I'm a Christian. I always have been. I've never had any desire to deviate from my belief in Jesus Christ. I love learning about other cultures and religions but the truth I find there always seems to solidify and add to my Christianity instead of contradict it. I am a believer.
That being said, talking about my faith is difficult for me. No, that's the wrong way to say it... It's very natural because It's simply part of who I am and laced within all of my experiences and how I view the world. BUT. I sometimes am fearful that talking about my faith in specifics instead of generalities will put people off. Make them uncomfortable. Cause them to stop listening to the good I'm trying to convey. Religion is notorious for doing just that. I think it scares people. And I don't want to scare people. lol.
But I've committed to being completely authentic. And this is who I am. My belief in Jesus Christ and my faith is who I am. So today (whether it scares some away or not) I'm sharing a lesson I've learned a million times (like most lessons) and just recently unearthed...again. (insert eye roll here)
Many people hated the year 2020. It was a new kind of hard. For me, 2019 was worse. I was deep into the depths of depression and everything I had learned up to that point either seemed harmful, like all of my negative self-beliefs, or useless, like my faith.
You see, I knew what to do. I knew I needed to forgive others. I knew I needed to forgive myself. I knew I needed the Atonement's healing power in my life. I knew I needed to rely on my Savior. I knew the "map." I had been fed the map my whole life. I knew it by heart.
But I was angry. I was so angry that after all these years of attending church and being taught and studying the gospel of Jesus Christ I was still stuck in my trial. I was stuck in my progression. I was there trying to heal and I knew. I had been taught about these very important things but I hadn't been taught how. I was so very angry that no one bothered to teach me HOW.
How to use the atonement. How to forgive others. How to forgive myself. How to rely on my Savior.
I felt like I had this map (all this know) that led me to the most important and precious treasure that would ever exist but the chest was sitting in front of me. LOCKED. Inaccessible. So so real and just sitting there in front of me. I couldn't access it.
I remember telling my therapist this. Telling her how betrayed I felt that I couldn't access the treasure in the chest. So frustrated that I knew what to do but I didn't know how to do it.
"Have you tried asking?" she said.
I immediately knew what she meant. I'd tried asking her. I'd tried asking books. I'd complained about it a whole awful lot. But had I asked God?
No. I hadn't.
(how many eye rolls can we insert?)
Well I asked God. It wasn't grand or other worldly. It went something like this: "Father, I know I need to forgive. I know I need my Savior. But I don't know how. Will you show me how?"
Not much happened, but I kept coming back. Kept showing up. Kept praying. Kept asking.
Over time my prayers got more and more specific. They were longer, more natural, less forced. I meditated a lot while I prayed. I sat. I listened. Sometimes I heard answers, mostly I just breathed. I pictured my Savior a lot. I saw him. I imagined his embrace. His smile. His hands, his feet. Oh, his beautiful feet. I would imagine laying things I couldn't handle at his feet. Baskets full of sadness. Self-loathing. Anger. Grudges. Hurt. Pain. Anxieties. The tiniest things. Bills due. Chores I couldn't get done. Offensive words. Clutter. Diapers.
He accepted it all. And each time I would walk away a little lighter.
Over time I realized I had the key all along. Prayer. Prayer is the key. Asking God is the key. Over and over and over again. It didn't happen all at once. I'm not sure I even knew it was happening. But slowly I was able to forgive little by little. Over and over and over again. And I still do. I still have to.
And the treasure is indeed just as important and precious and redeeming as I ever imagined and was taught it would be.
This year I relearned this lesson. I was making goals for the new year. Assessing goals I had accomplished and goals I hadn't the previous year (thanks Covid). All of a sudden I had this thought: Have I asked God?
It was the first time in my life (I'll be 30 this year so this realization was pretty sobering--another eye roll?) that I had thought to ask God what HE wanted me to work on for the year. What goals HE wanted me to make.
Just the other day I did it again. I was contemplating what to write about for the short story I'm contributing for my writing group. I'd asked my husband. I'd asked my books. I'd thought and thought. And FINALLY, I thought to ask God.
The answer was immediate and perfect and I couldn't be more excited to write what HE wants me to write.
So lesson learned, again. Over and over and over again.
Prayer is the Key. Asking God is the key. The key to forgiveness. The key to the Atonement. The key to healing. The key to becoming. The key to everything, really.
Hi! I'm Amy
I am a Christian wife and mother, a writer, and a recovering perfectionist who is tired of chasing happiness in all the wrong ways. I am now on a journey to find a deeper state of being. Join me on My Peace Project and we'll learn how to survive the chaos together!