Tag Archives: Help

It Takes an Act of Faith

 

There have been times in my life when I have felt encompassed in darkness.  I have also reached the point where I have wanted and even tried to end my life… but somehow, I am still here.  I am still needed, as are you.  You are needed.  The Lord needs YOU on HIS side.

 

Vigilance

Are you watching? Are you paying attention?

The Importance of Being Alert

It is extremely important in today’s world to stay vigilant.  In Webster’s Dictionary, vigilant is defined as:

“Keenly watchful to detect danger; ever awake and alert.”

When we are not watchful, or when we allow ourselves to not view bad as bad, etc, we allow ourselves to slip and in effect let Satan gain control over our lives to the point that we are no longer acting, but being acted upon.  We have the freedom to act for ourselves, but as we choose not to be vigilant, we allow ourselves to be acted upon.  This freedom in described in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 2:26:

“And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall.  And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.”

Our Agency

The Lord has given us the precious gift of agency to act and choose for ourselves what we want out of our lives.  Our agency is pretty much the only thing we have that is ours that we can give as a gift to the Lord.  The Savior did this as he exclaimed, not My will, but Thine be done, speaking to the Father.

Do we follow the Savior’s example and give our will to the Father?  Do we continually strive to be like the Savior and cleave unto Him?  We are taught to cleave unto God in the Book of Mormon in Jacob 6:5 which reads:

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as He cleaveth unto you.  And while His arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts.”

Are we coming unto God with full purpose of heart?  Do we really submit our wills to the Father?  Truly, this is the most freeing and sanctifying thing that we can do.

We must Watch

We must ever be vigilant.  Satan is continually trying to pull us down in whatever way that he can.  He is real.  He has trapped me numerous times in my life.  As we are vigilant and continually cleaving unto God, we are greatly protected from the adversary as it explains in the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi 18:18:

“Ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.”

Let us not let Satan have us.  We are more powerful than he will ever be.  We have the Lord on our sides, and He is there to help us.  As we continually remember the Lord, we can be sure to steer away from the temptations of the adversary.

You’re Not Alone

How deep do you let yourself get in dark waters?

Dreams

A couple nights ago I had a dream that I fell into dark and murky water from a dock.  I soon found myself reaching up to grab somebody’s hand that was stretched out towards me.  As I continued to reach, I was drifting away from the hand.  Then, all of a sudden, I felt this huge pull on my leg that was pulling me downward.  I continued reaching, but it seemed like I was not getting very far.  The strong yank downward happened again and I was scared.  Immediately, I woke up.

Life and Trials

Perhaps, in life this is how it is.  We are continually reaching upward, but if we let ourselves drift even a little bit, Satan is right there to pull us even farther downward.  He wants our souls.  Are we letting him have them?

As we give in a little bit, we allow ourselves to be pulled down more than we thought would happen.  As we reach up and call for help from our Heavenly Father, He will be there to save us with His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

I was not left alone in the water to save myself from the deep and dark unknown abyss below me.  The hand is always stretched out to lift us up to more than we can be.

The Waters of Life

Sometimes it seems as if life is like being in the dark, unknown water.  Sometimes it seems as if we are surrounded by things that we did not ask to be surrounded by.  Sometimes it seems as if our choices lead us further and further away from the outstretched hand, because it is easier to let ourselves drift than to keep ourselves afloat and continually reaching unto God.

As I went through depression, I allowed myself to drift, but I believe that I always had my hand reaching out to Christ.  I wanted help.  I did not know what to do anymore.  I felt lost.  Nothing seemed to be working.  The only comfort that I had was from my Heavenly Father and Savior.  Sometimes it was from them through another person.

I was being pulled downward into the dark, unknown abyss of water beneath me.  I am not going to lie, I was scared.  I did not know what was happening to me and all I could do many days was put all of my effort and thought and strength into getting myself out of bed.

Needing More…

Sometimes, when we have drifted far away from the outstretched hand, we need more than that hand to save us from the ominous deep below us.  This was the case with me.  I did not have the strength to swim myself closer to the hand against the strong force pulling me away.

When this is the case, the Lord provides a way for us to  be saved.  He has given humans the ability to have intelligence and to learn and to create.  He has shown people how things can be done.  He reaches out to us with more than just His hand.  He reaches out with His love and His knowledge through others.

For me, this meant being hospitalized numerous times.  He did not leave me alone to drown.  He provided a way for me to be saved and be lifted out of the dark water.  As my therapists and psychiatrists tried to help me in the best way they thought possible, I was being brought back towards the dock and closer to the outstretched hand.  I was thrown a rope and I am so grateful that I grabbed on.

