3/9/2014 – Oak City 2nd Ward Fast and Testimony Meeting
After almost a month of withdrawing into a corner, licking my wounds after the most recent emotional battering I took, I had a sweet visit from my Relief Society leaders that helped me turn that around and get back to center. I knew before I even had my makeup on this morning, that I would be bearing my testimony today. The Spirit told me. It did not tell me what I would say. But I know by the end of today's meetings:
In our womens' meeting (Relief Society), we learn about faith and repentance. I feel an intense spiritual confirmation...again...that our God is a God of miracles. I am reminded of the miracle the Savior worked for Nephi when commanded to build a ship. Instead of complaining about how hard it was, or that he didn't have tools or experience (which I am constantly whining about), he said “If the Lord commanded me to do all things, I could do them.” It comforts and strengthens me to know that Nephi's God and my God are one and the same and thus He will help me the way He helped Nephi.
I love that God is a God of tender mercies as evidenced by that meeting ending with the hymn “Be Still, My Soul” which has been a go-to source of comfort for me for 20 years.
Another tender mercy is that every word spoken in every lesson is for me today. In Sunday School, where we are learning about the Old Testament, we talked about the sacrifice Abraham was asked to make: the sacrifice of his son, Isaac. As the mother of a beloved son struggling with addiction, I can relate to Abraham. As I began to stop enabling behavior and trying to help create a “bottom” which would move his heart to change, it felt like that kind of sacrifice. It is not natural for us, as LDS mothers, to force our sons to sleep in cars if they are not sober, or to leave the comfort of our arms for desolate places when they cross agreed upon boundaries. Many times my Savior has intervened in my son's efforts at self-destruction. I know God sees those actions as love. I know the same God who saved Isaac, loves my son, and can save him too.
Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“Remember everyone has weaknesses. And there are two sides to every story. If you err in judgment, err on the side of love and mercy.” No one does that better than each of you (the members of my ward). No matter what happens in our family--and we do experience a host of almost bizarrely devastating trials on a regular basis--you show up. You support us. No matter how public and uncomfortable the situation, you err on the side of love and mercy. Not a person in this room has been without influence in our lives. Every time you express your love, perform some act of service, say your prayers, or even say amen to prayers to help those who are struggling, I feel your love.
I know my Savior lives. I know He is a God of miracles. I know He is both just and merciful. I know we are led by divinity, even in our weaknesses (and mine are many), as long as we are doing our best.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.