Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Family Proclamation

Twenty years ago today, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" during the General Relief Society meeting.

At the time, it seemed pretty rudimentary, simple, and obvious. And yet, twenty years later,we can see why this prophetic message was released, how contradictory the world's view of the family is from the Lord's design for the family.

This proclamation is meant for us to use as a pattern, as direction in this ever-changing world.

Some of you reading this might feel disheartened because circumstances of life may have prevented you from living this to the full extent. Take heart in what was said during the March 2015 General Women's Meeting:
"May I point out something obvious? Life rarely goes exactly according to plan for anyone, and we are very aware that not all women are experiencing what the proclamation describes. It is still important to understand and teach the Lord’s pattern and strive for the realization of that pattern the best we can.
"Each of us has a part to play in the plan, and each of us is equally valued in the eyes of the Lord. We should remember that a loving Heavenly Father is aware of our righteous desires and will honor His promises that nothing will be withheld from those who faithfully keep their covenants. Heavenly Father has a mission and plan for each of us, but He also has His own timetable. One of the hardest challenges in this life is to have faith in the Lord’s timing. It’s a good idea to have an alternative plan in mind, which helps us to be covenant-keeping, charitable, and righteous women who build the kingdom of God no matter which way our lives go. We need to teach our daughters to aim for the ideal but plan for contingencies."
 ~Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President

On this twenty-year anniversary, I hope we can each resolve to live this as well as our circumstances allow and to teach our children the same. There is always hope, safety, and peace when we follow the Lord.

© Wendy 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

When you want to give up...

I hesitate to write about this topic because it's scary. But, it's Suicide Prevention week and it's something that needs to be talked about.

I know people who have attempted suicide as well as those who have succeeded in taking their own life. Though I have not attempted to end my own life, I've had thoughts about it more than I would like to admit including as recently as this week.

Painting by Greg Olsen, "Lost and Found"
I'm not always sure what triggers the thoughts and feelings that send me down that path, but it never feels good. It doesn't make sense and it's hard to get your heart and mind back to "normal." It starts with some sort of hurt and turns into...

  • I'm not good enough.
  • I'm failing at being a wife and mother.
  • Everyone would be better off without me. 
  • I don't deserve the life I have. 
  • No one would really notice if I was gone anyway. 
  • I'm ugly, stupid, fat, undesirable...etc.... 
  • My family deserves better.
  • I can't do anything right. 
Ugh... I hate that list. It hurts. It's painful. It's embarrassing. Even though I knowledgeably "know" none of that is true, sometimes feelings are stronger than any other force. I'm sure there are many factors that lead me to this spot--damaging life experiences, heredity, hormones....but the biggest contributor to these thoughts, the one who adds and digs up more negative things to heap on top, is Satan.

This all sounds so depressing...probably because it is. But, I keep fighting and trying to overcome. It's not easy and it always helps to talk to someone. For me, it's my husband who I somehow got to marry me. Figure out what helps you pull out of and put it in you "emotional first aid kit." For me, I:

  • Write.
  • Listen to good music.
  • Talk to someone.
  • Drink Dr. Pepper.
  • Eat chocolate.
  • Read.
  • Cry it out. 

What helps you?

Don't give up. Talk to a friend or loved one who can help. Seek professional help when necessary. Trust in God's mission for you and do not allow Satan to permeate your thoughts and actions. Satan wants you to believe you're alone and you are worthless. He's crafty in making you believe it, but, it is all LIES. You are not Satan's puppet.

You are a child of God. He loves you and knows you better than you know yourself. You are an eternal being with eternal potential. Your are so valuable that Jesus Christ gave His life for you. You are strong and with His help and guidance, you can make it through the storms of life. Choose to fight the battle and rise victorious!

I love this video from the Mormon Channel on suicide prevention.

© Wendy 2015