(Art by: Robert Barrett)
The more I go through in this journey called life, the more compassion I have upon others. Pain is real, it can sometimes leave you shaken to your very core. Even when nothing in the world is wrong in front of you, and life appears to be blissfully perfect from the outside world, Christ knows the wounds and pains you hold within.
After many pleas of prayer asking for anxiety to removed from me, time after time again I feel even more indebted to my Savior. It's in the moments when He doesn't remove the pain, it's in the moments where I have to suffer some of the greatest pain I know that I realize just how much the Savior loves me. If He suffered and bled for me knowing beforehand just how many mistakes I would make and weaknesses would be found on my journey that bring me to my knees over and over again, the love He has for me is incomprehensible.
Those moments of panic and fear that make my heart tremble to it's very core are the greatest rocks I have to rely on my Savior and create that firm foundation that cannot fall. When the pain isn't removed, I realize just how much pain my Savior went through just for me; and yet I still can't fathom it all because I haven't passed through all the pain I will yet go through. What if the anxiety I face isn't about that fear coming true, but what if it is just the opposite, an opportunity to go through pain to better shape me for the happiness and journey that my heart so greatly desires? What if the pain is an answer to prayer? What if Heavenly Father may not be causing the greatest pain I know, but He is allowing me to go through it so I may have a greater compassion on others?
In this mortal life, I will never be able to fully comprehend just how much Christ loves me. The mistakes I have made and the imperfections I have break my heart, but that's not what changes me. What changes me is realizing I couldn't overcome any road block, any flaw, any iniquity, or any sorrow or emotion if it wasn't for the Savior. Satan blinds us constantly from all the work and love Christ is sprinkling along our path every moment, but if it wasn't for Christ, we would never move forward from one moment to the next.
Because my Savior lives, I want to serve more hearts and love more people. I am completely indebted to Him. He has given me more than my eyes can recognize and more than my heart can feel at this time, but I know without a doubt He never stops giving. He goes before me to bring about good from the messes I have made. He allows me to experience peace, sometimes it isn't until weeks after all the pain, but that hope is forever along my path. It's the most painful paths that seem to be the most blinding to me. When hope doesn't seem to shine through among all the tears, I may for a moment or two forget that hope is even a thing; but I never stop fighting for it. In fact I believe I fight for it the most when it appears to be absent, and I believe that's how hope is developed; through the fighting and pleading.
Christ never stops giving, to those who love Him, and to those who don't yet recognize just how much love they do have for Him. Christ never stops loving His brothers and sisters, and I never want to stop loving mine. I am so blessed by pain, it allows me to look deeper at a situation, without a desire to love or have compassion on others. I want to speak kinder, love deeper, and serve with my whole heart. Service is a part of me, it always has been. I am happier when I serve and it's the thing that Satan tries so very hard to stop me from doing. Ideas to serve others come to my mind quite a few times a day. I must confess that I am probably only acting on 5 - 10% of those service ideas because it's HARD. It's hard to get out of your own way, it's hard to put your thoughts and pain aside to focus on another instead. It's hard to do something you think may be so silly, but who I am to judge the impact it could have. Satan KNOWS the power that lives within us, oh does he ever. He knows exactly what will cause us to believe that serving others is hard. But the more love we draw down from the powers of Heaven, the more love and hope we will be able to feel in our own lives.
Christ's atonement is about giving and receiving. It's about receiving hope, charity, forgiveness, and change while offering up our hearts and our compassion. Christ offers me so much I have been overlooking, which gives me the deepest desire to GIVE and to become the absolute best version of me.