I’m not perfect. Far from it. I have my own areas where I fall short. Sometimes it is really hard being vulnerable and courageous…sharing some of my insecurities and ideas, because I struggle with the comments that I sometimes get back. Have you ever responded in a group setting and then had the group redirect all of their comments towards you? I have been in several group settings where I say what I am thinking, and the group’s reaction is to turn towards me and direct their responses to help fix whatever issue they perceive I have. That part is almost worse than getting the guts to say how I feel about something, because when everyone turns to me and tries to fix it or talk to me a group setting, I feel singled out, set apart, and alone.
Here is the thing. It’s not often that I comment in a group setting or even just one-on-one, and don’t have at least one person agree or relate to what I’ve said. And so I continue to put myself out in the world…hating the social repercussions, but knowing that it is more important to relate.
So I want to share with you something personal and vulnerable.
There are several things in my life that I have struggled with and fallen short on, but there are two that I would like to address today: daily prayers on my knees and reading scriptures every day. I have been known to fall asleep in bed while I am praying to Him. Reading has been difficult because when would finally have time that I could read, I would choose to sleep, watch tv, or do any other of a hundred things that need to get done.
Every Sunday I would say I was sorry and tell Heavenly Father that I would try harder next time. Sometimes I would feel like a hypocrite because I was not really changing and would have to work hard at dispelling that myth – that I’m a hypocrite. You see, I didn’t always do a great job at it, but I had a desire to do better (even if it was fleeting), and I was there every week asking to be forgiven so the thought that I was a hypocrite was wrong. The reality is that I’m just a sinner, falling short and needing help.
Lessons From Obedience
In a recent blessing however, I was told to be more obedient in those things. To not just practice obedience but exact obedience. Why? I don’t know and to me the reason isn’t important. What I do know is that we have been asking a long time for some very specific blessings, and so if that’s what I need to do, then I’m ok with that. But I want to share three things with you I have noticed as I work to be more committed and obedient in these things:
- I am less quick to judge others. I used to judge others…and pretty harshly. Now, I notice that others have struggles just like I do. When someone comments in a group and others begin to respond, my heart immediately softens for the person who initiated the conversation. I begin to consider what they must be going through because actions are just a bi-product of thought. What we see is a result. So the results we are judging, is really based on some thought or feeling the person is truly having.
- I’m praying for others on my own more readily. Sometimes I will be finishing my prayer and a thought will run through my mind that I haven’t prayed for my kids or a friend. It is easy for me to only ask for the help I need, being obedient has helped me remember others.
- Scripture stories come to my mind more quickly. I am not a scriptorian by any means, but when I am talking with others…stories will come up very quickly that I can relate their situation to. What is interesting is that the stories aren’t ones that I am currently reading generally.
These are just a few changes I have noticed in a short time. Don’t misinterpret my thoughts that I am implying I am better than others or that I am perfect in something. These are simply blessings I am noticing as I adjust some of my habits. The miraculous blessings haven’t come yet, but doing these things have eased my burden and the stress that I carry.
Those aren’t the blessings I have asked for but those are what I am receiving right now. Here’s why they are important now though: When I would judge others or only pray for myself I was more focused on my needs and comparing my circumstances to those of others. These ideas have always been an issue for me. When I focus on myself and how I compare with others, my stress and anxiety increase and my patience decreases. Everything seems harder. Everything takes longer. So, Heavenly Father is using his commandments of praying and reading the scriptures to lighten that load and help increase my patience while I wait and work.
I, just like you, am simply a daily sinner who falls short and needs help. He is aware of you and what you need to endure your trials well and have joy. And He helps lighten your load with the simple commandments.