Sunday, May 15, 2011

I've been trying to decide if I am supposed to just lay it all out right away - and then break down the things I've learned from the experiences I've been blessed with....or really what I am supposed to do. After a week of a lot of prayer and a lot of listening (a skill I'm trying hard to work on, but failing miserably!) I've decided that could potentially cause more damage than good. Aside from that, I don't want this blog to focus on the trials/experiences, I want it to focus on the things of the Spirit. The things I've learned, or am learning from each experience. As a warning though, I am not very organized when I write, so I will do my best to stay as coherent and on task as possible.

I should start with making it known I was adopted when I was 3 years old. While I had been with a foster family for almost 2 years, and they had every intention of adopting me, I was adopted by my paternal aunt and her husband because that was the only way my biological father wouldn't fight the courts. With it being a family adoption, one would think that I would have a better opportunity to know my biological family history. Who my parents were (yes were, they are now both deceased), medical history, and just basic things like that. Unfortunately that's far from the truth. I learned growing up my biological father was my adopted mother's brother by blood, but that's about as far as the relationship extended. It wasn't that anything happened where they severed the relationship, they just simply didn't have one. In fact, by the time I was born he didn't really have a relationship with any of his 14 siblings (well, 13, one died years earlier). About the only information I have about my mother is that she was just nuts. Literally, in every sense of the word, nuts. She was a schizophrenic. On top of that she had a severe drug addiction. The poor woman was very ill and eventually took her own life. I found all of this out when I was about 10 or 11 I think. I never really had any feelings about this when I was young. If anything, I was just sad for her. It wasn't until years later when I realized what the diseases she had were, and how they could potentially effect me.

The knowledge that I had a chance of getting this disease was disabling to me for quite a while. Especially after I learned the chance was increased because I was a 'crack baby'. I questioned everything I thought and I lived in a constant fear. The fear made me push people away - far away. I was afraid if I let anyone get close they would notice I wasn't "right" and then my fears would become reality. At the time I was the chorister in Sacrament meeting. The prayerful time I spent choosing the music each month are some of the times I felt the Spirit the strongest in my life. There was a night I was preparing music for the next month and I came across Hymn #14, Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings. At that time I was really struggling and my entire body was overcome with the Spirit as I read verse 2:

It's laws and precepts are divine and show a Father's care.
Transcendent love and mercy shine in each injunction there.

At that moment I knew that our Father in Heaven does not want us to fear. At that moment I decided I wasn't going to let the fear of just the possibility that I may one day have a disease that I can't control disable me anymore. For the most part, it worked, I did have moments of weakness, as we all do...but quickly my days became brighter and I felt like the Savior's arms were wrapped around me.

Our ward has a Book of Mormon study group weekly. Last week the discussion came up about feelings of fear and anger. As the discussion progressed there were those who shared their beliefs that at times feelings of fear and anger are OK. At that time I was able to share my testimony and felt it grow. Feelings of fear and anger never, absolutely never, come from our Father in Heaven. I know that without a doubt those feelings are the adversary's tool to keep us from feeling the Spirit. Our Heavenly Father does not want us to feel fear or anger. The more we allow these feelings in, the harder it will be for the Spirit to overcome that fear.

We had Stake Conference this weekend and during the adult session last night our stake president shared an analogy that I really appreciated. We are all familiar with the analogy of light and darkness when we talk about the Light of Christ. During the meeting President Titera had all of the lights in the room turned off - so it was almost completely dark - and then had them turned back on. As quick as the switch could be flipped to turn the lights on, the darkness went away. But if there is a power failure, or if something happens to weaken the power source, the lights can't come on and the darkness stays. If we relate that to the Light of Christ, if we let anything, such as [[FEAR]] weaken our power source, we may deprive ourselves of the Light that we all desire.

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ IS peace and as we do the things that strengthen our power source the light will dispel the darkness that comes from fear and contention.

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