When I was a Mormon, life was life. I went through every day with out much of a thought about God or what impact He had on my every day life. When I was in high school, I would get up and go to school, practice for whatever sport I was doing at the time, and then come home. When I had a bad day or things went wrong any thoughts toward God were never positive. If I had a really bad day then I felt God was punishing me for not being good enough and I needed to try harder.
Growing up we would sometimes have family prayer. When we were all together we would pray for the food. Sunday is the day I would generally spend time really thinking about God. I did have seminary every day in high school, so I guess for that hour I would think about God. Generally, it was a passing thought. God wasn’t the focus in my life. I though people who listened to Christian music and talked about God all the time were weird. If you had told me even 10 years ago that I have more Christian music downloaded than any other, or that I spend most of my time outside of work focused on what God wants me to do, I would have never believed you.
I used to think that my religious beliefs were a private matter and people didn’t need to know what I believed. Most of what I did to worship God was done behind closed doors. It wasn’t part of my everyday conversations and God didn’t cross my thoughts throughout the day. When things went wrong in my life, I thought it was because I wasn’t trying hard enough and I would try harder in those times to read my scriptures and pray more. But it was all on the surface. My heart was never in the right place. The intention behind my actions was all because I was supposed to be doing those things. I was doing what the church leaders told me to, believing that some how they were more spiritual than me. They had a greater connection to My Savior than I did. This was another one of the misconceptions of Mormonism.
As I have grown in my Christian walk, God is ever present in my day. There are many times in my day when I will stop and think “Thanks, God, I know that was you”. It could be for the smallest thing or the biggest thing. It doesn’t really matter. I see God’s hand in every piece of my life.
This week was a really difficult week for me. I’m not sure why but I have been overly emotional all week. Monday was a holiday and Brian and I took the kids out to a movie and dinner. It was a fun time I love being with my kids, Monday was a good day. Tuesday was an average day. I went to work. I love my job but there are some things there that are a daily struggle and I know that I am supposed to be learning something from the experience, I’m not enjoying the lesson. Wednesday the weather was awful, I have a 4o minute commute each way to work and I knew about 10 minutes in I should just stay home. But I didn’t. I was late for work and when I finally got there, got my car stuck in the parking lot. I was told many ways to get it out, how to drive my car, and that I need to get new tires. As I have written many times I don’t like to be told what to do. (I felt a little vindicated later when other people who were telling me how to drive and what to do also got stuck in the parking lot). I arranged things so I could head for home at noon; and hour and 20 minutes later they closed the building I work in for the day. It was a very stressful and irritating day for me. When I got home I took a nap.
I pulled myself together enough to go out in the community and work with the clients I was assigned for the day. I got back to the office and realized I had lost my ID badge. I did exactly what I was told and went and told the person I was supposed to. I was told I needed to go back out in the community an find it. I was told the information on the badge could be used to steal my identity. I completely broke down. I lost it. At this time it was 1:00 in the afternoon and I hadn’t had lunch. I wanted to leave but my daughter had my car. I went into the bathroom and cried. I was done with everything. I was so glad it was Friday and was wishing it was 5:00 so I could go home.
In that moment I finally stopped and said a quick prayer. I started working on turning everything over to God instead of controlling the situation. I again pulled myself together, ate lunch, retraced a few of my steps and found my badge. I was able to get through the rest of the day with out tears, and had a long talk with Brian and then God on the way home.
Thursday was a regular day but bitter cold as it has been the last few weeks. It was so cold here Thursday and Friday most of the schools in the area were closed. Friday was the climax of my horrible week. My son left to go back to college 9 hours away, I took my daughter back to her college dorm in the city where I work. I got to work feeling a bit emotional already saying goodbye to my college kids. There were things that happened at work that day that added to my emotional state and I cried all day. I pulled myself together enough to say a quick prayer.
My conversation with God was please give me strength, courage, be with me as I go through this. Not once did I ask God to fix it or take it away. In my Mormon life, I lived my life to please myself and only involved God when it was convenient. When things went wrong God became the excuse; I would think I wasn’t doing enough to please Him. When life was going OK God was generally an after thought.
As a Christian, I can see God in my everyday life. I am a strong believer in the statement, “Everything happens for a reason”. I know God has a plan for my life. I know every struggle, every roadblock, every heartache, God will take and use for my benefit and His. I’m still struggling with the emotional stress at work . But God knows what I need and He will open doors. He already brought my sister in Christ to work in the same building. I am so grateful that I can go talk to her and have her say a quick prayer for me. Or I can eat my lunch with her and we can talk about God. I love her and I love that God knew I was going to need her, long before I ever did.
Romans 8:28 says God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Later in the same chapter in Romans 8:37 (NIV) it says we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. I love that because not only will God work all the struggles I had this week out to benefit me but I will do more than conquer. I will be victorious. In the NLT version Romans 8:37 says “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us”. What a great promise “overwhelming victory, more than conquerors”. If you commit your life to Christ and are living for Him you are going not only win but you’re going to blow away the competition.
I think my whole point this week is that I became so caught up in my emotions, my struggles, my problems, that I forgot who is looking out for me. I forgot to stop and focus on God and what it means to be His child. I forgot who I gave my heart to and that He wants more than anything to protect me and keep me safe. I fell back in to some of my Pre-Chrisitian beliefs and was focused on me and what I could to do fix things not on God and what his goal and purpose is for all of this. It makes things a little easier knowing at the end I will be “dancing in the end zone”.
I’m just a small town girl… living in God’s world.
One of my most favorite songs click the link and watch the video.
Where I got the title for this weeks blog