Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Battle Of The Virtues.

I have wanted to write this post for quite some time. Hannah Peacock can attest to that. I told her all about it. I love that lady.

This post is a compilation of sunday school/Relief Society lessons and that study I was doing on Christ and the Atonement. ...and other talks and firesides actually. Anyway, there seemed to arise a theme in my studies this month about "not shrinking". It seemed to creep into everything I read or listened to.

On March 10, 2013 Katie (katy?...I dunno) taught the lesson and she said this awesome stuff:
In reference to what the scriptural command to be perfect really meant -
"Perfect" is to be complete, to be finished. Not Perfection. To be perfect in Christ? To be complete in Christ. To be finished in Christ.
She then bore her testimony and said, "We do not need to worry that we continually struggle with the same things over and over and over again because we have a Savior".

For some reason that hit me really hard. In a good and a bad way. There was like this huge burden lifted and a sharp blow somewhere in the back of my head at the same time. I have not been nice to myself for going on a little over a year now, and I'm working on it, but I mean really not very nice at all. I will beat myself up over something and then beat myself up for beating myself up. It's cyclical, and involves a lot of "Why can't I?", "Why do I?" or "How come I never?"  questions that just aren't very productive or answerable. At all. So I sat there and I was Taught. Capital T intended.

Regardless of what actually happened:

So that next week I listened to and read talks and scriptures that all talked about not shrinking, not giving in, enduring to the end, and not in a way that just involved surviving, because "not shrinking is so much more important than surviving". Trust me, it was drilled into my head. I heard the story of the couple who got married and immediately faced a fight with cancer. The couple who received a blessing but was asked first, "Do you have the faith not to be healed?"
So I was and was not surprised when on sunday they played one of the same talks I had listened to that week that included that story in the Relief Society lesson. What surprised me the most was the very different take I had on it than I had had before. I always attributed it to the very narrow scope of the question "Do you have the faith not to be healed?" or in other words, Do you have the faith to die? If you are sick and this blessing does not heal you, will it shake your faith? or will you be angry with God? Honestly? yeah. I do. I can die. I'm good with that. I can be sick and not be angry with God. I connect Him with healing and strength I do not hold Him accountable for a lack of healing. Not His fault. Happens. He's got it figured out.
But this time the question was not so narrow, or maybe it wasn't as broad? Other questions arose, ones that were not mine, ones that I have never asked myself. Do I have the faith for it not to work out? For anything not to work out? Do I have the faith to fail? Do I have the faith to make a recipe and have it taste absolutely awful and not base my personal worth on it? Do I have the faith to walk in late and not think everyone hates me or thinks less of me? Do I have the faith to mess up and refrain from condemning myself?
Here is where the battle of the virtues comes in, because honestly? No. No I do not I do not have that kind of Faith. I have the faith to see miracles, the faith to make things happen, the faith to make progress. And that answer to those questions, the loud resounding "NO" echoed through my brain.


HOWEVER. Faith itself seems to combat honesty in this instance. Alma 32:27 "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words."

So do I in effect have this kind of faith just by wanting it? Because I do want it. I think I will be a happier person, I better disciple of Christ and grow closer to God and have greater claim on the peace this gospel brings if I do. And I want all those things.

So here's the big question Sister Bailey, do you have the faith to fail? I have mulled it over and over and over again in my head. Can I fail? Am I ok with that? How come this question has never occurred to me before? It may be that merciless voice in my head that says to me "Oh so things have gotten harder? Then work harder". I don't think I meant it that way when I wrote it and I don't think I was wrong to write it either. I think there is a great deal of value in not letting ourselves be complacent in the least bit. To keep "pressing forward". But I do have a "suck it up" attitude that just kind of sucks sometimes. It's one thing to not let yourself become complacent. A good thing. It's another thing entirely to refuse to be forgiving. Particularly with yourself. A bad thing. A cyclically detrimental thing that will tear you apart from the inside out. And I have been doing it for far too long. "Pressing forward" with out that "Steadfast faith in Christ" really isn't progress at all. It's a stale mate. And when we don't forgive ourselves, we are lacking that steadfast faith in Christ.

And with that here we go.....Discouragement is dumb:

Bring on conference yeah? Cant. Wait.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I must confess to glancing at it more than once before taking the time to read it but I am glad I did. I read it while waiting for conference to start.I read it when I had the time to think about what was being said. I love your thoughts and insights. Couple your revelation with the atonement and, in one word, wow! Love you!