When we are given the opportunity to have help, let us take it.  Heavenly Father knows what we need perfectly, and sometimes what we need is additional help.  It is not always easy to accept, but I was saved as I did grab hold of the gift that God was giving me.

We can be lifted out of dark and troubled waters.  Heavenly Father provides a way.  Through the Savior, all things are possible.

 

A Couch Potato…Is it you?

When are you going to actually start cleaning up your life?

Desires to change

Have you ever really wanted something?  Have you ever wanted to accomplish or achieve a certain goal or task?  How far do you get?  Do you tell mentally tell yourself that you are going to do something different with your life to become better?  Do you ever not get to the point of actually doing that thing you told yourself you were going to do?

A Wake-up Call

I believe that it is time for us each to wake up.  It is time for us to get up from the dust and away from the television, and actually start doing those things that we mentally tell ourselves we are going to do.  We do not get places by just sitting and waiting.  We can do things now to become better, to improve ourselves in the ways that we want to improve ourselves.

I am not trying to be harsh, I just think it is very important for us to realize that we get much further in life as we work towards our goals with diligence.  Nephi said this to himself in the Book of Mormon as he was taking inventory of his life.  Perhaps we too, should be telling ourselves the same thing.  The verses are found in 2 Nephi 4:28-29:

“Awake, my soul!  No longer droop in sin.  Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.  Do not anger again because of mine enemies.  Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.”

How to keep our strength strong

I realize that it is not an easy thing to not ‘slacken’ our strength while we are going through many afflictions.  I know that when we keep our strength as strong as before when we are going through hard times, it is what helps us through.  We can get through the depression and through the unemployment and through the heartbreak as we keep our faith strong and as we rely on our Savior.

In order to keep our strength present in our lives we must be diligent in doing the small things.  We must realize our potential by taking opportunities that come our way.  We are able to take opportunities that come our way when we are prepared for them.  We become prepared as we live our lives with exact obedience and diligence in working towards our goals.

When we tell ourselves to change

Let us be the ones to take the first step to change as we tell ourselves to.  The first step is indeed the desire to change, but we don’t get anywhere if we do not do anything about that desire.  If we do not do anything, the desire becomes a lost hope.  How many lost hopes have you allowed into your life?  How many desires are you still allowing to become lost hopes?

We must remember to do those things that we tell ourselves to do, even if it means putting post-it notes all over our house (this is how I often remind myself to do something).  I love how Dieter F. Uchtdorf describes it in his article, “Your Potential, Your Privilege.”  He says:

“Too often we attend meetings and nod our heads; we might even smile knowingly and agree. We jot down some action points, and we may say to ourselves, “That is something I will do.” But somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our “do it” switch gets rotated to the “later” position. Brethren, let’s make sure to set our “do it” switch always to the “now” position!”

Sometimes we may say that it is not possible to change all of the things that we wrote down or mentally told ourselves to do.  Instead of becoming overwhelmed, let us pick the one thing that we believe is the thing we need to improve upon at this time in our lives.  I understand that doing a little bit at a time is more effective to many people than biting off more than you can chew all at once.

We have help.  We don’t need to do it all on our own.

We have help in trying to become better individuals.  This help is found in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf also says later in the article:

“As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your privileges.”

As we do our part, the Lord is more than happy to help us realize our potential.  Please don’t get down on yourself and beat yourself up for all of the things that you have not done.  Think of the things that you have done.  Even if they are small, they are accomplishments.  Christ will help you to do more as you continue to work hard and do the best you can.  Do not worry if your best does not measure up to someone else’s best.

Heavenly Father knows you.  He knows how much you can do.  He knows your limitations; He also knows your potential.  Please get off the couch and try to do something more.  Try to act instead of allowing yourself to be acted upon.  God loves you.  Please let Him help you and follow His guidance.

Why Me?

Why me?

Living the good Life

So, things are going just fine in your life.  You go to school and/or  have a job, have time to spend with your family, can’t remember the last time you seriously broke down and cried.  Yeah, you have little things that go on that need to be fixed, but you are happy.  You have friends and enjoy talking with and spending time with them.  They love being around you because you are happy and help them to feel happy as well.

Life is going good.  You are doing the things you are supposed to be doing and making choices that help to lead you back to your home in heaven.  You are making decisions that lead you to true happiness.

This seemed to be my life last September.  And then October came.

