Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Things You Can't Talk About

I woke up feeling overwhelmed this morning.

There are some heavy things weighing on my heart, but they're the personal kinds of things that I can't write about specifically on this blog.

Everything is generally going really well in my life right now, and if I did tell you what's troubling me, you might not think it's that big of a deal.  But these challenges are hard for me--to the point that my stomach starts to hurt a little bit, and I kind of want to stay in bed watching movies all day. (Ever had a day like that?)

But I learned something really important during my travels and visits with friends this summer.

I learned that everyone has something going on that they would never post to social media.

In those quiet talks Eric and I had with our dear friends and family members, we discussed things that they or their loved ones are going through--like marital infidelity, divorce, custody issues, suicide attempts, children who were victims of rape, deep feelings of loss over the premature death of a spouse, financial stress, severe parenting dilemmas, and eating disorders.

I felt so humbled after some of these talks, especially as I realized how common it is for the people we love to be suffering more than we know they are.

But then this morning I read a few reminders during my scripture study that brought a beautiful peace to my heart, so I thought I'd share it--in case you're having one of those days where you're not breathing very well, or where you think everyone else's life is just one big party.

First, look to God and live.

This one is so simple, but it makes so much sense.  We keep our eyes up.  We focus on Him.  We make the choice to live (not to stay in bed watching movies).

He has this incredible ability to lift the rest of our lives and to heal us from all those things that hurt inside.  I don't know how He does it, but I know He does it.

His power is amazing.  Amazing.

Second, when we bear all things with patience--because the Lord is with us and has given us power to do so--then at the end of each particular challenge, we will know that He was the one who delivered us.

This is an important point that I keep learning over and over again.  Sometimes God allows us to be put in circumstances that feel impossible because He wants us to know that the only way we got out of those circumstances was because of Him.

We hear this question often: "If there's a God, then why does He let bad things happen to good people?"

My husband and I were talking about this the other day, and He said, "How about we change that question and make it into this: Why does God let HARD things happen to good people?"

That's a much better question.

God knows that when we go through things that are hard, we will turn to Him.  He'll show us how strong He is, and then He'll transfer some of that strength to us.  And He'll provide us mercy--because of His Son.  That one idea is so powerful and comforting to me.

Third, as much as we put our trust in God, that's how much we will be delivered out of our trials and troubles.

Not sure if I phrased that right, but here's what I mean: It seems logical to pray less when we feel like we're not getting answers, but the reverse is actually true.  When we feel like the heavens are closed or that life is too hard or that no one is listening to us, that's when we pray more.  

That's when we pour our hearts out to the Lord first thing in the morning and keep a prayer in our hearts throughout the whole day.  That's when we gather our children around us and invite them to feel that same power in their lives.  We sing to the Lord while we exercise and run errands.  We listen to music or podcasts or videos that strengthen our faith.  We treat others gently and sweetly--like we know the Lord is treating us--and if one single doubt comes into our minds that we will ever get out of the difficulty we are in, we sweep that doubt out and replace it with an increase of faith.

That process has worked every single time for me.

I don't know what you are going through right now, but sometimes I feel like the Lord helps me to know a little bit of the heartache that the readers of my blog are feeling.  That's why I'm writing this here this morning.  (Usually these things would just go in my personal journal.)

I know that the Lord is there for all of us.  He wants to help us with all those things we can't talk about, and as we increase our faith and help others increase their faith, our lives will take on an added measure of power and beauty--beyond what we ever anticipated.

Much, much love,

April

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing April....I really needed this today! <3

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  2. I love the image of sweeping out all doubt and replacing it with faith. You are right - everyone goes through times that they have troubles that are deeply personal and trying and cannot be shared on social media. And I agree - as much as we put our faith in God, we are carried through. As we plead with Him, answers come that do not when we do not. Sometimes they are so practical and sometimes they are life changing and surprising. I also like the idea that hard things happen to good people. Wonderful post. I will remember it as I need it.

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    1. Laurie, you teach these principles over and over and over again, and I know you've gotten so much of your spiritual strength by going through these hard times. You are an amazingly faithful wife and mother, and I so admire you. xo

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  3. Thanks for sharing this! Your words are right on point and so heartfelt. I love reading your blog because I feel always feel so inspired and motivated and enlightened. YOU are such a great teacher and cheerleader!

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    1. Thanks so much Shannon! I appreciate your kind words, and I'm so glad we were able to meet in Las Vegas!

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  4. Thank you April! I feel like this may have been for me:) Today has been one of those 'I want to stay in bed and cry all day' kind of days and I have been debating on whether I will try hard to turn from that tomorrow or just give in. I need to choose to look to God and live. I pray that I will have the strength to do so.
    I really hope that I have more opportunities to learn by your side!

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    1. Briana, you are doing great. Your strength is inspiring--even when you don't know who it's inspiring. I know the Lord will help you figure out the best way to use your energy. Love you!

      April

      P.S. I listened to this talk this morning while I exercised, and I was so inspired. LOVE Rosemary Wixom.
      https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2011/01/coming-to-know?lang=eng&media=video#watch=video

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