I love spring, the flowers, my birthday, the hope of longer days after the short days of winter, Easter, picnics, yard work and sunshine. There is so much that is very renewing about Spring, it seems as if each day comes with it's own dose of hope. Some of my hardest things have start dates in Spring, some bitter to help me appreciate the sweet. Today I was sitting in the car thinking for a moment about not just Hard Things, but my very hardest of all the hard things and I realized how overwhelmingly grateful I am for the atonement. The rest of this post may seem vague, but it's intentionally vague. This isn't about how I dealt with my very specific Hard Things, it's about Hard Things in general. We all have them, they all look different, and what is hard to one person may be easy to their neighbor. This isn't about comparing my life to yours, or your neighbors, or your uncle's dog's breeder's neighbor who had something sort of similar (but not really) happen.
The opportunity the atonement gives to repent of sins and poor choices is invaluable and completely necessary for everyone. It's taught through various denominations of Christianity starting at very young ages. It's outlined in steps during Primary Sharing Times and Family Home Evenings and follows an easy format (easy in listing the steps, more difficult in applying the principle into your life)
Today I'm most grateful for the "Come unto me, all that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" from Matthew 11:30. It's less concrete to me, I've not found a list of steps to take to get that rest. In fact there have been times in my life when I've been doing everything I'm suppose to very well scriptures, prayer, pondering (lots and lots of pondering), attending Sunday meetings and carrying the Spirit with me throughout the week but the Savior didn't come and take my burdens away from me because I held onto them with all of my Erickson stubbornness. I benefited greatly from those habits and often felt at peace but things were still hard. I didn't see how to let go of my burdens and I was only dealing with Hard Things, not the smothering very hardest of all the hard things.
I don't know that there is a set format to turn over a heavy load to the Savior, but it is possible. It took time, patience, following some very specific advice, and lots of faith. I still had to do all the same things but the overwhelming weight of everything was gone, almost as if I'd grown stronger but I hadn't. I had learned to rely on the Savior and trust that everything was going to be okay -- whatever okay meant.
For that extra strength I am deeply grateful. That when my world was shattered I could still find up, I knew that somehow I could get through even if it took my entire life I could do it, for the ability to repent of all my mistakes and the knowledge that there is so much more to the atonement than I can understand at this point in my life.
|Spring Blossoms on my crab apple tree|