Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Fearless Fighter of OCD, ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression - #IAMSTIGMAFREE

Last Saturday I had the incredible opportunity of being part of the #IAMSTIGMAFREE campaign that was started by Ashley from www.dontstopsargeant.com - Ashley is a rockstar in every single way and I'm so thankful we are friends. This girl is changing the world!

She had us tell our stories in such a small amount of time and there was so much more of my story I wanted to share, so I decided to blog about it.

Here's the story that was filmed:



And here's the music video:




My whole story:

I have lived with OCD for seven years, I grew up watching my mom battle OCD every single day, but I never suspected that I was then going to develop it as well. My mom is a fighter, oh I just love her for all that she is! Her life isn't easy and yet she is so strong! OCD comes in so many different patterns, often when people think of OCD, they think of a neat freak. They think of someone as a very orderly person, their home is always clean; well that sure sounds nice, but that's not my story. I actually wish people wouldn't use the word OCD as just some cute little quirk that they have for being organized and particular, because it is REAL. It is a battle every single day for those that haven't been given a choice that this is the way they want to live their life. 

My OCD first started out by being terrified of germs, just constant intrusive thoughts of "You're going to get sick if you do that, if you go there, if you touch that." OCD is intrusive, unwanted thoughts and they only way you take control is by doing your routine, for me that was a lot of hand washing. It was a matter of constantly feeling like I wasn't clean and a fear to live the way I saw ordinary people living. I tried so hard to deny that I had OCD because I saw how hard it was for my mom and dad to get along because of this illness, I didn't want to carry this into a marriage I didn't yet even have. I didn't go get help because I was in denial about the truth of what I was facing, and I never saw my mom go get help and treatment for hers, so I guess part of me felt as if it was untreatable. 

As time went on, it progressively got worse. I was constantly worrying about being around anyone, for fear that I would then get sick because I had no idea who had been sick earlier that week. I despised finger food, hospitals terrified me, and even while watching TV shows I would panic if they ate food without washing their hands before. It was bad, so extreme. It was exhausting to live life this way and finally after four years of this, in 2012 I just broke. I couldn't handle it anymore, I wasn't sleeping at night, I became very familiar with anxiety attacks, and I honestly wanted to die. This fear that was taking every single space in my mind and had made it so I just didn't to want to deal with it or even life ever again. 




I want to take a moment to say something, it is possible to wish you weren't alive while still never having thoughts of suicide. Our society has a huge stigma on mental illness and suicide, and guess what, I choose to BREAK that! It's okay to yearn for Heaven at times. It's okay to be so broken that your Spirit becomes homesick for Heavenly Father. As a society, we have the tendency to look at suicide attempts and these pleas for Heaven and never really see the strength behind the person or the battle that was faught. We have the choice to get to know these individuals better, and to look beyond what only the eye can see, so often we don't take the time to do just that. The strength that these individuals have is incredible, they are fighting to save their life because they know it's the right thing to do. I want to make clear, I am NOT condoning suicide in any way, shape, or form, but behind every single person who has ever had the thought they are tired of this world and it's just too hard, there is strength and a warrior, please choose to see it! Sorry I just went on a rant there, I just know too many people who have felt weak and looked down upon by society, when they are using all the strength they have to get help and just keep pushing on. 

I started to go to a therapist as my life became unmanageable, I would go visit her in her home downtown and she was the nicest lady ever. She was an angel that came into my life because she would tell me that OCD and anxiety are gifts that come from Heaven and there is good in it if we will just look to find it. 




Can we pause and have a mental illness lesson for a moment? It sure helped me to understand it better, so I'm hoping it can help just one other person. 1 in 4 people have a mental illness. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. So what? What does that mean? Well, it means that it is treatable, but not curable. It's a battle that the individual will face their entire life, but they can manage it and it can become controlled to a point where it almost seems as if it doesn't even exist. However, there will be triggers and life events that will bring it back as well. There are four very important "happy" chemicals in the brain; Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphin. All four of these are vital to keep you happy and living a normal, if not almost normal life. Now, most likely every single person on this planet is going to experience sadness and feelings of depression at some point in their life depending on events that occur. Those that fight with a mental illness are up against a battle of imbalanced chemicals every single day of their life, and there are certain practices that need to be done to keep these chemicals in order. The foods you eat, the exercise you participate in, finding ways to make personal connections such as hugging, and even activities that bring peace and serenity into your life are vital and help to balance out these chemicals. When the happy chemicals are missing, that's when depression enters in. Sometimes a mental illness can be so bad that only certain medications can fix the problem and that can be different for every individual as well. 

