All of us have them. Sometimes my problems seem overwhelming to me! They are all I can think of. They monopolize all of my time, energy and thoughts.
I need to think about and pray about my difficulties to find solutions. But, when my thoughts start to go around in circles, my problems can take over my whole life. When I dwell on my trials they become bigger and bigger. They seem bigger than they really are. When I look around me and see others and their difficulties, then my difficulties shrink. When I serve others around me and especially when I can help others with their problems, then my problems shrink back to normal size and my life is richer and brighter.
I’m sure God does not look at my problems the same way that I do. He might see them as lessons to learn or obstacles to overcome and strengthen me. My attitude really affects my difficulties. If I can look at my trials as stepping stones back to my Heavenly Father, then I remember to ask God what He wants me to learn. When I do this, sometimes they don’t even look like problems anymore, they look more like opportunities and even blessings. “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”.
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.