Trials and Struggles

Struggles

We all have trials and struggles. I often struggle with fear, pain and anxiety. The atonement can help us with our trials and struggles – it is not just for repentance. I have found that I can create a picture in my mind of taking those negative feelings in my cupped hands and place them in the hands of my Savior. This is one way I can put the atonement into action in my life. This is how I choose to trust God and Jesus – choosing to trust and believe what they say, not just in them. When I am having a very hard time leaving my troubles in Christ’s hands, I picture myself crawling into His hands as well. Some people make a box – their God box, then write down their negative emotions and problems and put the paper into the box. Some people write in a journal. It is important for each of us to find ways to turn our problems over to God, to literally apply the atonement in our lives. There are as many ways of doing this as there are people.

I often find that I have taken back that fear, pain and anxiety. When I find that I’m carrying those feelings again, I simply picture myself again putting them in the hands of my Savior. Every time I remember to do this, I immediately feel peace and comfort.
Using the atonement takes practice. I have to do it over and over again, but as I practice trusting God, the peaceful, comforting feelings stay longer.

Sometimes I forget entirely and have to start from the beginning again. But, I know from experience now, that if I keep practicing using the atonement, peaceful feelings and trust in God will slowly become my way of life.

Sometimes I feel Powerless

Powerless

I often fight feeling of powerless and stuck. We are children of God and we can choose to act to improve our circumstances. We are not to always be silent and just acted upon.

Support groups are one way I can choose to act to improve myself. Support groups have helped me learn how to apply the atonement to my life and to my circumstances. This is a great adventure that I am so thankful for. I am thankful for the growth and help Heavenly Father blesses us with through the spouse and family support groups. To me this program is great evidence of God’s love specifically for us as loved ones of those with addictions.

I should set boundaries?

Boundaries

I have always had trouble knowing how to set boundaries. Love your fellow men meant service, doing things for others above my own needs, but it went too far – to feeling guilty about saying no even to things that were not good for me. I did not want to make people feel bad or not like me. This is my illogical thinking again.

Recently I have been feeling guilty about something and wondering what I needed to do and praying about it. General conference October 2014 really spoke to me, so I started rereading those talks. The 2nd talk was the answer to my prayers – Which Way Do You Face by Lynn G Robbins. This talk speaks about the first 2 great commandments and to be careful not to put them in the wrong order. It also talks about keeping your face towards God. I realized that my guilt was misplaced. I had thought of the commandments as all equal, not in any order or priority or that some were more important than others. Love God, then love your fellow men helped me to see more clearly and put aside my misplaced guilt. I now have another tool to help me set boundaries and to help me know when to say no without feeling guilty.

Support programs have helped me understand more clearly how to love others but to keep my face towards God. When others or even my own faulty thoughts demand approval in defiance of God’s laws, I can remember that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ first.

I am weak

Sliding backwards

I am so weak! I often fall back into my old ways, or let a good habit die out. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be able to make the good things I’m learning and the good habits I’m creating so much a part of me that they are me – so they are what I turn to first when something upsetting happens or something changes in my life.

But then I remember that we live in a mortal world. Everything worth doing is hard and takes work and is an uphill climb. Good habits are always hard to keep and easy to fall out of. It is so easy to start a bad habit and so hard to stop a bad habit. It is just part of this mortal world. But, then how can we ever change and grow?

How can we let go of our weaknesses and learn to be happy and find joy? I am so thankful for the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ! He can take a weak and broken person like me and make me stronger than I can be on my own. He can help me change and grow and find joy and happiness. I am so weak on my own, but with Jesus Christ I can do all things.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (New Testament Philippians 4:13)

Reflections

How am I doing?

It helps me to think about my day every evening. I try to look at my entire day and ask myself some questions.

Did I consciously turn my day over to God and ask for His guidance?
Did I stop to consider His will for me in making decisions?
Did I take a few minutes for quiet reflection and counting my blessings?
Did I reach out to others with love and concern?
Did I hold my tongue and listen to another and not offer solutions?
Do any actions, beliefs, words, thoughts, attitudes, etc. show signs of old patterns?

I can usually take care of problems immediately instead of letting them build up and overcome me. It’s when I forget to do this that I start feeling overwhelmed and anxious and stuck. I ask myself if I need to counsel with the Lord about negative thoughts or feelings. Sometimes I need to talk to a trusted person as well to be able to get out of a rut.