I don't know how its been for all of you, but it has been really tough for me these past few weeks. Don't worry, it's bearable, it always will be just as long as I have the Lord with me.
So I came home tonight and was completely alone. Usually that's not a bad thing, but because of recent events it was a bad thing. Being alone gave my mind a chance to wander and I quickly became sad and the world suddenly became a very cold and dreary place. Somehow I got myself to think about what has been helping me pull through and an experience I had the other day came to mind. The week just before conference my Relief Society President gave our Relief Society the challenge to do a week with Christ activity. Each day you opened a "letter" that included stories and scriptures to do read that day as well as a challenge to grow closer to Christ. At the time I didn't think anything was wrong or there was anything big that needed to change in my life, but I was completely wrong. On one of the last days I had to make a decision I should have made a long time ago. Of course after I corrected my wrong I felt so much better, but it hurt. It hurt deeper and still hurts deeper than I could have ever imagined. Listening to church music, some lyrics stood out to me that never had before: "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven..." and "Through thorny ways lead to a joyful end..." More recently, I was sitting in institute and was lost in grief and I wasn't really paying attention to the lesson. I turned to Ether 12 and some parts of that chapter that really stood out to me: "[I] hope for a better world...a place at the right hand of God", "...faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith", "...if there be no faith...God can do no miracle...he showed not himself until after their faith", "...it was the faith...that wrought the change...",and "...because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared..."
Now sharing these personal experiences and difficulties was NOT intended to get you worried about me! The purpose was that maybe someone would read this and receive strength or at least comfort knowing that they aren't the only one struggling and that there IS hope! Life is hard, but nothing that is easy is worth fighting for. I had a friend that used to always tell me, "keep your chin up" and now I'm telling you.
One last thing. I was talking to a dear friend of mine and he asked a question that has helped me make some very hard decisions. Such as, I finally got asked on a date today! BUT this young man wasn't what I am looking for at all. I love, love attention and sometimes that gets me into trouble. I've never said no to a date before so this was really hard. How did I do it? I heard my friend's words of wisdom, "where do you want to go?" This wasn't asked literally, but figuratively. He asked this when I was confused as what to do about a different situation and I was coming from all angles (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but then I couldn't decide what to do) and he asked me, "where do you want to go?" The first thing that came to my mind in that moment was that I wanted to go towards the Lord. So using that in today's situation with the date, I knew that agreeing to go on the date with this particular young man would not put me on the path I wanted to take.
Well good night and good luck. Just remember, you're never alone.