Today in my Healing Through Christ Family Support Group call, we read this as part of Step Two:
Because our Savior respects our agency, He will not take from us what we are not willing to give. We become ready to willingly give and completely surrender our fears to Him. Then we prayerfully ask our Savior to take from us the fearful emotional burdens that are creating so much hopelessness and pain in our lives. Rather than allowing ourselves to fall back into painful emotions; we continue to choose to fall to our knees and surrender all of our emotional struggles to our Savior, allowing His tender mercies and grace to bless our lives. We are learning to let go and let God for His “perfect love casteth out fear.”
I thought about whether I cling to burdens that the Savior would willingly take from me. Then I remembered my experience when I was in labor with my daughter. I had been in the hospital for several hours in hard labor when the nurse told me that I had made no progress in the last few hours. When she left, I turned to the wall and told the Lord I had nothing left. I couldn’t do anymore, and I asked Him to help me and take over. From that moment things started progressing, and she was delivered not long after.
The message I learned at the time is that when we have done all we can, we can ask the Lord to take over and He will help us. That idea was a comfort to me, as I believed that God would support me when I am overwhelmed.
But today, I realized that I have been limiting what the Lord can do for me. I have depended on my own strength until it is absolutely depleted, and only then I have turned to ask God to take over. He didn’t set that limit—I did.
I wonder how many times I have needlessly clung to a burden that He was willing to take from me? I wonder how often I have trusted to my own strength and missed the calm and increased strength and healing He was eager to give to me? Have I remained in fear when He was ready to give me peace?
I want to learn how to let go, and let God, and feel His love and Redeeming power in every minute of my day. I want to depend on His strength to sustain me rather than my own.
As part of “always remembering Him” I want to remember to offer my burdens to Him. Perhaps sometimes He will take them, and I will be relieved of the suffering they inflict. Other times He may give me greater strength to carry the burdens that are mine for a now. But either way, I will not be carrying them alone.
And I, God, said: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years; Moses 2:14
Each day both the moon and the sun move across the daytime sky. As they travel above us one always appears to lead the other. If it is during the phase of the moon when it is growing bigger and brighter the sun appears to lead the moon across the sky. If the moon’s light is dimming, it appears to stop following the sun and leads out on its own. Yet to me this is more than just two heavenly objects crossing our sky, it is a story of love, the love of the sun for the moon. When the moon stops following and leads out on its own, the sun does more than just follow, the sun appears to move faster to catch up to the moon as its light fades with each passing night. Finally the moon will vanish completely as the sun reaches the wayward moon. Then for a moment the sun and the moon travel together across the sky until the sun pulls ahead again with the moon following close behind. We can see the result of this change as the sliver of the new moon appears again in the evening sky and its light begins to grow again.
On August 21st everywhere in the United States we can see the very moment that the sun catches the moon in the daytime sky as we experience the total eclipse of the sun. If you’re lucky enough to be in the path of totality you will see the light of the sun completely surround the moon as it is held briefly in the arms of the sun. It will be an unforgettable sight to behold.
For me this is not only a story of love between the sun and the moon, but a story of love between “the Light of the World” or “the Son” and a little wayward moon, me. As I obediently follow “the Son” my light grows brighter inside me. I can feel the light growing by the joy I feel in my heart for myself and others. But if I think I no longer need to follow “the Son” and pridefully lead out on my own, that light begins to disappear. I know when it’s happening by the joy and happiness that vanishes from my life. But “the Son” will never give up on me even if I feel I no longer need His guidance in my life. As my light slowly vanishes “the Son” draws closer to me until He catches me in His arms, surrounding my darkened self with His light. That moment in His arms changes me and once again I choose to follow and my light begins to shine again. This light first begins as a tiny sliver, yet with each passing day, as I faithfully continue to follow the Son, my light grows bigger and brighter until it become as beautiful as the full moon in the night sky.
President Uchtdorf has shared, “Oh, it is wonderful to know that our [Savior] loves us……His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will.” I am grateful for this reminder of His love for me in the coming Eclipse. How I love my Savior, the Son, the Life and Light of the World.
As I again face the task of “make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself,” I become discouraged. I have been working on this step for several years. I have struggled with writing about my life, sorting through years of depression and addictions. Why does this step follow “trust in God”? I found the answer in the garden I never planted one summer.
I live on a small farm and should be harvesting bushels of produce out of a productive garden by the end of August. That was a difficult year and I found no time to plant one. Did that mean I had a beautiful brown spot of furrowed soil to look at in my backyard? Of course not. Without care and attention, I had a garden full of weeds, some of them 8 feet tall. It was really just a source of embarrassment.
On the back of my garden spot, buried beneath those weeds is an irrigation system similar to the ones used in the west. Lack of rain made it necessary for me to dig it out to water my pastures. When I went to put the system together I found it under a jungle of briers and thorns which cover my garden/weed plot. I went out and fought to haul the first 40 foot pipe out and soon my legs were scratched and bleeding. As I laid the pipe out on the lawn I could see it was broken from being stepped on by my horses. Discouraged, I worked to bring out the rest. Almost without exception I found the same thing, somewhere the pipe would be broken. The last one was buried beneath stinging nettle and my bare legs were burning before I finally got it out.
My husband helped me lay them all across the lawn. All I could see was the broken mess of pipes. How could I get the system to work and water my pastures? I wanted to just tear it apart. My husband encouraged me to first try to see if I could find where the damaged sections went together. I didn’t want to; I was frustrated because my lack of care had produced this situation. My husband was persistent. After about an hour we had moved things around until we could see where all the breaks were. My husband got the bucket, the spare parts, and using primer and glue it was soon back together again, ready to water my dry fields.
It never is easy to look at the reality of my life. Like my garden it is covered with weeds of all kinds. It is an embarrassment I would rather hide from others. But the Lord encourages me, with help of someone I trust to start digging through it, sorting and analyzing what is there. As I dug through the weeds in my garden/weed plot, I found my watering system. Though it needed a little repair my husband was there to help me. As I sort through the garden/weed plot of my life I will likewise find the “treasure” the Lord knows is there. He will help me sort through it, repair it, and make it whole. As for the weeds in my life He has already taken care of them through the atonement. But before it is possible, I have to first discover what is amiss, then pull those nasty weeds out, roots and all, using the gift of repentance. Then all that will be left in my garden is the person I really am, a wonderful child of God the Lord wants me to discover.
I just have to trust Him enough to step into my garden and start searching.