After we lost our home, we lived in Adam's grandma's vacant house for two years. It was sad and depressing going through several major job rejections, losing our home and then feeling like the family charity case. We went into a spiritual slump and it was hard to watch Adam lose faith in himself and a little bit of hope in God. He was despondent for a long, long time. I don't think it was that noticeable to anyone else but it was challenging to watch him go through that, him feeling like Heavenly Father wasn't helping us and that he was a total loser and failing as our provider. Man, that was hard. And nothing I could really say or do could snap him out of it.
Then one day, the call came that would change our lives forever. That same company who had toyed with us four-five times before, had lifted our hopes and dreams only to crush them into a million pieces, called to ask Adam if he would be interested in taking a job in Alaska. It had been a full year of zero contact with Adam's main contact. That bridge was burned like the bridge over the River Kwai. KA-BOOM!! Well, maybe that man had a conscience after all. Maybe it was burning within him that he had, in fact, screwed us over more than one time. Or maybe he just wanted to feel like the big hero and pat himself on the back. Who knows. But here we are in Alaska getting our big break. Finally!
I hear a lot of people in the church talk about how trials bring them closer to the Lord. When they are going through something really difficult, they feel even more close to heaven. I have to admit that over the last couple of years, heaven felt pretty distant. It felt like we were getting no direction as to where we should go or what we should do.
I neglected my scripture study quite a bit those two years at grandma's because of pregnancy, a new baby, laziness, depression, and a crazy busy job.
My job has now changed and life for me has dramatically simplified while Adam's workload is usually around 60 hours a week. With the advent of 2014 approaching, I made only two New Year's resolutions--I wouldn't lay my head down at night until I had read at least a partial chapter from the scriptures and 2. I would make a devoted effort at saying my morning prayers (evening prayers have never been a problem).
Already I've noticed a difference. I feel more peaceful, more content, more happy, more grateful. I feel like I can manage my time better and that I have enough time in the day now for everything that I need to accomplish. If I make time for the Lord everyday, the negative voices are tamed and my ability to cope is increased, and I feel as if I can see more clearly. There is a quiet power found in daily study of the scriptures.
I have always loved Elder Holland's talks. Adam and I both found a lot of comfort in many of his talks over the last few words. The following quote is from his talk Broken Things to Mend (the full talk can be read here )
[Christ] is saying to us, “Trust me, learn of me, do what I do. Then, when you walk where I am going,” He says, “we can talk about where you are going, and the problems you face and the troubles you have. If you will follow me, I will lead you out of darkness,” He promises. “I will give you answers to your prayers. I will give you rest to your souls.”
Soon, with that kind of love, we realize our days hold scores of thoroughfares leading to the Master and that every time we reach out, however feebly, for Him, we discover He has been anxiously trying to reach us.
I testify that the Savior’s Atonement lifts from us not only the burden of our sins but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair.
There can and will be plenty of difficulties in life. Nevertheless, the soul that comes unto Christ, who knows His voice and strives to do as He did, finds a strength, as the hymn says, “beyond [his] own.”15 The Savior reminds us that He has “graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands.”16 Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way.
Life is easier when I am focused on the Savior, when I'm consistently reading my scriptures and uttering heartfelt prayers. It's not easy. I don't think life is ever really easy, at least not for long periods of time. But it's easier and it's happier and that's good enough for me.