Friday, April 9, 2010

Renewal 2010: When the Clouds Cleared

 This year started slow for me. Many days I felt like I was wading through peanut butter.  Cloudy mornings, foggy afternoons and overcast evenings were my constant companions (figuratively of course, we have a lot of sun here). My world looked gray, I was in a rut, I didn't know how to change and I DIDN'T CARE. Before I knew it, I had created a list in my head of all the things I could blame for feeling this way. The list was long, pitiful, and worthy of all my gray and cloudy feelings. For weeks I suffered.

One afternoon I was reminiscing (more like wallowing) about how good I looked and felt about 10 years ago. I was H-O-T (just ask my hubby)! Of course, my life has changed a lot since then (moves, jobs, cars, kids, stress), but who I am INSIDE is the same. I am still ME. The question, "What changed?", plagued my every thought. I was consumed with it and felt like I was suffocating.

Sometime in the middle of March, in a moment of figurative clear skies and real clarity, I began to FEEL what was missing. It's hard to describe it better then that. I didn't know WHAT I was going to do yet, but I could FEEL something different. One day, I went walking in the morning while listening to my iPod programmed with The Book of Mormon (I started at the beginning) and an uplifting talk by one of our church leaders (The Healing Power of Forgiveness by James E. Faust). I noticed a difference in myself that very day. Not only had I done something physically healthy for myself, but I had also done something spiritually healthy. Feeling revived and refreshed, I programmed my iPod for the next day's walk and anticipated the improved outlook I would receive. I wasn't disappointed! What a sense of relief I felt.

One day, at the end of my first week of walking and listening, I listened to a group of verses that changed everything for me. The prophet Nephi was commanded to build a ship. Nephi was unsure of where to find the materials he would need for the ship and the necessary tools.  There was a lot of opposition from his family as he began building. However, the Lord instructed Nephi as to where to find the materials, how to build the ship, and the proper way to deal with his brothers. The Lord guided Nephi every step of the way. He was never alone.

When I got home from my walk that morning, I got out my Book of Mormon and read again those chapters. They were a breath of fresh air compared to the suffocation I had been feeling. I likened myself to both Nephi and the ship. I need the Lord to guide me as to where I will find the materials and resources I need to build my "ship" (my body and spirit). Opposition is at every corner. My own internal dialogue is even opposition! I have so much work to do but, like Nephi,  I know that "If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. (1 Nephi 17:50)" Also, if I will allow Him to be, the Lord is always with me. Only He can clear away the clouds and fog I have had in my heart and mind. Only He can bring the light I have been missing.

* More "Renewal 2010" to come.
** 1 Nephi 17-19 were the chapters I listened to.