Christian, mormonism

Just be Held…

I had a whole blog written and almost ready to post but it just didn’t feel right.  I knew in my heart what God wanted me to write but I’ve been fighting it for 2 weeks.

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The past month has been difficult for me.  I fell at work and have some injuries that I am trying to work through and receive treatment for.  The MRI I had a few weeks ago was for my hand.  I found out that I am going to have surgery and will most likely not gain full use back.  I have some other injuries that I am still working with the doctors to treat and I’m unsure of what will happen with those.

Just like when I had my MRI, I was alone with only God by my side holding my hand as the doctor gave me the news about surgery and possible partial disability.  That combined with a few other things I have been working through with all of this, I have been swarmed with emotions.  I have felt fearful, scared, unsure, betrayed, anxious, and depressed.  So much of what I have been feeling is very similar to how I lived my life before accepting Christ as my Savior.

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I have been struggling with depression and anxiety.  I have never been so anxious in my life and every day I struggle. I am living in a world of uncertainty.  I have no idea where this path leads or what God has planned for me but I know he has a plan for all of this.

Last weekend we went on a very quick and short vacation for spring break.  Just before I left there were some things that came up with this whole situation that were very frustrating and defeating for me.  My hope for our vacation was to be able to put all the struggles on the shelf and not think about them for a few days so I could enjoy time with my family.  On our drive, I started thinking about all that is going on and I said in my head God what am I going to do.  The song Just Be Held immediately started on the radio and I burst into tears.  I think I have blogged about this song before.  But it again just spoke to me.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So, when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So, when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So, when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
(Stop holding on and just be held)
Just be held, just be held
Just be held, just be held

I have felt like life has hit me out of nowhere and I’m barely holding on.  This has become my life song for this season of my life.  Through the weekend, I was able to let go.  I spend very little time thinking about the stressors that waited me when I went back to my job.  I just surrendered it all to God.  And when it would start to creep back into my thoughts, God would whisper in my mind “Just be held”.

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One of the hardest parts of all of this is the feelings of depression, not being good enough, and hopelessness that are constantly invading my thoughts.  I lived with those emotions most of my life.  I hate feeling like I am not enough.  I hate the constant feelings of depression and not even wanting to get out of bed.  The biggest difference between the depression I have experienced in the past and depression I have now is that my past depression was created by my religion.  My feelings of depression and worthlessness were increased by a belief in a god that I had to work for his affection and love.

As a Christian, God is the only thing that is holding me together.  My BIG God, who can do anything, is who gives me the strength to get out of bed every morning.  He is my motivation.  And the most comforting feeling in the world is hearing God say “Just stop, I’ve got this”.

I don’t know what is going to happen.  I don’t know how my blog will be affected.  But I know God has a plan and a purpose for me and for this blog.  I know that my life isn’t falling apart but God is working things together so they will be better than I can imagine.

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So often I look back at my life and see how far God has brought me. This experience has shown me more than I realized.  I had forgotten how debilitating depression and anxiety can be.  I am so grateful for my God who is bigger than all of it!!

I’m just a small-town girl…just being held by my God who is bigger than the world.

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Christian, mormonism

He is my Strength…

Thanks for being patient with me, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks!! I hope you enjoy this weeks blog!

As I was scrolling through Facebook last week I came across a post by one of the Mormon apostles Jeffery R. Holland.  It talked about having difficult times in our lives and referred to something written by John Taylor quoting Joseph Smith.

John Taylor wrote that he once heard Joseph Smith say to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. … God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God.”

Holland went on to say that we have to suffer just as Christ suffered.  He stated that when Christ was in the garden he was in agony and “We must walk where He walked”.  I’m  not exactly sure where Mr. Holland was going with this whole thing but what I got from it is that we are meant to suffer.  God puts difficulties in our lives to see how strong we are and if we can’t handle the pain and trials in life then we aren’t worthy of being in the presence of God.

