Thursday, June 18, 2015

Faith Unto Joy

Not long after the events which eventually led to the final end of my marriage, I had the opportunity to receive a blessing from my father. It had been years since I received a blessing, because my husband was not comfortable with giving them, and I felt it would undermine him to ask for one elsewhere.

It was a very dark time in my life, when fear was nearly overwhelming. I had no idea how I could protect my children. I was nauseated from early pregnancy, and my stress level was so high that I would months later experience adrenaline withdrawal. I felt like my life would never be free from feeling in constant danger.

In this blessing, two things stood out to me. First, I was told to "Be still, and know that I am God." That refrain has been brought to my mind many times over the last few years. As I dealt with concern for my unborn daughter's health because of my stress, dealing with knowing they were at the mercy of my (and their) abuser without having much power to protect them, dealing with his attempts to convince them that things were other than they are, trying to date again and eventually realizing that my capacity to trust someone and make a connection was likely destroyed beyond repair: all were moments of desperation and helplessness.

I plead with God for deliverance, knowing that in order to protect and nurture my children as much as possible, I would have to be strong. For the first time, I understood the refrain of my Savior, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

Gradually, I learned patience even in fear. And I learned to submit to the care of my Father, the Almighty and Omniscient God.

Second, I was told that I was surrounded by angels, and I would not be alone. There were times that I felt utterly and inescapably alone. Some of the angels were people in my life. I had two friends in particular who were there for me for the first part of my pain. And my mother was there for me throughout, letting me vent fear and frustration with remarkable patience and understanding.

The Lord sent me others who needed to hear what I had to say about forgiveness, patience, and taking steps to protect themselves through similar circumstances. They didn't know, but being able to help THEM saved me in a very real way. It gave me more reasons to hold on, to be patient through my fear in the hopes I might learn something to help others not feel so alone.

But at times, I also felt angels on the other side of the veil. I have felt my grandmothers at times, and others who I felt I somehow knew, surrounding me and fighting off waves of depression and temptations from Satan.

At the times I could not protect myself, I was protected by others who were sent by God. You may think I'm delusional, but I know what I have felt.

So, with those experiences, I am able to lay my testimony alongside the one in this video. Faith can protect us when we have nothing left. Even the smallest shred of desire to believe and to take up our own crosses to follow after Christ will deliver us, eventually, from the sin and evil with which we are surrounded.

I know that God is more than a mere figment of imagination. He is a God who suffers with us, and is not afraid to touch mortality. He is more powerful than all the sorrow, all the horror this world has to offer. Yes, humanity can be very depraved. But in the end, faith and the power of submission will conquer all evil.

My life is my testimony.

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