There is a lot that plays into the battle of mental illness but there are two things I want to say about it:

1. Those with mental illness are NOT their mental illness. They are a person and they deserved to be seen and viewed by others for just that, WHO THEY ARE! We have to break these stigmas, we just have to because individuals deserve to be seen for more than the challenges they are fighting against, especially if 25% of our population is facing these battles.

2. If you face a mental illness challenge - THERE IS HOPE!!
This is a HUGE one I want to emphasize because Satan was often feeding me lines of "You're never going to laugh or be happy again, you have depression and that is going to hold you back all of your life." - Can we break that lie right here, right now? Yes, some have a harder time than others to snap out of it, and triggers and life situations play a HUGE role into it! But that doesn't matter, what does matter is that Christ atoned for even those who face these mental challenges and He is going to be there every step of the way as they fight their battles. Don't give up, HOPE is real! Because of Christ, hope lives on forever no matter what you may face! 




So back to my story, as I was fighting OCD in the most extreme ways, it became progressively worse because of the stress I was under, as I was in a very manipulative relationship. It was absolutely horrible and the stress made my OCD come to a point where it was unmanageable. As I was fighting this very real challenge in my life, I started to slip into a deep depression and anxiety. There is no other words for it than a tarring of the soul. I started to feel as if I were drowning and all hope was gone. I remember one day walking around temple square and I got up to the Christus at the top of the visitor's center and I knew without a doubt in my mind that I needed to break up with the boy I was dating and hope was just around the corner. I'm not going to tell you things immediately got better from there, because I still had a long and hard fight of depression ahead, but I will tell you that more light started to shine in my life than I could have ever believed to expect. 

A common misconception we have when we talk about the atonement is that everything becomes healed. I don't think that is quite true, if it is, I haven't experienced it yet. I have had moments in my life where healing from the atonement came so strong, I thought it was a permanent change and I would never fight with mental illness again. I believed that and held onto it so strongly, that when something started to trigger my mental illness once again, I was ashamed. I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong for grace to be taken away and for these battles to start flooding in once again. In reality, I had done nothing wrong and the atonement was still there for me. We have to walk and experience a portion of the journey Christ went through in our personal lives, sometimes more than once. We have to battle our own gethsemane. That doesn't mean we are bad people, that doesn't mean the atonement isn't real, it means we are humans, here for a learning and growing experience and while the atonement brings peace, light, hope, and happiness in, in the most incredible way, it doesn't always mean permanent healing forever in this mortal existence. The atonement brings very real happiness, and I testify of it's strength, but permanent healing isn't always the case and that doesn't mean the church isn't true. In fact, to me it's an even bigger testament of the power of the atonement. 




As I started to seek out Christ more in my personal life, more hope and light started to shine and I felt stronger every single day. I had more faith and more courage to keep pressing on. I started school again and I was getting straight A's. I was so happy and life was good. I was on cloud nine and started to believe everything would be perfectly wonderful from here on out. Things became hard again when heartbreak came into my life. Heartbreak was a trigger on top of a few more stresses of life and I once again slipped back into depression and anxiety, which then triggers my OCD to come out again. It is hard and sometimes feels so unbearable. I wouldn't wish it on anyone in this entire world. It can sometimes leave you feeling as you are less than a grain of sand being washed up by the ocean. 

Add my battles of inattentive ADHD on top of all of this, and it made my struggles even harder. In my life, inattentive ADHD looks like becoming bored quickly, time management battles, struggling in memory, lack of motivation, processing information more slowly. It's just a mess, and I had no idea I had it until I started struggling in school once again. My story isn't over, I'm still fighting every single day. This isn't a story of happily ever after in every single way, it's a story of hope in the day to day life. I don't for a moment think we are given the battles and challenges that we have "just by chance". I believe Heavenly Father knows our hearts perfectly, He loves us, and He stands beside us no matter what we face and because of what we face.







