Compared to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, we are all spiritual infants. Like infants, our eyes can often only see what is right in front of us, blind to eternal perspective. Fortunately, just as an infant’s eyes mature we too can develop our spiritual eyes. In the midst of our struggles big and small, we can be so blind to God’s greater plans to bless us.
The most amazing thing though isn’t that I got baptized seven years ago, though that was truly a miraculous day I never would have predicted growing up a Jewish girl in an all Jewish family. My baptism was the spark of faith that would grow, over the next seven years, into an unquenchable flame in spite of and even because of the most challenging of circumstances. Despite all the harrowing health and other challenges my faith has grown, even flourished. That is the miracle of the gospel in my life. That challenges and even the most crushing of life’s hardships haven’t blown out that flame; they’ve been the life-giving oxygen by which my faith and testimony have turned from a flickering candle to a glowing lantern.
Six years ago today I did the single best thing I’ll ever do for myself. Going in I was really nervous, but at the same time very sure of what I needed to do and what Heavenly Father needed me to do. The day was March 7th 2010. It was the day I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sitting in my bed Sunday night, I could no longer hold back my sobs. Tears flowed from my eyes, more like a raging river than a stream. My whole body shook. The emoptional pain was a ocean so deep, I thought I might drown.
Sometimes it can seem easier to numb ourselves than allow ourselves to feel the depth of our own sorrows. We live in a world that offers us an endless array of ways to detach from our own human experience much of which is negative. Easy fixes.
How a Question About the Relationship Between Boy Scouts of America the LDS Church Prompted Me to Ponder My Beliefs
As an LDS woman and a convert to the church, my feelings around marriage and how to define it are extremely deep, personal and nearly always conflicted. As a convert this is the one single issue i have, do and will, struggle with the most, and it’s a struggle that both breaks my heart and gives me hope.
If I could whitewash all the years spent facing the pain, lonliness, isolation, boredom, fear, anger, grief, and saddness that comes with a chronic illness that requires very frequent and prolonged hosptializations, wouldn’t I want to? But then I remember what I am here on earth to do. I remember that my adversity and trials aren’t punishments; they’re gifts that allow me to improve myself, transform my weaknesses, and grow into the person I was always meant to become. I remember that adveristy is a blessed opportunity – even an invitation – from my loving Father in Heaven, to become more like my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I remember that if I were able to whitewash my life and forget all my trials, I’d also forget all the knowledge and blessings that come from them.
Self-publishing is a big industry right now. Which means big money. But not necessarily for authors but for companies who sell self-publishing services to authors wanting to self-publish. One contender, Balboa Press has been calling my cell phone every month or so. Writers Beware. A class action complaint has been filed against Balboa Press’s parent company, Author Solutions, for its sketchy dealings that are bringing in the big bucks.