Monday, April 6, 2009

The Plea to Forgive

Shortly before conference this weekend, as I prayed and struggled to be healed from the pain in my heart, I was taught that I need to refocus on what I can do to bring my life back to Christ. At first, I was filled with resentment and fear. I resented being asked to find one more thing for me to work on, to change. I felt exhausted and drained, heartsick and weary of trying to see my behavior through others' eyes, to see what I needed to change. I was afraid that if I gave up the anger which had been lending me strength to get through the lot I have drawn, I would collapse. I was drowning in the knowledge of my weakness, and my mistakes, in feeling all the blame and guilt of the route my life has taken.

It came to me that I need to stop trying to see myself through the eyes of others, but to rely on God and His Spirit to tell me the things I need to change. Clearly and strongly, the message came to my mind that I need to replace the strength of anger with the strength of the Spirit. If I continue to let anger or fear be my support, they would fail me, but the Spirit would not.

I have faced danger for myself in the past with relative peace and faith, but now I feel that my faith was only so peaceful because my own life and safety was not as important to me as my children's. In practice, I have found that I gladly would focus any possible danger to them on myself. Through listening to Conference this weekend, I perceived the fear that has eaten a cancer into my heart, blocking my ability to commune with my Savior. I have allowed the need for stability and safety for myself and my children to override my faith in God. Only this morning, the Lord has chastened me, teaching me that my safety and even the safety of my children is not my responsibility. I have been told in clear terms that I am to cease fearing for my welfare and the welfare of my children, because so much of it is beyond my control.

Also in listening to Conference and praying afterward, I have been chastened with my lack of forgiveness. I have forgiven things in the past that I did not know I could forgive, and yet I am now against something greater than everything I have faced in the past. I need to forgive! When I first realized I was to forgive, I was resistant. I did not want to forgive. I am tired of forgiving. For once, I wanted to throw a few stones in return. So, I applied Alma's principle of faith to forgiveness. I could not pray to forgive, but I could pray for the desire to forgive.

How great the mercies of God! I have already felt the beginning desire to forgive, and found in me the ability to sincerely pray to forgive.

Pray for me, that I might reach lasting healing. That my cycle of finding strength in anger and action only to crumble again in fear might be broken, and I can be led to the Spirit for my strength. Pray with me, that I can forgive and welcome the Spirit of God back into my heart, that I can be made whole and again commune with my God, no longer fearing the changes that life brings.

I have been so blessed, and continue to be blessed. I already have so much cause to thank God, I hardly have the courage to ask for one more miracle in my life. I hope that I am following where God leads, that I can once again find peace, and that I can find a way to bless the lives of others in the way mine has been blessed by so many caring friends and strangers.


  1. These are important lessons. I am having to learn them in some different specifics (such as with my health...ultimately, I am not in control, and I have been reminded of that lately -- with similar kinds of lessons you mention here). I am working to do more to "let go and let God."

    Remember that his chastening is really more a loving, caring invitation to do what will bring you more peace, power, and protection - from Him. That can be hard for me to remember, because I am so hard on myself. But His perspective about us is so loving (Pres. Uchtdorf's talk comes to mind).

    Thank you for sharing your insights. They are so applicable for any of us, imo.

    I love you, friend.

  2. I was just talking with a friend today about fear and worry for your children. I tried to tell my friend that no matter her mistakes, it would not change her children's salvation.
    It's ok if it takes a lot time to feel that. When I look back on some hard times in my children's lives, it takes a while for me to accept that the Savior's atonement can heal them. Also, it takes a while to have complete faith that a child's challenge will not affect their eternal progression, even if their life here on earth is not what we were expecting.
    Handing over your children's safety and well-being and their future is very difficult.
    I'm so grateful for the peace I have felt. Unfortunately, I know that when something else comes along, I have to work again to process it and accept it and find out what the Lord wants me to do and eventually feel peace.


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