I believe we go through the trials that we face so we can help certain people that will come into our lives at a later time that will face the same trials that we had to overcome.

I believe the trials that we go through soften our hearts, allowing deeper understanding and empathy toward others. 

I believe that no matter how alone you may feel in your trials, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! So many people are willing to help you and love you! Christ is walking right by your side as well. 

For so long I didn't want to share my story, for so long I felt like hiding from all the challenges I was facing, for so long I believed I didn't even have a story to share. Not anymore Satan, not anymore! I am speaking out, I am standing up, and I am doing something. I am breaking the silence on the taboo subjects, I am breaking the stigmas people choose to place, I am breaking the beliefs that there is no hope and no one else like you. 

























We ALL belong, we ALL have a role to play, we ALL matter! 

We ALL face trials, but we all are fighters! Some pain is noticeable to the eye and other times we have no idea what a person is facing. But we all have a voice to speak up and say kind words. I imagine a world where we judge less and love more! And that's what I'm fighting for! 


#IAMSTIGMAFREE

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

LDS Conference 2015 - Guest post from Halee's Thoughts

Hey everyone! I'm super excited to introduce my darling friend Halee over at Halee's Thoughts. This girl is amazing, I adore everything about her. This girl is beautiful on both the inside and out and she inspires me tons! She's here on my blog today, and I'm talking about President Nelson's latest conference talk over on hers. Go check out her blog and find my girl power post HERE




Hi! My name is Halee! Not like Haley but like Haleeeeee, haha! I love inspiring people to be their best selves. I run the Instagram account @haleesthoughts & the blog (haleesthoughts.weebly.com) where I post "thoughts to inspire and motivate!" I love  dark chocolate, a good book, and traveling. 

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Conference weekend is one of my favorite weekends, EVER. Who wouldn't like sitting on the couch in your pj's hearing the amazing prophet and apostles speak? Oh and don't forget all that snacking! It's like my favorite weekend, if I haven't already said that! ;)

Anyways, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite talks. It was super hard to pick just one so I narrowed it down one per session. I know that once I go back and read them I will have totally different favorites. Crazy the way one speaks to you one day and the next day you have a totally different favorite! God sure does know just what you need. 

General Women's Session
A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose by Dieter F. Uchtdorf 


I absolutely love stories and so when Uchtdorf gave his talk I was like, "This is how I learn. I love this talk. I love Uchtdorf." But then again who doesn't love Uchtdorf's talks? 

I also loved this talk because I found the truth so simple: be happy. I loved what he said, "God didn't design us to be sad. He created us to have joy."  Sometimes that is hard and I struggle with being happy and joyful sometimes and this talk just hit home for me!

Saturday Morning
What Lack I Yet? by Larry R. Lawrence 


I'm always setting goals and trying hard to improve so this talk was wonderful conformation that goals are important! I love the thought of praying about something to improve on each week. These past two weeks have been full of steady and tiny self-improvements. 

Saturday Afternoon
Turn to Him and Answers Will Come


I love how he said, " He does not answer just to respond to our curiosity." I find that very interesting and yet so true. It goes right along with Moroni 10:4-5. In order for us to get answers to our prayers, we need to have a sincere heart and real intent. 

Sunday Morning
Be an Example and a Light  by Thomas S. Monson


Who doesn't want to be a light unto the world? I know I do. I love how he explained how we can become lights unto the world. My favorite quote from this talk was: "Opportunities to shine surround us each day, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves. As we follow the example of the Savior, ours will be the opportunity to be a light in the lives of others."

Sunday Afternoon
My Heart Pondereth Them by Devin G. Durrant 


I loved the thought of ponderizing a scripture each week! Just like he said, "Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more." 


These were my absolute favorites this conference. I LOVED all of them honestly, but I felt like these to taught me so much. All of the talks were just what I needed then and answered so many questions I had. If you didn't get a chance to watch or listen I invite you to do so, HERE.

