Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Religious Feature (LDS Adults): Crowding Out the Darkness

As my alarm clock rang, I opened my eyes and sighed. A pervasive feeling of gloom, like a gray cloud, had settled in lately. I knew the feeling well, having suffered before with bouts of mild depression.

As I lay in bed I wondered what I could possibly do to feel better. My gaze drifted to the nightstand and the book I’d been reading about the Atonement. Had I truly been trusting the Savior to help carry my burdens?

I thought about how I was spending my time. Although my family had been pretty faithful in scripture time and prayers, I realized with regret that I’d become casual in my personal habits. I got on my knees and prayed for wisdom.

I had tried different solutions over the years, but this time I felt like the Lord wanted me to wait on Him, to trust Him to provide in His own time and way.  As I prayed, the thought came clearly to me that I needed to crowd out the darkness in my life with light.

I resolved at that moment to seek the Lord diligently and draw near unto Him so He could draw near to me (see D&C 88:63). I began my new habits by immediately reading the scriptures for a few minutes and turning on some uplifting music. At night, no matter how tired I was, I held firm to my commitment of reading at least a few verses of scripture before saying my personal evening prayer.

I also knew that involving a friend in a goal would keep me accountable, so I found a few sisters in the ward who wanted to go to the temple weekly with me. I had always loved going to the temple, but when it became a true sacrifice of time, my worship took on new meaning, and I felt closer than ever to my Heavenly Father.

It didn’t happen immediately, but gradually I felt the darkness dissipate. Although my problems had not gone away, I felt empowered to deal with them. My perspective also improved because I had a better understanding of God’s plan for me. I felt my burden lifted, as through my diligence, my soul became filled with “joy and consolation” (Hel. 3:35).

I don’t know if I will ever fully be healed in this life, but I trust the Lord to give me strength to deal with my challenges. My faith continues to increase as I see the many ways I am blessed because I am striving to follow the Lord in small and simple ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment