Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Overwhelmed in the Grace of Christ

The thirteen-year-old in me decided this was the picture that was going to pull me through the rough times in life. Life is beautiful in so many incredible ways, but sometimes it gets hard. I don't want to focus on the hard today, I want to focus on the grace; the grace of Christ. Lately, I have felt a little overwhelmed. 

Overwhelmed with time. 
Overwhelmed with planning.
Overwhelmed with mind games.
Overwhelmed with chasing perfection.
Overwhelmed with cooking and eating healthy.
Overwhelmed with a lack of balance.
Overwhelmed with inadequacies. 

In life, as seasons start to change and new chapters begin to unfold it can be hard. Even if they are the very seasons we have been pleading Heavenly Father for, they still take a time to adjust. I've been stretching myself so thin lately that my life has been missing a little balance...or maybe a lot. My Savior has given me everything and I mean EVERYTHING. I wouldn't be the girl I am today without him and his atonement. 

For some reason, I keep stressing and problem-solving as if I have to do every little thing on my own. Why would I take my problems on myself when I've not once been able to overcome them on my own? My Savior has always helped Him when I let Him. When I don't let him, I sure make a mess of things. And it's not like worrying solves my problems for me. It adds more stress, more chaos, and subtracts balance out of my life. 

I may be imperfect as I desire perfection. I may lack faith at times I need it the most. I may let inadequacies in myself get the best of me and at times stop me right in my tracks from even trying. I may not have every single thing in life figured out quite yet. But it doesn't matter because I know my Savior. I know He walks this path with me. I know as I turn to Him, the powers of Heaven are opened and prayers are answered. I know every single answer I need is found in the scars of His hands. He paid the price for me to have hope and every single day He will without a doubt bring me that hope if only I ask and then allow Him to do so.  

Why fear? I don't have to do this on my own. Christ is on my team!!

The scripture doesn't say I or Him - it says WE!!! How exciting is it to have Christ on your team and on mine? The only perfect person to ever walk on this earth. The only one with complete faith to always have the ability to draw down the powers of Heaven. The only one with perfect patience in spite of my countless imperfections. I have CHRIST ON MY TEAM! And so do YOU!! 

I've been pondering lately on how to access the atonement. We hear all the time that the enabling power of the atonement is for us to use, but how do we access it?

Here is what works for me:

1 - PRAYER! 
Pray morning & night every single day without fail! Tell Heavenly Father EVERYTHING...seriously, don't leave anything out! 

Sometimes if you need more divine help or to develop a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father it's going to take a TON more prayer. I have had days where it feels like I'm not doing anything but prayer. Praying in my car, while I'm exercising, praying with my scriptures open, praying through the tears. Embrace the moments that call you to your knees. These are the moments that build your faith, that shape you, that help take you from a piece of coal to a diamond.

You can't know Christ without studying the words of Christ and His stories. To access the atonement, you must invite the word of God into your heart and mind and allow it to be written on your heart. This is one of the basics which means EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Striving for exact obedience and honesty in all things is what helps me to access the atonement and invites the Spirit into my heart. Even if you come up short a time or two, trying counts. 

Accessing the atonement is really hard when your heart isn't focused on giving love. It's hard for love and forgiveness to warm your heart if you're not seeking opportunities to extend it to others.

"After all that Christ and you" do together, as a team, do you believe? Do you believe that the atonement and it's enabling power will be used in your life? FAITH is the answer to just about everything you hope and seek for in this life. Without faith, nothing matters. Faith drives us to action. It drives us to beliving in possiblities and things we never thought were possible. Believe, and if you don't believe just yet ask for help in your beliefs. 

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