I know that life is hard.  I have had difficult times in my life and weathered many storms.  However, I don’t think that God ever wants us to suffer or be in agony.  I know that God challenges us or wants us to grow.  But most often when I am in a situation where I am in agony or my heartstrings are being pulled that hard it is because of my choices.

Sometimes there are things that happen in life that are really hard to understand, that happen not because of our choices but maybe because of someone else s, or just because.  This is one thing I struggle with often.  When someone I love is diagnosed with cancer or another chronic illness, it’s hard to understand.  No one chooses cancer, diabetes, depression, anxiety, etc. or when you lose a loved one in a car accident.  It’s difficult and it’s hard to understand.

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The thing that helps me the most to gain some perspective on this is, thinking back to the garden of Eden and Eve eating the apple.  When she did that, sin and death entered the world and the world began to die.

One thing I know for certain is that God is always there.  He will never leave me to go through the storms of life alone.  And as I have said many times in the past I am never going to be worthy of His presence but that’s why I have a Savior!

I was completely baffled by by Mr. Holland’s statement!!  “You will have all kinds of trials to pass through…God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings”.  It blows me away to think that my loving God would set out to “wrench my very heart strings”  and if I can’t handle it then I am not good enough for Him.

It is heartbreaking to think  that God would put difficult things in your life, just to see if you were strong enough to handle them.  He is going to make things hard and make you struggle and if you give up or you feel like you can’t make it through then you aren’t deserving of being in his presence.  2-sam-22-33-stg

The saddest part of that quote is, so often that is a very common theme in Mormonism.  If you are in a storm or struggle in your life then God is testing you or you aren’t working hard enough.   What it comes down to is that you need to try harder.  One quote that I’ve heard or seen often from my Mormon friends is, “The teacher is always quiet during the test”.  I have always struggled with that quote.  When I see that, I think of the poem Footprints in the Sand.  He is always there.  Always walking along beside us and more often than not, He is carrying me, especially in my most difficult and darkest times. I also think of the quote that says God won’t give us anything we can’t handle.  I think that is the furthest thing from the truth.  If God is putting something in my life that I feel I can’t handle it’s because He wants me to rely on Him.  He wants to be my strength.  It is so I will trust in Him and not in myself.  It’s so I will rely on Him!

Last week I saw another post that was talking about Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (ESV).  It was talking about how often people misinterpret the passage.  In this devotion it talks about if you take the whole passage from Philippians in context the passage isn’t about gaining strength or pushing through hard times.  It’s about being content in the moment and relying on God completely in whatever circumstances we face.

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As a Christian the most important thing I do is rely on God and trust that God is going to take care of me.  I don’t have the ability or strength handle or face everything that happens in my life.  In fact, there are so many things that I can’t handle, that I struggle to face even on a daily basis.  If I thought, for even a second, that I had to do them to prove to my God that I was worthy of Him and His love and presence, I would fail every time.  I think I would give up.  What is the point of living if you know you can never do enough or be enough.  Just the thought of trying to prove myself to God is depressing.  I fail Him everyday!

What gives me hope is knowing that His word, the Bible, tells me He is my strength.  The Bible is full of stories of God taking people that weren’t adequate for the task at hand or who didn’t have the strength and ability to do what He wanted them to do or go through and yet they came out on top.  Not because of their strength or ability but because of God’s!  Can you imagine David being told by God he would kill a giant!  Do you think he didn’t question God. Do you think he could have killed Goliath on his own without God.

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I know there are times when heart wrenching things happen but I really don’t think that God seeks to do us harm or has a desire for us to be in pain.  When I have seen people go through difficult times it is the people who rely on God and trust in Him who seem to be the most resilient in the situation.

Overall, God is my strength.  He is the one I rely on especially when storms of life are raging.  The hardest part is relying on him when the waters of life are calm.

I’m just a small town girl…living in a stormy world where Christ is my strength.

 

Don’t forget to check out the music videos for this week!