There are many ways to be strong. And most of my life has been in pursuit of physical strength. I wanted to be strong. I didn't want to have to rely on anyone and frankly growing up in a house of boys I never wanted to be left out or left behind. I wanted to always be able to hold my own. As I am getting older and my human body is changing and frankly not functioning like I would like it to I am finding my physical strength has been waning. I am becoming weak and I really don't like it. I am having to rely on other people and that is a very hard thing for me to do.
But though my physical strength has been waning I find I am getting stronger in other areas. My spiritual strength has increased exponentially. I have come to rely on a power greater than my own to get me through the rough patches. I see things so differently now than I used to. I have been fine tuning different aspects of who I want to be, and I have a lot more time to think and ponder. And although I am not yet who I want to be, believe me I have a lot of work, I can see the path so much more clearly now. I am not at the waiting place anymore. Have you read Dr. Seuss's book Oh! The Places You'll Go? One of my favorites. And for a lot of years I was in the waiting place, waiting for a fish to bite, waiting for a Friday night, just waiting. And it was very frustrating. I was waiting for something big to happen. And something big did happen, our family lost a sweet girl who changed us all, and yet I found myself still stuck, even after all of that.
What was my problem? Why did I feel like there was so much more to do than sit around waiting? It wasn't until this past year really when I began to change. It has been a slow process because I am a lot stubborn. I have found myself doing hard things on purpose. Wait, what? Why would I want to do hard things on purpose? That sounds like a dumb thing to do. But I saw that in order for me to go anywhere it was up to me. I have been holding myself back because of fear. I have a lot of fears but my number one fear has always been what will people think of me. I am afraid of being judged and found not worthy. Silly I know. It still gets to me sometimes. I have been singing, scary, I have been bearing my testimony in church in front of a lot of people, also very scary, I have been teaching, scary. But the thing about fear is that it lessens with time, it lessens with repeated exposure. At least in the teaching department it has for me. Of course if they stuck me in a new environment with different people the fear just might come back for awhile. But I would do it.
I have also been trying to pay attention to the Holy Ghost more. He is one of my other favorite things about belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, besides being able to be sealed to our families for eternity. He is a gift to all those who are baptized, a constant companion. I think I have taken Him for granted for a long time. But lately I have been trying to tune in to the thoughts and ideas He gives me. I honestly can say I don't always do what He asks because of fear, but I am trying to do better. He comforts me when I am sad, he sends me thoughts and ideas on how to help people, He gives me strong encouragement when I sometimes am afraid, which is a lot. He makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I am on the right path and let's me know how much I am loved by my Father in Heaven. I can not deny what He has done for me. He has saved my life several times. All I have to do to keep Him around is believe in Him and keep the commandments and I am so thankful.
The last thing that has really changed my life is the temple. I have been able to go once a week when my kids are in school. If you want to get addicted to something the feeling you get in the temple is beyond comparison. Overwhelming joy and love radiate through me when I am there. It has changed me for the better and given me the strength I need to carry on.
So while my physical strength is not what it used to be I have gained a greater strength on the inside that has brought me to where I want to be and is taking me to where I want to go. And hopefully some day I will be found worthy to be there.