Maybe you’ve realized this, but right before something good—I mean real good— happens, life totally sucks.
Oh, you’ve noticed this too? How charming. #hellofriend
Right before my mission, life sucked.
I’m about to get married. Life sometimes sucks.
But I have found/let’sbehonest I’m still learning that the most rewarding bits of life are filled with these moments of suckage.
But stop. Collaborate and listen. #youreadthatinvanillaicesvoice
Why? Why do we allow ourselves to be swallowed into a never-ending sea of despair? Sure, we can blame Satan. Sure, we can blame our own weakness. We can pin it on our insecurities and use our fears as a scapegoat.
But when all of the talking about it and mulling it over is done, you still have to face it.
It seems to me that the only way to go is forward.
Here is a parable:
I am pretty girly.
Not as in, oh, sometimes I wear pink and paint my nails to match.
Girly as in I have no muscle, no upper body strength and other than rocking it out on the treadmill, I’m pretty worthless at the gym.
Yesterday, Eric Whitlock and I were doing yard work in the backyard that we are holding our wedding reception in. #youreinvited
I pulled up brick after ancient brick from a worn garden path. I carefully stacked the broken chunks of clay into plastic pallets.
Then came the challenging part.
We had to get the 1.5 billion pound pallet into the back of a suburban.
It took two of us to carry it.
The flesh of my palms felt squished and pinched as I tried to reposition my hands to better grasp this great load. No matter what I did the burden never felt lighter.
In retrospect, the walk from the garden path to the driveway wasn’t that far. But every step felt like it took twice as long as I wobbled underneath the weight.
When the load became too much to bear, I suddenly stopped.
“Why are you stopping?!”
Eric stared at me in utter incredulity.
“It’s heavy! Keep going!”
Amen, Eric Whitlock. Amen.
We cannot stop going forward when our load is heavy. We cannot slow down. We cannot falter.
Because Eric was absolutely right. I cannot stop. When my arms are shaking and my knees are threatening to give out, I have to go on.
We have to go on.
The first time I ever felt the spirit prompt me to go on a mission was on a Sunday so ordinary that looking back, I couldn’t tell you which one it was.
But it’s one I’ll never forget.
I sat alone on a short pew in a chapel streamed with sunlight in Riverton, Utah. We were singing Battle Hymn of the Republic.
“In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
“As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free.”
I sang these words as tears poured down my cheeks. I wanted to make men free by proclaiming the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
These words have resonated with me the past few days.
Christ’s load was not an easy one. It was not a light burden. As Elder Holland said, “Salvation was not a cheap price.” Yet he suffered for all of humanity willingly and with perfect love and compassion.
He did not stop. He did not falter.
And neither can we. Because somewhere across the sea, across the state or across the street, there is someone that needs the message of Jesus Christ.
The lilies will bloom. So will your faith.