Friday, April 18, 2014

The Long Haul

Since December 10, 2013 I have refused to write a thing down about how i feel, or about what is going on in my little life. I have been stubborn and a little bit mad. I have bawled my eyes out. I have nearly punched walls. But I have learned incredible amounts about the atonement of Jesus Christ.

We have this belief that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the reason that we can overcome and be forgiven for our sins. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us better ourselves because of the sins we made and the atonement we used to overcome it. It's one big eternal round of the Atonement making us better. Ain't that the truth! But that's not the full truth. Well...not everyone understands one part of the Atonement that I have learned so much about since being home from my mission. Christ doesn't just have the power to forgive you of your sins...He has the power to understand how you felt when your brother got in that car accident, your disbelief when your mom was diagnosed with end stage cancer. He knows the grief you felt when you didn't get into the program at your dream college. He knows how it felt to sit at home when all your other friends were out on dates. He knows what it was like when you joyfully found out you finally were pregnant. He knows your giddiness when the man of your dreams finally asked you out. He knows your victories, your embarrassments, your grief, your joy, your pain.

And He doesn't just know it because He's always watching. He knows because of the Atonement he gave. He literally knows EXACTLY how you feel because of that moment that forever changed eternity. 

So when Dr. Edwards told me I needed to wait 4 more weeks before he could approve me to return to the mission, Jesus Christ actually knew what that moment felt like to me. He knew how badly it hurt to try to get my knee to lay straight and He knew how badly I wanted it to lay straight because it meant I was that much closer to returning to Honduras. He knew my prideful rage when someone would say, "You're still limping." He knew how hard I had to bite my tongue to not bark back, "And you're still overweight." He knows the pain of physical therapy, and the emotional pain of not being in the mission field when you feel you should be. He understood what it was like when the mission department told me they had changed the policy and every international serving missionary that comes home for ACL reconstruction surgery now has to wait 6 months from the date of surgery to return to the mission. Christ knew. He knew what i was feeling, the thoughts that were dancing around my mind non-stop as I had to choose to wait 3 more months or choose to be reassigned stateside. He knew how alone I felt. He knew how scared I was to make a decision. He knew. And that was enough.

I believe the Atonement of Jesus Christ isn't just for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation for eternity. I believe that the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows the most unusual kind of comfort and empathy. I know that Christ completely and perfectly understands my heart and my mind because of the Atonement. Because of the Atonement I can be forgiven for my sins and released from my sorrows. Because no matter how bad something hurts, it always helps to know that theres one who perfectly understands you. 

This is my journal entry from 4.13.14

"I'm so stubborn. I've refused to write in my journal because I just want to get past this and pretend it never happened. Well at least that's what i thought. Now i worry I won't be able to remember all the really hard, miserable, yet life-building moments of these past 4 months. Let me just say I seriously believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the peace and comfort it brings. But I also refuse to lie to my journal and say that the atonement has fixed everything and this time has been nothing but rainbows and butterflies with a herd of unicorns. Because it hasn't been. It's been crap. Its been so hard. Sometimes i want to punch walls. But the atonement has helped me learn from it and get stronger from it. The worst part is that when i think i can see the end of this marathon, its actually just a deceitful corner to turn and 5 more miles to sprint. I'm tired of it. And sometimes i have to bite my tongue to keep from questioning and whining to God. I really believe that He's designed this trial for me and that I already have learned so much. Like patience, and faith in God's timing, and meekness in trial, and the power of the atonement in a totally different way than i understood it before. I only ever used it for my sins but now I have used it for comfort and for understanding and growth and learning. But it still STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN! God's got something super awesome planned. Something totally worth waiting for."

Well... now I have a plane ticket to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. I didn't give up, rest up, slow up, or pass up on anything and I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER.
This trial is not over yet. I still have miles to walk and pain to endure. But i have climbed the mountains, crossed the rivers, and passed over something that has made me better than I was.

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