Life is hard. If you don't think so then can I have your life?
This past year has been the darkest, most frustrating and most heartbreaking year if my life so far. I'm not going to go into specifics, but I know that many of you will be able to relate and hopefully bring since hope into your life.
Last year I was hit by a blow that changed my life. Every negative emotion that you can think of went through my head - devastation, fear, doubt, helplessness, anger, disappointment, rage, defeat - just to name a few. I felt physically sick (and not because I was pregnant at the time, but I'm sure that didn't help things emotionally). Life felt like it was ending (and I admit at times I thought about ending it too). I fell deep down into a chasm.
For about a day I soaked in these emotions. I didn't know if I could be happy again. My mom, bless her heart, called and came over. In her wisdom she gave me the best advice a mother can give and I saw a glimmer of light from my deep dark chasm.
This blow had been building for a while, but the explosion threw me unexpectedly and far. I had been noticing articles posted on Facebook (yes I said Facebook) that had really hit me and they came back to me at the right time - another glimmer of light from my chasm.
I gave myself that day to have a pity party. Then I made the decision that I would not let this event ruin my or my family's life. I would NOT let Satan win. Because, people, that's what he wants! He wants to win. He wants to make you miserable. He wants you to feel like there is no way out. He wants you to feel alone. He wants to tear families apart. He wants you to fall into a deep dark chasm and feel like there is no way to climb back out. "Give up! It's easy!" He says. And I let him win.
For a day.
If you feel like any of these things you are 1) not alone in these feelings because EVERYONE feels these emotions at some point in varying degrees 2) don't let Satan win. Every one of those feeling drives you away from Christ. Every. Single. One.
The next day I made a decision to change myself. I can't change other people. I can't control other people. I can't make things happen or change things overnight. What I CAN do is change ME. Because I know that my Savor Jesus Christ died for me and bleed from every pore for ME, I knew that I couldn't go on the way I was living. Something HAD to change, so it had to be me.
But I couldn't do it alone. I knew that I could not physically, emotionally, or spiritually claw my way out of this chasm without help. I have relied more on my Savior, and prayed more to my Heavenly Father in the past year than I ever have. I have had some precious angels on earth that have come into my life to answer some prayers - because Heavenly Father puts people (angels) into our lives to help us through our trials. He loves us that much.
This was going to be a big undertaking and honestly I'm still working hard at changing - I probably will for the rest of my life. I have had many many ups and downs. I climb up, then get knocked down HARD - stumble to get to my feet, then start climbing again. Repeat that about 5000 times in the last year, and that about sums up my life. This whole time very few people know what is going on. "Brave Face" - that's what they call it right? Yeah, I did a lot of that. You have to around your kids your husband, family, friends, people you work with. That's just the way it works. But when you are by yourself, the chasm seems deeper somehow. But those little glimmers are slowly getting more frequent, more pronounced as you endure the days, weeks and months, maybe even years. I know I'm not out of my chasm yet, but now I would call it a hole, because I've come that far.
Day by day, sometimes hour by hour, I climbed. Some days I wanted to give up so badly. I wasn't seeing a change fast enough. Or I wasn't getting an answer to a prayer. Or I would get a "slap in the face." I had at one point or two thought about killing myself. (I am totally okay now I promise!) I knew I would never go through with it because I know how it would effect my loved ones. But I also understand how Satan can get a hold of you so tight that you think that's the only way out. It's not. I can guarantee that it definitely is not! I am so blessed to have felt the Holy Ghost that one particular day. The spirit helped me know that doing something so selfish and hurtful to my family wouldn't help anything, in fact it would cause the people around me more pain than I was even feeling, so the thought (let me reiterate that it was a THOUGHT not an action) left my mind, I prayed one of my frequent prayers to take away the unbearable pain and started with my life again.
I don't like the dark. I haven't since I was young. I wouldn't call it a fear anymore, but when I'm alone the dark is not my friend. So being in my metaphorical chasm was just not okay. One of my new favorite quotes is "If you don't like your life, shut up and change it!" I didn't want to live my life in a chasm so whether I had to claw, climb or fly out I would find a way. No excuses.
Now a year later, life is better. Not perfect, but better. I have major challenges ahead of me still. I am not through yet, but the one that sent me spiraling is. I have learned a lot about myself this year. I am stronger than I thought. I have people in my life that will do anything for me. My Heavenly Father knows me personally and blesses me in ways that I didn't even know I needed. The atonement is real and meant for us to USE. That's the light. HE is my light. My children, my husband, my friends, The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am my light.
The best thing to do if you are depressed or in your own chasm is one simple thing -
Yes, that's right. Lose yourself in service. Stop thinking about yourself and about your problems. If you want to change yourself, your life, how you are treated, how you treat people, serve. Really - that's it. That's what Christ did. His whole life. That's all he did. Think of someone you know that is just a - down to the core - good person. What is one quality that they have? They serve others! Light bulb right!? You don't need money, popularity, a perfect figure, eloquent speech, a perfect IQ - just serve! Put other people before yourself and you will see a change in the world around you. And then one day you look back and see just how much you have changed yourself AND those you served. It's quite incredible! And humbling.
So. Chasm and Light. There is no chasm I cannot climb out of now because I have the Light to look to. The "Secret of Life" if you will. I have the tools to climb out to get to that light. What was once a glimmer is now the brightness of the sun shining down. And it is glorious. Don't give up. #simplyserve