I can't believe 2016 is over! This year was definitely a tough one but I learned something about myself. It was tough because I wouldn't accept my life as it is now. It was tough because I am at war with my thoughts and body. I learned despite the many set backs that I am a fighter! You can tell you are a fighter when nothing changes in your life, as far as, your symptoms go, yet you want to keep trying. The things I fought for was mostly a matter of control over some small shred of my life. I fought guilt of not being who I used to be. I relied so heavily on how people treated me. My self esteem was so low. I had no passion for life other than to survive. As great as it is to fight at some point you get tired of fighting. I want to surrender. I just want to be happy despite all the things that are out of my control. This hope has felt out of my reach for so long. I would have good days but then something would happen to sink me into despair again. It felt like someone or something was messing with my mind just to see me squirm. Everyday felt like an experiment. Satan was succeeding in keeping me distracted and worrying and fighting for the wrong things. What I want to surrender to is Joy. I want to feel joy during my pain. I need to be taught.
January is always a tough month. It has been very wet and bitter cold here. I do not like to be cold it makes me hurt more and I can never seem to get warm enough. The magic and excitement of Christmas is gone with the decorations. It all happened so fast I couldn't even keep up with my blog for 25 days closer to Christ Christmas. I left out a little Christmas tree and our box with our new gifts to the savior as a reminder of what to focus on. Our family wants to focus more on the Savior. We did keep doing the light the world challenge. I have been thinking of all the wonderful things that we did. I thought it would be great if we could keep doing little things each day from that same challenge. I know I am not the only one out there who struggles in the winter. I did discover that some people do better in the winter like my friend who has MS. I could bare it a little longer for that reason. Winter is also a great time to look inward and plan for the months ahead.
I have been trying to keep in mind thoughts of moving forward. On the first Sunday in January we had the perfect lesson to start this year off right! Gordon B Hinckley said it so perfectly!
"This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike."
I tend to want to take giant steps to success but I tend to stumble and fall and fail. I think the trick to feeling more joy is to take baby steps each day. Some days it might feel more like crawling. As long as we keep moving forward. I will surrender to the Savior on the days where I might have to let him carry me and help me fight the depression when I feel myself start to struggle. Does this sound familiar to any of you? I don't have much control but I don't want to feel out of control either. I really feel in surrendering I can let go of unrealistic expectations and feel less like a failure. It is a new perspective this year. It is a chance to reach out to more people in kindness and the knowledge I have gained over so many years. Who knows how to recognize who is wandering in the darkness more than someone who fights it daily. It shouldn't be such a big aha moment for me that what we focus on matters ,yet it is! I have a choice. You have a choice.Like Nephi ,who was bound by his brothers on the very ship they didn't think he could build , I will try to praise the Lord all day long. He could have cried why me? Why can't my brothers change or that I can be free from these cords? But he didn't! He focused on God even in great emotional and physical pain.1 Nephi 18:15-16
15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.
16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.
So just to recap. I am going to keep fighting but not for control but to keep my thoughts on spiritual things. I am going to enjoy as many good days I have despite the weather and pain and the Lord will help me. I am going to try to notice those who need help and be kind in all my relationships. I am going to ditch big goals for baby steps forward. I will accept my limitations with joy and trust in him who suffered all things. When we feel no one knows what we are going through, let us remember someone does! He is merciful and kind. He does not want us to feel guilt or despair but joy in our afflictions. Whether they be many or a few. Don't forget to be kind to yourself and take your time with your goals. Make sure it is something small so you can have success and more joy! More joy and peace. Thank you for visiting today and I will try not to be such a stranger.