Friday, January 16, 2015

Live like you believe




About five years ago I desired to be Miss Murray. I wanted this dream to come true more than I had ever wanted anything before in my entire life. The thought of earning the crown and representing the city I had so much respect for, meant the world to me. I had competed for the crown before, but this time I knew I had to step up my game. I had been trained in positive psychology enough to know that what you believe comes true. What you think about, you bring about.

I started going on bike rides every single day during that summer, riding all around Jordan River Parkway. {Riding bikes is my favorite, I could do it all day every day in the warm summer months} As I would ride my bike, I started to think about my dream. I started to envision what it would mean if I were to really represent Murray City and have that crown placed on my head. I knew I would become a role model for so many girls if I earned that crown. I started to envision myself as if I were already Miss Murray. I would wave confidently to everyone I passed by on the parkway, "Hi. How are you? Lovely afternoon, isn't it?" My head was raised high, for if not the crown would fall off, right? Each day the more I practiced this and believed I was Miss Murray, the more I felt like I was Miss Murray and started to feel like my dream was becoming a reality.

I started to live my life as if I had already achieved my dreams. The way I walked, the way I spoke with more grace, and even the self discipline in my heart started to change. I worked hard and kept imagining over and over what it would feel like to wear the crown. This confidence of believing I was already 'her' changed my life. It changed every action, every thought, and every motivation. The crown became my focus and I believed with all my heart I was actually going to win that year.

The week leading to the night of the pageant was a hard one for me. I had prepared so well, I had believed with my entire heart and the time had finally come. I started to get to know the girls I would be competing with on a whole new level. They were amazing and I soon started to see that they had prepared and believed just as I had. I wasn't more qualified or more special than any of them. They all had the potential to take the crown. 

As I evaluated each and every girl and her talents and strengths, my heart started to sink. The faith and belief that I could win started to become covered up with doubts and fears. What was I thinking, could I really do this? I let fear get the best of me and I let negative self-talk start to eat up my faith. Slowly but surely it chiseled at a huge portion of my confidence and I didn't take home the crown that evening. I was announced as second runner up to Miss Murray. 

Why do I share this story with you? Because it relates to gaining and keeping a testimony.

So often in our lives, we desire to have a testimony, we desire to believe, we desire to work on our spiritual growth but something is lacking. We start to say, "Well if this happens, then I'll believe" or "If only my testimony was completely solid and firm, then I could actually live all the standards and commandments". Well that's not how Heavenly Father works. Faith is a beautiful thing. They don't crown you as Miss Murray, then say go prepare; go get in shape, go develop a talent, go prepare for interview, go choose a platform because now you have the crown so you know it will be worth your time! No, no, no!!! That would be SO backwards. You have to prepare FIRST!!! You have to take a chance, have faith in the process and work really, really hard for that crown.

The only sure way to gain and build  a testimony, is by living as if you already believe! A testimony will not come to you before action, faith precedes a testimony.

When I was working on rebuilding my faith back to the strength it was when I was in high school, it was hard. I struggled a lot because I was wanted my faith to come before my actions. It's so much easier to do something when you believe in it, right? I felt stuck, I didn't believe enough to have the motivation I needed. If you have ever felt this way, you are not alone. I started out very slowly doing the things that I did when my faith was strong. I started diving into my scriptures more, I started to make my prayers more meaningful, and I started to serve with my entire heart. It was vital for my testimony that I took action and believed that my testimony would once again become strong like it once was. 

I had days where I was so frustrated and discouraged, thinking I would never reach my destination. I remember thoughts crossing my mind on this journey thinking I had lost my testimony forever. I longed for it more than I had ever wanted anything before, even more than I desired to be Miss Murray that year. So I thought back to that time and I started to act as if my testimony was as strong as I wished it was. I started to use the power of my mind, believing that this dream to have faith back in my life would come true. 

You have to faith it till you make it. You have to pretend you are already the person you wish to become. If you want to be a strong faithful member of the church with an unwavering testimony, live like you already do. Live your life as if you know without a doubt the church is true, then answers will come to you. Live like you believe. Make the changes and then the faith will come.

Mosiah 4:27 

 27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

Diligence and persistence will lead to a burning testimony. When the changes you are striving to make become hard, hold on to your yearning and desire and you will find it will get easier and easier! The prize will come after you do everything you can in the order Heavenly Father desires. 

Remember the week leading up to my pageant, when I started to allow doubt and fear to replace all that I had worked so hard for? Don't you dare let that happen to you! When you start doubting, and YOU WILL, listen to the spirit. The spirit is your compass, it's quiet and small but it will never lead you astray. Keep walking in the dark. Keep walking when you can't see where you are going. You are bound to go through many dark alleys and under many bridges that are without light. Don't let that scare you! Prepare for the dark times! Believe, hang onto what you do know, and let your desires and your righteous actions lead you to a very strong testimony. This will bring you the greatest happiness you could ever dream of. 

Dreams come true and testimonies can become a solid foundation for your life when you act as if your testimony and faith are perfect. Start and begin where you are right now. There will be things in your life that will need to let go of. Some things will be big, others will be small, but the more often you take the steps to get rid of the things in your life that are holding you back from progressing, the more you feel of the spirit and the stronger your faith will become.

FAITH IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!

2 comments:

  1. This is so awesome. "Faith it till you make it". This is a concept I have yet to get even close to master but I have seen it work in so many people's lives. You're so right if we truly believe something we will start acting differently. Awesome. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. It's a hard one but I have seen in work in my personal life. It's all about small baby steps at a time. I have a project/craft I am going to post soon that will help you take the steps needed. "When we believe something, we start acting differently." Well said, I love those words! You're amazing!!

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