The Hard Times

I honestly didn’t really recognize a huge shift in my life to begin with.  Things start small and they build up over time.  I noticed that I wasn’t as motivated anymore and I was easily irritated with little things.  I still went to work and when I was with friends and other people, I put on a happy face the best I could.  I didn’t want people to worry about me.

Trying to be something other than what I really was, made it even harder when I was alone.  I started becoming extremely weepy with no motivation.  I would often turn down invitations to do things with friends and I started isolating because I didn’t have the energy to pretend to be happy.

One night, I quit my job after breaking down crying in the middle of the restaurant.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.  It seemed as if my happy, good life came to an abrupt end, like I was thrown against a huge mountain and put into the fire.

Perhaps you as well have had this experience in your life.  You wonder why something happened to you.  You wonder why you are dealing with a particular trial.  You can’t seem to remember doing anything wrong or anything that would have caused this to happen.  Why me?  you ask.

Why Me?

Sometimes hard times come because we have done something wrong in our lives and need to be brought back to our senses to get back on track.  But the times you really ask yourself why me are perhaps when you cannot see something that you have done terribly wrong that would cause a particular trial in your life.

Why was it me who lost a child?  Why is it me that is going through depression?  Why is it me who has to battle with cancer?  Why is it me who has an abusive parent or spouse?  Why is it me who can’t find a job?  Why is it me who seems to have certain temptations?  Why is it me that has to move to a new place?  Why is it me who was laid off work?  Why is it me who seems to have no friends?  Why is it me?

In Revelations 3:19 in the New Testament it reads:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

The Lord loves us.  He wants us to become even better people.  By chastening us, he allows us to not become complacent, but to grow spiritually and physically.    We must remember that even during our period of trial, He is there to help us and to make us light.  In Mosiah 24:14-15 in the Book of Mormon it reads:

“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God do visit my people in their afflictions.  And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”

The Lord knows what each of us need and who needs us perfectly.  By going through afflictions and hard times in our life, not only are we refined to become more like Christ, we are also better able to help and comfort those around us.  We learn things that we never may have learned had it not been for a particular trial.

The little steps and ways we react to situations in our life, help determine the person we ultimately become.  Sometimes people around us need to know what is going on in our lives so that they can help.  It is usually easier to overcome hard times in your life when you have a support system in place to help you and to lift you up.  Remember that Heavenly Father is always there.  We just need to pray for His help.  Perhaps as we choose the small steps that lead to true happiness always, we can know that as we face challenges in life, something is not wrong with us.  We can know that our Heavenly Father is just trying to refine us into more beautiful people.

Past Loneliness…

You are not alone...

Feeling Alone

Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt completely and utterly alone?  Even when you knew people who were in that group of people?  I know that I have.  Sometimes in life you just feel like no one can relate to you, that no one understands.  People may talk like they understand, but sometimes you just want to scream at them YOU HAVE NO CLUE what I am going through right now.

Sometimes in life we feel like no one understands, that we are going through our trials by ourselves and that no one cares.  Sometimes we simply feel worthless and feel like there is no reason that anyone should care for us.  Sometimes we wonder why people do care, because we honestly don’t even care.

Past the Loneliness…

So, how do we get past the loneliness?  How do we accept the love and concern and care that others offer to us?  How do we start caring again?

  • Through Christ:  It is ultimately through the atonement of Christ that we are not alone, that we can get past our loneliness.  He is the One who has gone through every thing that we have gone through and everything that we will go through in fulfilling the Father’s will by atoning for each of our sins and by suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Isaiah 53: 4-5 explains this beautifully as it reads:
“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded (pierced) for our transgressions, He was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

  • Accepting our Identity:  As we truly come to know and accept who we are we can have a greater capacity to rely upon our Savior and our Father in Heaven.  We can do this as we accept ourselves as children of God, whom He loves and wants to bless and care for.  We are His children, and He is our Father.  His purpose is to help us.  He ultimately helps us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  This scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 76: 22-24 sums up our identity well:  
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him:  That He lives!  For we saw Him, even on the right hand of God and we heard the voice bearing record that He is the Only Begotten of the Father-  That by Him and through Him and of Him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”
  • Reaching Out:  As we reach out to those around us, we think less of ourselves and thus feel less lonely.  I am not saying that it is not important to care for ourselves, because that is vital, but as we reach out to others in service and kindness, we feel better about ourselves.  We feel this way because we are doing what Christ would do and what our Heavenly Father would want us to do in helping His children.
  • Living to have the Spirit of Christ:  As we live our lives in order to be able to feel God’s love for us through His spirit, we are able to feel comforted.  When we live in such a way that is in accordance to the Lord’s will for us and His commandments, we are better able to recognize His hand in our lives and feel of His love daily.


