I have been through the hardest time in my life, I got the answer to stick with it. I doubted... I could not see how that was going to do anything but prolong the pain... I wanted to be done... but the answer continued to be "STICK WITH IT" so I kept going and wondering... but obeying still the same. I now know what the Lord knew all along. I am sooooo blest because I listened. I didn't understand, but my view was the here and now, not the future where He could see. You have the right perspective. We often don't understand... but we continue to obey because we have faith... and we will always be "BLEST BY OBEDIENCE" Hang in there and know you are loved by us all. Please know my prayers are with you, let me know if I can do anything to help!