The Storm

It is raining here tonight. It is the beautiful, cleansing, renewing rain…perfect for a heavy heart.

The StormI have been blessed with two beautiful children…they are the perfect mix of my husband and I. I am pretty sure they came that way so that we could understand them and they could teach us.

Right now I am learning from my sweet daughter. I see so much of me when I was her age, yet there is a wonderful amount of her too. She is strong willed, a bit sassy, full of imagination, and truly beautiful. She is always so willing to reach out and bless the life of someone in need. She has a gift to see things that are normally missed.

Yet….she is struggling within her heart.

I have found that there are times as a parent when I need to back down and let them learn and there are times when I need to say things that are honest and difficult. It is part of being a parent.

Over the past couple of days her struggle has created the necessity for both. Her struggle is fears that have engulfed her heart and created a belief that she can’t do certain things. As a result, she is stuck. On the outside looking in, I have thought how she just needs to ‘rip the bandaid’ and do what scares her. It would change her life for the good. It hurts to see her quit on herself because she is scared.

As we talked to her about this the tears rolled down her cheeks. She cowered because our words were truth and it struck her little heart. She wanted so badly to be anywhere but where she was, yet her spirit knew she needed to hear what was said. My husband shared with her 2 Timothy 1:7…

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Teaching her that she has the divine within her, the power of our Heavenly Father, was a moment I will treasure. It reminded me of who I truly am. Watching her slowly embrace that truth was beautiful. I know it is something that we will continually need to teach her, because it is something that I continually need to understand.

Watching her make choices that teach her lessons is so difficult sometimes. I have questioned whether or not I have taught her what she needs to know. I wonder if I have not given her the tools she needs to make the decisions that will lead her away from the struggles she currently lives with. It is difficult, because I see a different, better way….yet, it is not my decision.

I love her with all I have. I would do anything for her and yet, I can’t.

So I kneel by her bed while she is sleeping and pray to be the mother she needs me to be. I pray to understand her as He does, so that I can help her or allow her to be.

I have so much to learn and there are days when that feels very heavy in my heart. Today is one of those days.

I am so thankful for a quiet moment, standing in the rain, speaking my heart to Him. I know my words were heard through the song of the rain. I know He saw me. I know He will guide me to help one of His choice daughters. I just need to listen.

Wind and Rain

Wind and RainJust over a year ago I remember sitting down with our Bishop, seeking guidance. Our hearts were confused and we needed someone to help us understand.

We had felt for the longest time that our family was needed elsewhere, and we could feel that the time was drawing closer. The unknown was creating within our hearts was at times more than we could bear. It felt as though there were more questions than answers, yet answers were what we needed.

He reminded us of a story in the Book of Mormon that has always been a personal favorite of mine and related it to our lives.

In this particular story, the Brother of Jared and his entire family were brought to the edge of the known world. All that they saw before them was a vast ocean. What they had been promised was a land greater than where they were, a land where they could become a great nation. Yet, here they are….looking at nothing but rolling waves and the vastness of the unknown.

The Brother of Jared went to the mountain to pray and there he was instructed to build special boats to carry them forth. He was given the knowledge of how to construct these little ships and what to take with him. After construction he noticed two significant problems. These boats were ‘tight like a dish’ making it near impossible to breathe and there was not a source of light.

He pondered these problems and, again, went to the mountain to pray. The Lord gave him one answer…how to breathe. The second answer, He allowed the Brother of Jared to find. He brought sixteen clear stones to the Lord, so that He could touch them to provide the needed light. After this miracle (and many others) occurred, the Lord told the Brother of Jared that even though they had their boats, air to breathe and light, the journey to the Promised Land would be filled with winds, rains and floods. These would push their boats towards their goal. As they were driven forth, they never stopped praying and singing His praises.

Looking back I have been blessed to see how our journey to our new home is so similar to this story. After that meeting, the Lord gave us the solution to the many questions revolving around our departure… How would we leave? Where do we go? How will we be able to do this? Miracle after miracle showed us His hand.

Our “Promised Land” is truly incredible. Yet, there remains one question to be answered. It is a question of how. This past year has been filled with wind and rain (figuratively) in our lives. Each day we find ourselves pushing through, overcoming fear, falling down, repenting, standing back up and hoping. We have seen the sun break through the clouds, however we long for the days when it shines constantly upon us.

There have been moments I have wondered why He hasn’t just taken the storm, because I know it is within His power. I have also had moments when I have felt the enabling power of the Atonement strengthening us to learn. In a General Conference address, Elder Terrence M. Vinson answered my wonderings beautifully:

“But here is the point–rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel his love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to become like Him is His goal. In fact it is His glory as well as His work (see Moses 1:39)

DSCN1969 300x225 Wind and RainI have seen that He is allowing us to work through the wind and rain so that we can do just this….become like Him. I have also seen that He has not left us alone in this endeavor. We have uttered many prayers, offered many stones for His finger to ‘light’ and been given so much more help than we could ever ask for. He has been with us, sheltering us when the storm was raging a bit too fiercely for  us. He has been there beckoning us onward, offering ideas and guidance.

The question of how remains, yet the surety that journey is coming to an end is there. The answer will come and with it the sun.

reblogged from Own Who You Are