Friday, March 14, 2014

Part 1: My Story

The past twenty-two months of my life have been spent in the service of helping others in the Utah Ogden Mission as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In an attempt to raise awareness and understanding for emotional complexities, I have decided to open up about my own experiences handling feelings of depression and anxiety. The purpose of this post is to reach out to others who may be struggling with same issues, and provide a message of increasing faith and hope to overcome adversity. I would invite you to share this post through a social network with anyone who you think could benefit.

The thoughts that would plague my mind:
You're lazy. You're stupid. You're worthless. You are not making a difference. You just need to have more faith! You just need to be more positive. You're just being a damsel in distress.

I felt very much alone. Moments where I lacked feeling and motivation.

I felt like withdrawing from the world, I had no desire to talk to people, and inexplicable sadness, worry, fear, grief. It took a lot just to get out of bed in the morning.

I felt like I was looking through shaded gray lens.

With divine help I received an insight:

You're going through a storm.
The storm will pass with time.

I held on to that hope like a ray of sunlight breaking through storm clouds. And so I stopped praying for relief, and prayed for acceptance. With time, with hope, and pursuing in my labors as a missionary in serving others, I have found personal healing and strength through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

These experiences and and hearing about the hardships of others, have caused me to question and ponder as one believes in Christ and God, 

why would a loving God allow bad things to happen to good 

I found inspiration and answers from and article Elder Jeffery R. Holland:

"In striving for some peace and understanding in these difficult matters, it is crucial to remember that we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world where for divine purposes our pursuit of godliness will be tested and tried again and again. Of greatest assurance in God’s plan is that a Savior was promised." (Read more of this uplifting sermon here)

We are here to be tested, to learn and to grow. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the divine, motivating power, that doesn't only make up for what we lack but it can encompass us entirely and raise our sights to more divine and purposeful living. 

We may not have our burdens and trials immediately lifted but we do have the promise and assurance that he will not leave us carry alone the weight on our shoulders. But He will lift with us.

I personally sought this divine strength and help through prayer, choosing to act because of the Savior who I believed in

As we plant a little seed of hope and faith, with patience, we believe good things will come. 

We can nurture that faith looking for opportunities to help others. And as we seek those opportunities to serve we in turn become a part of the Atonement by easing the burdens of others and "lifting with them", as the Savior would. As our focus shifts to the needs of others our own worries become less important and we become a recipient of healing ourselves.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another..

Stay tuned for Part 2....

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