Monday, October 26, 2015

God Doesn't Cause Pain Out of Lack of Love



I'm pretty sure there was a sale on weaknesses happening in Heaven before I came down to earth, and my love for sales drew me in (also a weakness) and so I took as MANY as I possibly could, for some reason underestimating the pain it would cause. 

In 2011 to 2013, I had severe OCD, anxiety, and depression, it almost broke me as just surviving day to day took absolutely everything I had. I couldn't figure out where this came from, it seemed to arise and worsen almost out of nowhere. I became so weak and vulnerable that it led me closer to Heavenly Father more than anything ever had before in my life. I remember staying awake way into the wee hours of the night just pleading for a little bit of deliverance so I could go to sleep and rest my anxious mind if only for just a few hours. These were the two longest and hopeless years I had ever had to experience in my life up to this point. 

Looking back, I often think about why I went through this experience. Why would Heavenly Father cause me to break like that? It was only in these precious years could I really come to know my Savior and Heavenly Father, but I didn't recognize that until after the sun started shining bright with a fresh new start in 2014. It was only through this experience that made me so extremely weak and homesick for my Savior that I would actually find the faith and courage to trust God enough to break up with a boy who was breaking my life. It was only through this experience that I would understand what it means to be succored by my Savior Christ. 

It was a beautiful experience and I wouldn't trade a minute of that pain for what I gained from it. Who I became after that experience was beautiful and I cherish it more than anything. The trials God brings us through, He always brings us through. 

I thought I had learned what I needed to learn and it would all be uphill from there. May of this year, I found myself crying daily for no explainable reason. Sadness started to become all I knew, as life has seemed month by month to get progressively harder. ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression started to become very familiar again. Feeling attacked in life and trying to hide it all because of the stigma our society places upon mental illness. I didn't understand why my weaknesses were coming to attack me once again. 

Hadn't I learned everything I needed to the first time? Weren't those two years of non-stop trials and very little hope hard enough? The problem with asking these questions is the fact that we underestimate God's love for us. 

God doesn't cause us pain out of a lack of love.

Elder Whitney has said: 

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire”

Who am I to question what inflictions God sees fit to put upon me? Especially when it is I that says prayers asking for humility and pleading for Heavenly Father to "help me become the person He needs me to be." Acquiring Christ-like attributes is different for every single person. It happens in so many different ways. I like to think that I knew and understood something so different and so beautiful up in Heaven that I can't comprehend right now. I like to believe that I splurged on the "weakness sale" up in Heaven because I recognized the dependance it would require of me to come unto Christ. To constantly have a need to turn to Him and rely on everything He has to offer me, it's beautiful. 

It does get hard though, some days I just want to throw my hands in the air and yell "Why me?" and "I don't want to do this anymore." Some days I sink to my knees wondering where Heavenly Father is in this minute and what I did wrong. And yet, I am SO blessed with moments where I feel as if there are angels around me, bearing me up {D&C 84:88}. I am SO blessed with friends that listen to my struggles and care. I am SO blessed with tender mercies that the Lord knows I need. He is constantly there for me, even in the moments I feel as if He has left, He never does. 

So I may not understand why I have to keep going through the same heartbreaking struggles, the same trials that are just heart wrenching to me, but I do know the Lord has a plan. I know with all my heart hope is never gone and Heavenly Father has a plan, and these trials are not without purpose. I'm excited to see in the end what the purpose is. But for now, I desire to trust in it. I desire to learn of my Savior as much as I can as I plead for strength and deliverance.

I don't know who will read this post. I don't know what struggles you personally go through. I don't know what breaks your heart and makes you feel as if the world has completely turned against you. But what I do know is that Heavenly Father knows your heart, He hears your pleas, and He never leaves your side. He cries when you cry. He hurts when you hurt. He loves you more than you will ever be able to know or understand. 

He allows you to be tried and to experience pain because He is making a masterpiece out of you. 

He has great, great plans for you! Never lose hope and trust that the end will soon draw near. Make it your goal to not shrink from the burden placed upon your shoulders. Better days are ahead of you and Christ always come to succor you. 



It is in the moments we need Christ the most, 
that we come to know Him the best. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Spirit is One of Light and Truth



The Spirit is one of light and truth, and thank goodness for it! It is in the deep waters of light and truth that bring peace to our soul and clarity to our minds and it is clarity to our mind that allows our spirits to feel of the Spirit. 

