I have learned how many angels are living here on earth…
How blessed I have been this year to meet many beautiful, caring and loving angels! My heart leaps and my spirit is filled with recognition when I become reacquainted with the sisters and brothers that I have loved for eternity. I also honor the deep and abiding friendships that have been in my life for years and that continue to bless me in so many ways. There is always a dance of giving and receiving in these relationships that teaches me the joy of serving and the deep gratitude and humility required in being a recipient. Praise God for the beautiful angels in my life!!
I have learned that it is more important to learn to receive than to obtain…
For so many years, I tried to carry it all on my own shoulders. If only I could work harder, be stronger, be smarter, try more – I would be able to obtain the things I needed and wanted. There was a grasping, lacking feeling to this mindset. I finally realized the sheer impossibility of this task. I came to know that my Heavenly parents and my Savior continually shower blessings down upon me. I just needed to learn to open my heart and soul to receive them. They had never expected me to do it all on my own. My surrendering to Them didn’t mean bowing my head in defeat, but opening my arms wide to the Heavens to receive the abundance that They had always desired for me. It has been so much more than I could have dreamed!
I have learned the power of remembering who we are…
So often, we speak of our great potential and of the efforts required of us to achieve this. This is so true, but in addition to this, I have learned of the great power of receiving the confirmation of the Spirit in remembering who we are and have always been. We were all valiant spirits in the premortal realm that made covenants to come into this earthly life in the exact circumstances and to experience the exact life lessons that have come into our path. This is not a random universe. We are not being tossed to and fro by the whims of an uncaring God; we are not victims of our circumstances. We are being lovingly watched over; we are having the life experiences that we chose to have to be worthy to claim our royal birthright! We are the victors!!
I have learned to not only cherish my own spiritual gifts, but the spiritual gifts of others…
We have ALL been given beautiful spiritual gifts. The wonderful thing is that we have each been given very diverse and unique gifts for the purpose of serving and blessing each other. As we use our individual gifts, we can witness them developing and growing – exponentially when we use them in the service of our fellowman! But, in an inspired design – we stand in constant need of the spiritual gifts of others as well as a deep dependence on continued guidance and direction from the Heavens. We can never, and were not meant to, do life on our own.
I have learned how thin the veil really is…
How much of my life I have spent too busy and distracted to receive inspiration and guidance through the veil!! What a beautiful life lesson for me to have learned how close our loved ones are and how anxious they are for us to be still and listen; to feel their presence – guiding and directing – comforting and loving us. We are not alone. We have angels all around. Our Savior walks with us – our Heavenly parents and the Holy Spirit will never abandon us. It is the adversary that wants us to feel the separation. Pay him no heed and spend quiet moments seeking to pierce the veil. I promise you that the sweet Spirit will envelope you with the love and comfort that can come from no other source!
I have learned the power of forgiveness…
I have suffered offenses from others – I have been hurt and betrayed – I have known pain in my life. I have spent much time being held hostage by the past and nursing my wounds. I have spent my fair share of time in feeling like a victim. I have allowed my brokenness to define me and have held myself in a cage of unforgiveness for those that have caused me harm. The door to the cage stood open for me to fly free and unencumbered – all I had to do was turn the debt over to the Savior. But, I truly was stymied – I just didn’t know how to sincerely let it all go. As I sought divine help – divine help was given. How often had I experienced my young children being frustrated and angry with me and expressing their feelings with unkindness? Although I responded to this, I did not feel personally wounded by it. The Spirit whispered to me that every one of us is actually a wounded child acting out of our own pain. When I could see my fellowman through this lens, it completely changed how I reacted to offenses. I could acknowledge what happened without the personal wounds and devastation. I could truly forgive. Another perspective: Let’s say that someone owed me $1000 but refused to pay it back. In truth, they didn’t actually have the $1000 with which to repay me. A man comes along and offers to buy the debt. He will give me $10,000 if I will release the debt to him and he will then take over the responsibility of collecting the original debt so that justice will be served, but it no longer needs to be my burden. How foolish would I be to refuse? How fruitless would it be for me to deny myself the $10,000 and knock my head against the wall trying to collect the $1000 from someone who didn’t even have it to give? How many times in my life have I held myself captive with my own refusal to forgive? The Savior has been there all along to take over the debt; it was finally my time to receive His gift.
I have learned the joy of being a seeker
The more that I have learned, the more that I have learned that I need to learn, but oh, how amazing the journey!! The joy of finding second witnesses of truths that I have previously known from a different perspective; the joy of discovering new depths of God’s words and guidance for us here on earth; the joy of knowing of His majesty and intelligence and wisdom and knowing that there is an infinite amount of learning to do! And most of all, the joy of sharing the journey with fellow seekers!!
I have learned to Praise God in ALL things!!!
Of all of the lessons I have learned this year, this has been the most profound. It is so easy to praise God for our blessings, but praising Him in all things?! I want to share a beautiful thought from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young pg. 343. I did change her word ‘thankful’ to ‘Praise God’:
“Praising God takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to Praise God for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me praise (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience – at times, blind obedience. To people who don’t know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain. Praising God opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.”
In every situation that I have faced this past year, I have had a choice to invite the adversary to walk through it with me by expressing fear, worry, doubt, discouragement and judgments or, to invite the light of Christ to be my companion by Praising God – no matter the nature of the event. It has definitely been a learning curve for me, but I stand as a witness – Praising God in all things has made this a year of miracles in my life. Praising God in every thing has changed me – I feel so much more at peace – trusting in my Heavenly parents’ love for me – trusting in the miracle of the Atonement – living more in a place of faith, rather than fear.
During this glorious season of celebrating the birth of our Savior – I wanted to share with you my witness of His healing power, of His profound love for each and every one of us. I plan to continue my journey as a seeker in 2014 – I am just a babe in learning eternal truths. I know that many of my lessons will come through trials and challenges, but I also know that I will not be alone through them. I feel the love and support of you, my angel friends, and most importantly, I feel my Savior’s love.
With all of my love,