Monday, November 10, 2014

Waiting on the Lord

I know.
I've said this before.
I really love Sundays.
Sometimes, I feel like if I can just hang on with my hands or even my nails and teeth and barely skate into Sunday, my cup will be filled again.

I'm telling you -- I think it's my favorite day of the week.
 Last night I sat by the fire for a long time, writing and reflecting.
I listened to carols and felt totally hugged by them.

Elder Scott talks about how individual scriptures "...can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar.  They are always available when needed. ...To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship.  It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."  (for more, see this talk)

I thought of that last night as I was cleaning up dinner in the quiet, and then as I sat there, writing.
Some of those carols are so familiar in my heart that they are old friends.  And the text of their message has lifted my heart and brought joy and peace to my soul on so many occasions that I couldn't count them.

The last several months have, possibly, been the hardest of my life thus far---while also, ironically, feeling undeservedly blessed in many, many, ways,

I have felt exhausted.
Evaluation of mistakes and regrets.
Painful introspection.
Finding hope.
Clinging to it.
Dependence on the Lord.
A lot of quiet.

Over the last week, I have found myself pondering this message:

"In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust....To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing means praying as the Savior did---to God, our Heavenly Father---saying...'Thy will be done'...Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and 'receiving the Holy Ghost' so that we can know 'all things what [we] should do...[it] means to 'stand fast' and 'press forward' in faith, 'having a perfect brightness of hope.' It means 'relying alone upon the merits of Christ' and 'with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.'...In my life I have learned that sometimes I do not receive an answer to a prayer because the Lord knows I am not ready.  When he does answer, it is often 'here a little and there a little' because that is all that I can bear or all I am willing to do. ...We may not know when or how the Lord's answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come. ...Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine.  Let us therefore be kinder to one another and kinder toward ourselves. ...I express gratitude that 'in my Gethsemane' and yours, we are not alone.  He that watches over us 'shall neither slumber nor sleep.' His angels here and beyond the veil are 'round about [us], to bear [us] up.'"

---Elder Robert D. Hales, from his talk titled "Waiting Upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done"

I know that all of us have seasons like this in life.

In all of my processing, I have come around to these beautiful truths, again and again.
Ultimately, they are the place that I find rest.
God is kind and gentle.
The Savior's atonement is real and personal.

The things I have learned over the past year are deeply meaningful to me.

God is letting me learn, from my own experience.
Seriously...what a gift.
It's something I can't fully express adequate gratitude for.
Something I can't put a price tag on. 
Something I am consistently humbled by.
Indeed, He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. (Psalm 121:4)

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