Sunday, March 8, 2015

Be Still, My Soul

Hey y’all! I am so sorry that I’ve been out of touch these past few weeks. Life has been pretty crazy and busy and insane! But one thing that has helped to keep me going is the promise found in Romans…
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
(Spent the day down in Waikiki with my roommates and a couple friends)
(No big deal... Just riding in the back of a truck)
(Thai food truck.... Only in Hawaii)
I’ve been enjoying the HI life though… I’ve made some great friends and I absolutely love my roommates. We’ve gone to the beach, surfing (they did, not me), to food trucks, shopping, formed a book club, and loads of fun things. I am so glad I’ve made the great friends that I have here. They help me to make the best out of my time and are a huge encouragement to me.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth: for he hath not another to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 
I am working on my Senior Research Project that I have to write up for Psychology. It is pretty intense. I changed my topic at the last minute, and now I’m looking at the onset of deafness and its effects on self-esteem, so whether you’re born deaf or become deaf. I am super excited! I’m glad I was able to come up with a topic that truly interests me. I definitely will be “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27).

You wanna know something that’s crazy?! I come home next month. Yea, let that soak in. I’ll be back in the rainy miserable state of Washington. However, it’s probably not much worse than the weather has been here lately. But I can’t believe it. This semester flew by! At first, it was going so slow, but now it’s almost over. I’m looking forward to coming home, then the Philippines, then Arkansas, to Hawaii for my final semester, and then back on my mission. That’s the plan anyways. My life has been pretty insane these last couple weeks. A lot has been going on and a lot of emotions, energy, and painstaking effort have been portrayed. I feel at times that I just want to give up. That life is too hard. That it’s not worth it. But I am reminded that there is hope. There is a bright side.
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8–9
Since it’s been such a long time since I last wrote, there’s so much that I’ve done and experienced that it’s hard to recall and include it all. So instead, I would just love to share what I’ve learned over these few weeks. Lately, I’ve been really focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how much it has been a strength to me.
“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46
I am so grateful beyond grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and for the strength that I receive from my Savior. I know I can get through the roughest times, because that is when He carries me… I love the Footprints in the Sand poem (I actually have it imprinted on one of my rings that I always wear, so it’s always with me) which speaks to this exactly. When we feel alone and are going through the hardest times in our lives that is truly when our Savior carries us, which is why we see only one step of footprints.
“Don't worry... God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers, and never silent to your pain. He sees, He hears, and He will deliver." 
Without that knowledge, I don’t know how I’d be able to get by. I receive comfort, strength, power, and peace from this understanding. Christ promises us that as we follow Him, He will bless us. He is, and should always be, above ALL things. He is our #1. He invites us to “Come follow me”. We should not put a question mark with that, because Christ has put a period. Never ask when, how, where, or why. Just do it and leave everything else behind.
“Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.” Alma 37:36
He understands you. He KNOWS what you are going through. How, you may ask? Because of the Atonement. He has suffered for you. He literally took your sorrows upon Himself. He has felt every insecurity, every pain, every temptation, every weakness, and every tear that you have experienced. And you know what? He will go through it all over again if to take away a small amount of your pain. But guess what… He doesn’t have to. He’s already done it.  And “God is mindful of every people” (Alma 26:37).
“But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.” Alma 34:41
Having this knowledge has truly been a strength to me and is the reason that I am able to make it through each day. I know what I am living for, and who I am living for. I know who I am. I know God’s plan. And I will follow Him in faith