I've been thinking a lot about how sometimes we can so easily feel of the Spirit, and sometimes we feel blocked off, even when we are doing all that is right. One possible answer could be that our spirit's actual home is in the mind, for it is the mind that is mentioned in the scriptures over and over again. Perhaps we sometimes allow negativity to enter our minds, things we think our true that aren't, things we think Heavenly Father is doing or saying to us, and yet they go against His very nature. When we allow all of these lies, insecurities, and fallacious thoughts to enter our mind, never taking the time to empty them, perhaps they start to crowd our spirit, blocking us from actually feeling the spirit. 

Perhaps light can only enter our minds, AFTER we clear out all the the things that simply aren't true. Truth is only truth if it brings us peace and hope. And Satan can't imitate peace, only the Spirit can bring that into our lives.

Lately, I've been believing a few things about myself that simply weren't true. Yet, I couldn't see any other way around the situation so I was believing they came from Heavenly Father. They sure didn't bring me peace, or make me happy but I excused these thoughts and beliefs as "trials I needed to go through" and "lessons I needed to learn". But that sure didn't fit, because God created us that we might have joy. And yet that simple statement made me a bit upset and bitter inside, because I sure didn't feel happy, not with all these lies weighing down and literally crushing my spirit.

Recently, I did some spring cleaning in my mind (can we call it that even though it's fall?). I stopped to evaluate all the thoughts I was believing and I found some help to recognize that these are lies coming from the adversary. God is one of hope and happiness, and even if you're facing a HUGE trial in life, His peace is still just a prayer away, unless misbeliefs or chemical imbalance from depression, etc. is crushing your spirit from feeling the truth.

It's important you take the time to evaluate if it is Christ or Satan that is making you feel and believe what you do? Sometimes it can be confusing, but if you don't feel happy or at least a bit of hope, chances are it's coming from the adversary.

Sometimes we feel the Spirit very strongly about a future event coming up, perhaps it doesn't always mean it's going to come to pass. Perhaps sometimes it's truth that it is possible and God has the potential and capability to make that happen, but just maybe He has another and even better way. Truth can still be truth, even if it doesn't happen the way you had expected or hoped it would. But it's still a marvelous gift to hang onto light and truth and let the spirit into your heart.

So what are you waiting for? 
Go do some Spring cleaning in your mind for yourself! 

Give your spirit some room to breathe, some room to feel, some room to recognize the light!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Be Still in the Trials and Earthquakes of Life



Life can be hard, can't it? Sometimes I have the hardest moments, moments where I can't even fathom what the Savior went through. Moments that make me feel like I am in my own Gethsemane, and I am just ONE person. These moments are so trying that I will sometimes find myself asking where Heavenly Father is and why do I have to go through such a moment?

When I find myself in these moments, I start to panic. 
These are the questions you will find racing through my mind...
Where is the Spirit? 
Why can't I feel it? 
Where is my peace? 
Where is deliverance? 
Why did you leave me alone?
Why am I so forgotten? 
Am I so beyond help from the atonement that Christ can't lift me in this moment?

What negative and anxiety creating questions, right? If I was the Spirit, I know I wouldn't want to be around Ashley when she starts panicking like that, no wonder peace isn't near to deliver me and put my heart at ease. I seriously do have anxiety though, so this is the hardest cycle and battle, but I'm getting better and better at it. So if you struggle with this too, guess what? THERE IS HOPE!!

The Spirit doesn't want to be around a fearful, anxious mind. Light and darkness can't dwell at the same time, one is going to win over the other. So if you need hope in your life, and peace in your heart the secret is to BE STILL! It's hard. It will take much time and practice, but you've got this.

Here are my 5 tips to having more peace in your life and having still moments when you need them most:

5 Tips to BE STILL to invite the Spirit


1. Listen to the hymn 'Be Still My Soul' 
Here is my favorite version for you here, it's by David Archuleta



2. Eliminate ALL distractionsloud music, TV, social media, texting, anything that won't invite the Spirit in with open and welcome arms.

