Friday, October 17, 2008

The Storm

Image credit: Simon Dewey

Helamen 5:12: And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the
rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your
foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his
shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall
beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of
misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a
sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Ever since Wyatt died I have been fighting a battle between good and evil. I have felt that Satan is aware of me and what I'm going through. He is aware of how hard this is for me and he is trying to make me fall. This is his chance to get to me, to make me doubt my belief's, to get me discouraged and to try and break up our family. He has put doubts into my mind and it has literally put fear into my soul. During those moments I have had to look back on those moments in my life when I have felt the Holy Ghost testify to me of all the many things that are true. Especially, the knowledge that I know deep down in my heart that Jesus Christ lives. He is my hope and he is my rock. I have had to remember many of the spiritual moments in my past to survive the present. As I have reflected on those experiences the realization came to me that each of those moments were building a foundation. A foundation that would help me through the storms I would have to pass. My gratitude for my Savior has deepened and the hope he gives me is unspeakable. I never thought I would literally have to survive the mighty winds, the shafts in the whirlwind, the hail and the mighty storms of the devil. I've felt him trying to drag me down to endless wo but he has no power over me when I put my trust in Jesus Christ. It's kind of a scary thing thinking that Satan is aware of me but it's also empowering because I know through Jesus Christ I can overcome him. It kind of makes me mad that he would even try to do this to me and that makes me want to try even harder. But on those days when feel I can't try anymore I have to rely on those spiritual moments in my past and the foundation that has been built. So, that the storms will have no power over me.

I've also thought a lot about the tree of life and Lehi's dream. I can almost see myself literally hanging onto the rod of iron(the word of God) with all my might as the mist of darkness surrounds me. On some of my hardest and most discouraging days the only thing that has helped me out of that darkness for a moment is the word of God. It's has come from the words of prophets, apostles and from the scriptures. I've felt the comfort that comes from cleaving to those things. How grateful I am for inspiring words. I can't tell you how many times I've been having a hard moment and just opened the scriptures to whatever page it happens to be on and there has always been a scripture that has either lifted me up or eased my burden for a moment. I'm grateful for those tender mercies in my life.

The other thing that has literally helped me through this mist of darkness is the many angels in my life. Ones that know what it's like to lose a child and ones that don't fully understand but are there to encourage, lift and help me. How grateful I am for everyone that has touched my heart and helped ease my burden by being there to comfort and mourn with me.

This life is a test and wasn't meant to be easy. We will each be tested to see who's side we are on. I know through the Savior Jesus Christ we can make it through all the tests we are given in this life. He is the one that fully knows what it's like to go through each and every trial, sickness, heartache, discouragement, sin, death ---everything! Alma 7:12: "...that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to his infirmities." He knows how to comfort, bless and help us because he has experienced it. How grateful I am that he is there and that he knows how to comfort me through the scriptures, with the Holy Ghost and by placing amazing people in my life. I know through him I can make it through the storms of life and Satan will have no power. I have hope of spending eternity with all of my kids and with my sweet husband.


Marc and Megan said...

Andrea, this is so beautifully expressed. I've found myself, too, feeling grateful for all the past experiences I've had with the Spirit... there is no way I'd be able to survive this without that foundation... it's hard enough even with that foundation. I just want you to know what a blessing you've been in my life... I'm so grateful for the ways you've helped me through the last three months. Sending you lots of love and hugs!

Michelle said...

Beautiful, Andrea.
I love how you express the way the scriptures have helped you. It makes me want to feast on them even more!
The things you are learning, and the faith you are proving right now, will help make you ready for the eternal blessings you so long for!
Wyatt's life on earth was so brief, but now he is a pull on your family towards eternity. That is how Benjamin is for us--material things seem so unimportant now. All I really want is to be with my family forever. To hold my baby again!
Love and {hugs} from me, too! (Hi, Megan! :))

Suzanne said...

Hi Andrea,
I love this post. I love the picture you put on your post. My mother always tells me "Peace be Still"... She says that while the storm was hailing, Christ was sleeping. He of course wasn't being lazy, but was teaching a lesson to us about how firm he was in the eternal plan.

One Sunday at church I learned from a speaker that one of the most insulting thing ever said to the Savior was "Carest not that we Perish?".

What joy Heaven and all it's angels shout when they see you, step by step, minute by minute choosing the right. I know I've shared this quote before... but I love to think about it when I know you are in need. It's comforting to see you conquer all these things, and teaches us all that we can too.

"In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike, and they will, you must never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see chariots of fire as far as the eye could see riding at wreckless speed to come to our protection (see 2nd Kings 6:16-17). They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham's seed."--Dallin H. Oaks

Jill said...

This is an incredibly inspiring and well put post. I can tell you specific moments when I've felt the same way. This whole experience that you've gone through is one few can relate fully to, but the feelings you just expressed are some that have been my own. I've felt at times how aware Satan is of me and how hard he is working to get me on his side, and to doubt the truths that I know. I have also felt empowered when I remember the things that have been blessed to come to know through the power of the spirit. Even during those times when I feel scary close to the advesary, through humility and prayer I feel like I am able to very quickly change that situation to a faith building experience that solidifies those truths. How grateful I am for those hard and scary experiences, for the mere fact that I can feel the Lord's INDIVIDUAL love for me. I know that those feelings of doubt and lonliness will come and go, but I also know the way to feel the love of the Lord, and learn from them. I love you Andrea! Thank you for your testimony. You are a rock, whether you feel like it or not. Know you're not alone in those feelings.

Natalie said...

Thank you for your testimony! It's amazing the techniques Satan has come by over the years to drag us down. Because you recognize him it makes him that much less powerful! You are truly amazing and thank you once again for your example to me. Lots of love!

gcashton said...

You are stronger than you realize. You are a strength and an example to me and others. Thank you for this! I love this scripture too--this will help me prepare my talk this week. I appreciate how you can recognize Satan's influence in this greiving process--he wants us to be miserable, he wants us to forget the good things that bring us joy and focus entirely on our sorrow. It's such a reminder to me that we have to fight--almost every day.
I love that quote from your friend Suzanne by Elder Oaks--I haven't read that before. I need to print it out and read it often.
You are one of the angels in my life right now--can't imagine getting through these days without you.

Bartel's said...

Andrea, I have been reading your blog for a while now & haven't had a spare moment to comment. It looks like the past 2 months have been very memorable for you & your family. (Happy 1st B-Day Wyatt)
You continue to inspire me & give me perspective with my faith & family. You are a great mom & have so much to offer. I thought of you & Wyatt Friday when I went out with my kids. There was a HUGE butterfly mural painted on a wall. I posted it on my blog for you to view. Hope this consits of a Wyatt moment for you, as I know they make you smile. Hang in there!