Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You Are Broken Beyond What You Can Repair

The other day I talked to my mom. I consider my mother to be one of my truest friends. Somebody who isn't afraid to give it to you straight. While I may have not always appreciated her brutal honesty as a child, now, as an adult, I trust her deeply because I know that whatever she says is the truth. This does not mean that I necessarily agree with everything she says, because all people make mistakes and are wrong. However, I do trust that what she says is the truth, as far as she can see it.

Anyways, I was talking to her the other day about my last post here. She listened and then said some things that at first shocked me. She said (essentially), "You feel broken and messed up, somehow completely damaged beyond repair. And you are right." Ouch! Suddenly some of my deepest fears had been confirmed by someone I knew and trusted. Ouch, Ouch, Ouch! Then she continued on, "You cannot fix it. That is why you need God."

As I thought about different parts of that conversation, and did some reading last night on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that she is right. I have said before that I don't like to rely on anybody else. I have been let down by people, so I don't trust them to have my best interests at heart. I think I can do better than they can.  I don't rely on friends, family, my husband, or God, because I believe that they will somehow mess it all up and fail me or leave me. So I trust nobody with my life, but me. Going back to what my mom said, if I were perfect, I would have no need of the Atonement, of Christ, of God. I wouldn't need them. If I were perfect, there would be no point in this life. I realize that the way I have been thinking is a form of pride and self-righteousness. Thinking that nobody (including God) can take care of me better than me is prideful, and sinful. Thinking that I am completely beyond repair, and all of the trials and difficulties I have faced, I think, have been attempts to humble me. I guess I needed to be humbled to learn to turn to and lean and rely on the Lord. By blocking Him out, I was saying that I was better than He. When I relied on myself, I shut Him out, I turned away from Him. And not only did that not help me, it made everything worse. And I realize all at once, the vast infinity of His creations. I realize what a tiny speck I am in the grand scheme of the universe. And I am humbled that even though I am such a tiny, nearly imperceptible spot, He does care, and He does notice. I have not held up my end of the bargain.

I have been studying the scriptures (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price), past Ensign articles, General Conference talks, etc, the last few days, looking for answers regarding "trust in the Lord," "happiness," and "joy in the Lord." Last night I read about "happiness." Everything I read listed prayer, scripture study, and service as necessary to finding happiness. I was angry, for a time, because I thought, "that is far too easy. It's too simple. I don't want to do that, it can't possibly be enough! There must be a secret somewhere."

I considered the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. At some point, the people fell into disobedience. Snakes entered their party and began biting. People who were bitten, fell ill and died painful deaths. The people saw their family members suffering, and asked Moses to ask God to forgive them and save them. Moses prayed and was told to make a brass serpent statue and affix it to a staff. He was told to tell the people that all they needed to do was look upon the brass snake and they would be healed. The people scoffed and cried it was impossible, because it was too easy.They thought "there must be a catch, a secret, something else you are not telling us." But there wasn't. All they had to do was look upon the brass serpent, and be healed. All I have to do is pray, read my scriptures, serve others, and keep the commandments. I have to do the right things or I will never be happy.

I confess, I do not read my scriptures much. They are confusing and hard for me to understand. I also admit that I do not pray much more than "Oh God, why me?!" and yelling towards Heaven, essentially kicking against the pricks, lying down and playing dead when life doesn't go MY way. This is not true prayer. This is what is referenced to in Mormon 2:13-14 "But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin. And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives." Ouch again. I realized that I have been cursing God for my troubles, that I have (at times) wished to die, to just be done with it all. I wasn't sad because I had made mistakes and some sins. I was sad because life wasn't what I wanted it to be. I was sad because I wasn't getting my way. And to a point, like my mom said, when life didn't go my way, I packed up my toys and refused to play anymore.That hasn't worked before, and it's not ever going to work.

Happiness does not mean that hard times will never come. It doesn't mean that we will avoid trials. It doesn't mean that life is a bowl of candy, and is always going to be sunshine and flowers. It means that we will have safety and security (which the lack of is what upsets me most) in the knowledge that we are doing what we are supposed to, and knowing that we can know with a surety that no matter what, God has our best interests at heart, and it is going to be okay eventually. As horse people say, "This too shall pass."

As so, I am committing myself to try again. I need to learn to rely on the Lord. And I can't do that if I don't know the Lord. And the way to know Him is to seek Him. And the way to seek Him, is to read of Him, study of Him, pray to Him. And so, that is what I must do.

There is a painting of the Savior standing outside a heavy door. There is no doorknob on the outside, He cannot open the door. He stands outside knocking, waiting for us to let Him in. And so, WE must open that door. He doesn't leave us, we locked Him out. It is our choice to let Him back in.


  1. I had a similar experience a while ago. I've always been proud of my independence, but I was independent to a fault, since I was trying to be independent of God. I would give the occasional prayer of gratitude, but never ask for anything...ever. I thought I could do it on my own and didn't need blessings. Blessings were for other people. Then I came to the same realization as you. That independence was pride! I had never thought of it like that, but when it hit me I knew something had to change.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's a good reminder to turn to God an Trust him more.

  2. Carrie, thank you for your words of inspiration, and love! It can be so hard to trust others and continue on the path when life is rough, but that is truly when we need to turn to the Lord and let Him in. I know I also need to remember to turn to him when things are going well. It is amazing to know that He knows each of us, and that He will NEVER forsake us!