In our church twice a year we have what is called a General Conference. This is a world-wide broadcasted meeting in which the leaders of our church speak to us on various spiritual topics. We are taught about the scriptures, how to be better Christians, chastity, charity, having faith, being prepared, being obedient, following the Savior, etc. I love listening and learning during these times.
The other night for our family home evening, we were listening to one of the speakers from the most recent General Conference. It was Jeffrey R. Holland. He was talking about believing and having faith. You can read it here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng
There were two short sentences that he said that really touched me. He said, "Hope on. Journey on." These four words really came into play today. I will tell you why.
I know I have mentioned in previous blogs about the struggles we had in coming here and after we were here. We had people who treated us rudely and unfairly. I felt like I had lost family relationships and friendships that could never be replaced. My parents were extremely upset, especially my mom and I felt like I had lost one of my very best friends. Things are better now, but I still have a hard time opening up about my life to her because of the reaction and conversations that took place earlier. There are days that I cry because I wish she were there to talk to but I still feel a gap when it comes to certain areas of my life. I know she loves me and wants the best for me. I know she would do anything for me, but my guard is still up about certain things. So instead, I talk to my Heavenly Father. Hoping for peace and comfort from Him.
As mentioned before, we took a huge pay cut when we moved here. To be honest, it has been really hard making ends meet. I have tried, but some months it just doesn't happen. I feel my place is at home so I can take care of the children when they are still young. I substitute at the school to earn a little extra money. That gives me the opportunity to help out but still be there for my children when they need it. Today I felt like everything came crashing down.
I woke up to find that our overdraft protection in our bank account had kicked in but that we were still in the negative. We had a lot of extra expenses these last few weeks and everything kind of came out of our account at once. We have another account but it takes a few days for things to transfer. So I raided my kids piggy banks and headed to town to try to fix things before there was any damage. All the way to town I cried like a baby. The words of my parents' disapproval were ringing through my head. Doubt began to creep in and a feeling of total failure swept over me. Had we really done the right thing? Was being together as a family really more important than money? Was moving to a place where we had to drive an hour to church, 20 minutes to school and 30 minutes to groceries what we should have done? I knew we had prayed. I knew we had both felt right about our decision to move and come here. I knew we all wanted to be together every night instead of having Michael gone. But why was it so hard? We pay our tithing. In Malachi we are promised that if we pay our tithing the windows of heaven will be opened and blessings will be poured out and there will not be enough room to receive them. We go to church. We read our scriptures. We pray. We teach our children.
Amidst all of this running through my mind, the words of Jeffrey R. Holland came into my mind. "Hope on. Journey on." Then the words from Mark chapter 9 came, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief." This life is a journey filled with ups and downs. There are times when so many things seem to be coming at us and we feel like we are sinking. This morning was one of those mornings for me. Yet, the Lord is watching over us. He is there to reach out and bring us up. Sometimes we have to be tested to show our faith in Him. Our trials can make us stronger. Even when we feel our strength is waining if we will just call out, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief" He will be there to strengthen and comfort us. This morning in my tearful journey to town I felt that peace and comfort. I felt that knowledge that He is there. My mind was able to clear, my heart was able to be at peace and I knew that all would be ok. We will struggle. I'm sure I will have more tearful moments in my journey. I may have to raid my kids piggy banks again. But all will be ok. The important things in life will be taken care of. He will not forsake us if we but put our trust in Him.
Hope on. Journey on.