3. Reflect & ponder - 
is there anything that could be refraining the Spirit from entering your heart:
Try to stop thinking of your fear and anxiety for just a moment so you can TRUST God!
Repent, is there anything big or small that you could at least start a repentance process on?

4. Invite the Spirit in - Read scriptures, read the ensign, listen to a conference talk, and study on the topic you think you are struggling with most.

5. PRAY and then turn to Moroni 7 - study that chapter like crazy!!! Evaluate every voice in your mind, all the messages you are getting and then ask yourself where they are coming from? Are they from Heavenly Father or Satan? Every good thing comes from Christ! All those negative voices causes you fear and panic, recognize they are from Satan, choose not to dwell on them and just press forward.

I realize this list sounds much easier said then done, but with everything in the gospel, it's all 'line upon line', and 'by small and simple things, great things come to pass'. Yes, it will take time, a great deal of practice, and it will even take and test your patience until you think you can't do it any longer, but His light will come. 

Christ never leaves your side - EVER!


I've had to learn this the hard time and I testify it's true. Invite God in and trust Him. You are never too far, too broken, too imperfect to receive His light and peace as long as you seek Him and take steps towards coming unto Christ.

He knows your name and He loves you! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pastel Trail Print Giveaway

Pastel Trail Print GiveAway



I love inspiration, I just can't seem to get enough of it.  I love inspiring quotes and prints that remind me of the beauty in life. I love positivity, because we all just need a little bit more of it, am I right?
I was so blessed when Pastel Trail sent me a print from their beautiful Etsy Shop and allowed me to run this giveaway for YOU! Their beautiful prints are the perfect gift, the perfect way to renovate any new room, or the perfect decor to hang in a locker or dorm room at school.







 "We are all broken, that's how the light gets in."
 - Ernest Hemingway


Now one of you lucky readers will get to choose a beautiful print of your choice from Pastel Trail Etsy Shop , a print that will inspire you and remind you that life is beautiful, a print that will remind you to keep on going!

So enter away!! Giveaway closes on October 25th! Can't wait to see who the lucky one is. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 2, 2015

No One Is Ever Truly Alone




{No One Is Alone from Into The Woods -
Jenny Oaks Baker feat. Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller}



A very simple message for you today - 

Truly no one is alone! Sometimes people leave you and you are left on your own, but you are NEVER, EVER alone! God sends incredible people into your life to serve you and bless you in the ways you need it most. Trust in it. Trust in God, and that He never leaves your side.

This video reminded me of this quote by President Spencer W. Kimball "God does notice us and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other."

I must admit, I have had times in my life where I have felt so unloved, so alone, so lonely, and so forgotten that these moments have been some of the most painful of my life. As miserable and agonizing as these moments have been, I have pleaded out to Heavenly Father to just have someone come rescue me and save me, and He always does. I have to tell you, it did not come immediately. God is a fourth watch God, and He waited and waited until coming to my rescue because the painful moments are the times when we are changed the most. Painful moments are the hidden blessings in our lives. God has answered these moments by the most incredible people who were willing to look with the eyes of the Savior. 




There's the story of Zaccheaus in Luke 19, where he climbs up a sycamore tree to be able to see Christ, when news had spread he would be walking on the road to Jericho. You ponder on why he felt the extreme need to climb up that tree that day. I believe he was in desperate need to see Christ, he had no idea how much he was about to be changed by him, but his heart was aching to be noticed.

As Jesus passed under the tree, "he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house." (Luke 19:5)

I love this story, Christ had the eyes to see how in need Zacchaeus was, CHRIST LOOKED!! Are we looking for people who need us? Are we looking to help each other not only know, but more importantly FEEL that they are never, ever alone?

I am sure we all have a story we could share of a time when someone was looking and God blessed us through another person to let us know we are not alone. He gives those amazing opportunities to those that are willing to use their eyes to look, just as Christ would. It is a blessing to serve Christ, a blessing deeper that we could ever comprehend.

