As I was reading through General Conference talks yesterday evening, I found a talk that speaks to me and the many trails in my life that I tend to face feeling both isolated and alone.
Ten years ago was a time when life was rock bottom for me. I was a single working mother of two rambunctious little boys. My ex was calling and harassing me from the county detention center almost daily. I couldn’t seem to get things in order and struggled each night watching the clock just waiting until it was time for bed so I could go back to sleeping my life away. It seemed to me the easiest way to shut out my problems. The morning would come too soon and a new day of the same struggles would unfold.
At the time, I was meeting with the missionaries (for the 4th time in 2 years) and working toward baptism. I began praying and reading my scriptures often and within weeks, I found the strength to ignore the phone. That strength lead to a phone call to my provider to block all calls from the detention center. For the moment, he was out of our life and healing could continue.
My evenings soon changed from watching the clock in complete isolation and loneliness to reading my scriptures with no sense of the hour. Prayer was my constant companion. My Heavenly Father was the only person I could turn to in those quiet evenings and although the conversation seemed one-sided, I was content that He was enough. My life seemed to settle into peace while chaos still nipped at the light that now filled my home. I realized all this time I was never alone. I just needed to reach out to Him. To follow Him. He knows me and knows what’s best for me and He will not lead me astray.
Here I sit 10 years later struggling with severe depression, a strong sense of isolation and sadness, and I often wonder what happened to that happy, peaceful person I was. The truth is I still am that person. I’ve just let go of the things I used to rely on to get me through each day. I let go of Him. I don’t think to pray, rarely read scriptures and my church attendance is sporadic. Life was never meant to be easy, but I do have faith and knowledge that it’s easiest when following the footsteps of the Savior.
In the recent sessions of General Conference, Elder Eduardo Gavarret addresses this very subject during his talk “Yes, Lord, I will Follow Thee.” Elder Gavarret reminds us the Lord said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28 He goes on to share the many open invitations Christ offered us to come, follow him and shares that we can do so by:
- Feeding our desire to be a better follower of Christ.
- Praying for the desire that your faith in Him to grow.
- Obtaining knowledge from the scriptures to light the way and strengthen your desire to change.
- Make the decision to act today and say, “Yes, Lord, I will follow Thee!”
- Persevere by by exercising these principles daily.
Knowing the truth will not provide needed change unless that knowledge is turned into actions. It seems I’ve forgotten that without resting upon my Savior, I will find no peace or strength in my trials. I’m not alone. I was never alone. Nor do I want to continue being alone. I have every bit of faith in Him that as I come to know Him once again, I will find my positive change–my peace and happiness in this madhouse life of mine.