You are Never Alone
 

How have you seen the Lord’s hand in your life?  How can you know that you are never alone?   Where do you turn for comfort?  God never fails us.  He is there and He loves us.  Jesus Christ is truly my best friend.  I want to live my life in such a way that I show gratitude for that friendship and am a friend in return by following His example.  Christ is the reason why we are never alone.  Through His suffering on the cross and in the Garden of Gethsemane, He has experienced all that we have experienced and He is willing to go through it again as He walks with us in our lives.  Let us let Him heal us.  He lifts us up.  I am reminded of the footprints poem.  I know that He lives and that He is there to carry us through our hard times.

The Worst Night of My Life and How I Survived

Divine Help

Our Heavenly Father gives us help in our lives during our most challenging times and when things are going well.  I love the verse of scripture found in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ in Moroni chapter 7, verse 33 which states:

“And Christ hath said:  If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.”

We can hope in the Savior of the world, in His redeeming power and perfect love.  He strengthens us when we cannot do things on our own.

Where does divine help come from?

  1. Divine help comes from an added measure of strength and ability.  This may be the case when knowledge is brought to our minds while we are taking an exam.  There are many other examples of this in life.
  2. Divine help comes in the form of other people.  Our Heavenly Father shares His love with us through sending people into our lives to lift and love us.
  3. Divine help also comes from diligence in keeping the commandments, reading the word of God and applying and integrating truths into our lives.  Basically, it comes from actually believing in the words we read and the truths we study.

All of these aspects of divine help have been essential in my healing process.  I will relate one example that has specific importance to me as it was probably the worst night of my life so far, but with divine help, I was able to make it through somehow.

The Worst Night of My Life

I don’t quite remember this night in the sequence of all the other events that went on during my depression.  I had done a lot of things to self-harm before.  This night, I was pretty much trying everything.

I am not positive, but I think that it was this night that I ate dinner with a good friend of mine.  I tried eating as much as I could so that I could go try to throw it all up afterwards.  So, I stuffed my face with food then went to the bathroom.  I tried repeatedly to stick my finger down my throat and throw up, but nothing but spit came up.  I got the gag reflex but nothing else.  It made me frustrated.

I went back out to the kitchen then back to my bedroom.  I think I had cut previously that day pretty deeply and had band-aids covering up the cuts.  So, I went back to my bedroom and was really glad my roommate wasn’t home.  I turned my candle warmer on and opened the window.

I had the screen out when my dear friend, who was washing the dishes when she was prompted to come back to check on me.  When she came in I was on the bed ready to sit on the windowsill and jump out of my third story apartment building.  When she came in I was not happy.  I just wanted to die.

Below is a quote from my journal with how I felt around the time:

“I hate my life so much.  I want to die right now. But nobody will let me. And I don’t understand why.  My life is pointless.  I hurt everyone.  I’m a stress to everyone.  I’m a burden to everyone and things would be better for people if I was not alive.  Really they would.”

So she came in and I knew she wouldn’t let me jump out the window so as she put the screen back in, I proceeded to ram my head into the wall repeatedly.  I wanted to do anything to destroy my body.  She held me back from doing this so I fought her and started to pull out large chunks of my hair, this was not the first time I had done this.

I also tried burning myself with the candle that was on the candle warmer and then with the candle warmer itself.  I would use anything I could find to hurt or cut myself.  I tried jamming push pins into my skin to make myself bleed.  But my friend kept fighting me.  One of my roommates came back and saw what was going on and then went back out to the living room to enlist her boyfriend to come help.

It was then that everyone was on top of me holding me down trying to make me stop destroying myself.  I was so extremely mad and frustrated.  I JUST WANTED TO DIE and they were not letting me.  As they were on top of me and holding me down I kept fighting them by doing anything to get them off me.  I even tried licking them.  When I could grab more hair to pull out, I did so, or I would bite myself.  Anything to inflict harm.

That was the night that the ambulance and the police came.  I was handcuffed and brought to the Emergency Room.  When the police came in that night, I knew I had lost.  I dejectedly answered their questions and allowed them to handcuff me and drive me to the hospital.

Today

Today I am extremely grateful for the divine help that came through other people that night.  I am sure that I would not be alive today if it were not for that help and that strength.  Times come in life that  we feel we cannot get through.  But we can!  Christ helps us.  He gives us power through divine help.

What are ways you have been helped through your darkest moments?  What helps you to move on when it is so hard to do so?  Where does your help and strength and courage come from?