I personally have many stories like this, I'll share one with you. Once upon a time I was feeling very alone and abandoned. Things weren't going the way I expected in life and I felt like the rain was just pouring down in my life in every single way, it was also during this time when I suddenly felt as if I didn't have many friends around. I sat down at a stake meeting where I cried through the entire thing, just in dire need of feeling noticed and that I had not been forgotten, both forgotten by God and forgotten by the world. A girl came and sat by me, I thought nothing of it. During the meeting, she offered me a tissue, I was touched by her very simple gesture. When the meeting was over, she told me a group was getting together to watch the BYU game and asked if I would be interested in coming. I said yes quicker than she probably anticipated, she told me she didn't know if I would think that was weird since we just met. Little did she know I NEEDED her. A day later I sent her a text to let her know she had been an answer to my prayer. I wanted her to know that she had made a difference in my life because so often we serve others, without getting to see the end result. I wanted her to know the impact she had had on me, that I was in desperate need of being saved and she had come to my rescue. How grateful I am she was looking and she saw a need, reminding me that no one is EVER, EVER truly alone. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fear Can Be the Demolisher of Hope



As I've been reflecting on my life, I have come to the conclusion that every single heartache, trial, challenge, and sadness is derived from some level of fear. And fear is brought on from looking back or looking toward the future and not living in the moment. When I feel sad or lonely, I'm not living by hope and faith of what could be or the very blessings and strength Christ is trying to offer me. Fear blinds me from how many amazing opportunities are around me. Fear can make me feel that the trap I am in that is making me so unhappy may just last forever, which is definitely the opposite of Hope. A principle we live by if we desire to be saved and have Christ come to our rescue. Fear is when I am found caught in thoughts that aren't even reality, but I am perceiving them as such. 

Being sick is the worst possible thing in my mind, I swear I have the lowest pain tolerance out of all man kind; however I do know it is possible to stay happy through sickness by trusting that Jesus Christ is right beside you and knows exactly how you feel, for He is the Prince of Peace. You are not alone and there is hope that it will come to an end. You can also trust that it has a purpose and Heavenly Father would not allow anything to happen to you that would not benefit you in one way or another.

Fear is paralyzing. It takes you absolutely nowhere.

At a time when I felt my life was falling apart, fears were attacking me in every way possible.
I felt fear taking over my every thought.
I feared the smallest, most simplest things.
I started to feel alone in my fears and as if they were engulfing me to a point beyond hope.
This was a result of forgetting to trust that Heavenly Father was in charge.
I forgot to believe that He was so aware of my heart and my mind, that He wasn't ever going to leave me.
I was dwelling on the darkness I felt in my life instead of the light that had been there all along. The light that was on the path I wasn't looking down.


The beautiful blessing Christ and His atonement offer us is allowing fear the possibility to be conquered, this possibility exists at any given time. However, it is a constant choice that has to be made every single moment of the day. 

Once upon a time, I had developed a particular fear based on past memories and events. Through the atonement, I found courage to replace my bad memories with new memories, which brought hope and peace into my life. I knew I was never going to progress if I stayed stuck in my fears. I tried something new, trusting in hope and I gained everything! The only thing I lost in that moment was the desire to hang on to all of my fears.

There is light in every single moment. 
The darkness is more noticeable when it is there, so we often are found dwelling on the fear and the negative things that can so easily take over our mind, but there is always a beacon of light. No matter how dark the room may be, if the smallest of candles is lit and it is hiding in a corner, it will be seen and the dark will not take over, the light will shine through. Christ is the light, He is walking every foot step with us every single day! He doesn't leave us, which means light is ALWAYS there!

Darkness exists, but so does light. It's up to you to choose where to dwell.

Heavenly Father doesn't want you to be fearful. Every bit of fear, negativity, pain, and confusion is not coming from God. God is good, all good things come from Him and He wants you to be happy! He created you to have joy! Christ is the soul source of all hope. Fear is the opposite of hope. We can't very well follow the teachings of the gospel or find hope and happiness ahead if we aren't living with hope.

HOPE IS WHERE HAPPINESS IS FOUND!

The Prophet Moroni taught us about hope and faith:

"I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." [Ether 12:6]

Yes, there will be moments where all you can see are your fears and the darkness, but witnesses and blessings come from choosing to get fear out of your life! 
You're strong! 
You've got this!
Wishing you hope and happiness ahead!