Look to the Light, and Live!

 journey

We each experience pain and heartache in our life.  These pains can become deep emotional scars that paralyze us from experiencing the joys that are to be found in this life.  Finding joy in the journey can be difficult when the pains and wounds are so deep that despair almost seems inevitable.  These wounds can become chains binding us from feeling anything but sorrow and despair.

Many times these pains come from those we have allowed into our lives, to be part of our life and to share our journey with. It can be from death to disagreements to rejection, anything,  that create this intense pain, sorrow and loss.  Sometimes they are family members, spouses, children, neighbors, friends and even our church leaders.  Whoever they may be, many times this heartache burns deep within our souls and left unattended can crush our ability and desire to press forward.  These sorrows for many create the inability to trust another, to open themselves up to another, to love again or let anyone close.  It affects current and future relationships.  The ghosts of the past haunt the individuals present and future happiness, becoming victims again to the already overwhelming sadness and heartache, thus creating a vicious cycle of sorrow.

One of my favorite speakers/authors Jack Christensen taught me a lesson that has never left me in his talk/book “Healing the Wounded Soul.”  Jack explains that many of our wounds need to be healed from the inside out.  He also explains that many people react through outward behaviors based upon deep emotional wounds.

It was upon listening to his talk that I was able to finally look deep inside of me in an attempt to discover what my wounds were and as I pondered this, I allowed the Atonement of Jesus Christ to work within me to identify the wounds that were causing my sorrow and to begin the healing process. I never fully understood nor comprehended how these wounds, hidden from not only everyone else, but from myself for years had impacted my life.  The freedom that entered my life upon conquering these wounds and allowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to heal me from the inside out has been life changing. Not only has it allowed me to find true love with my beloved wife, it has also changed my eyes and how I view others who are hurting and manifesting that through their outward behaviors.   I see others differently than ever before.

As we struggle in life and deal with past wounds, as well as the current ones, if we look to our Savior and allow Him to enter our life, He can heal us from the inside out, the way we are meant to heal and thus eliminating the scars that come when we try to heal ourselves from the outside in.  We can find the inner peace and joy in our lives that can never be taken from us.  We can prevent our past from damaging our dreams for the future.  We can reclaim our lives and find joy in the journey as we look to the light, and live.

TENDER MERCIES – A Fathers Heartache part 10

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I have never seen my children on the first day of school.  I don’t know what that is like to see the excitement of the first day of school, their new teachers, classroom and friends.  Most often I am unable to find out how the first day of school went for almost a week, when they come to visit.  They aren’t allowed to phone, the only time I find out sooner are those occasions when I can get to the school for lunch with them.

I seldom get the opportunity to take my kids to school, maybe two or three times a year I get this treat to pray with them in the morning before school and wish them a good day as they head off to class.  Most people take these moments with their children granted as a regular occurrence, for me these are tender mercies and opportunities to experience a wonderful time with my children.

Today was such a rare wonderful opportunity to experience this moment in time with them.  This morning was extra special as I was able to wake them and get them ready for school, take them, pray with them and see them off. Today,  I got the extra special treat of picking them up from school on the same day.  Days like this are rare, I treasure them and realize the blessing that they are.  These moments with my children are what keep me pressing forward everyday.  I try not to focus on the issues my ex creates in her controlling nature and enjoy the moments that are mine.

My children attend a school with a year round track schedule and today was the first day back to school from being off track for the past 3 weeks.  With Veterans day this year falling as my holiday I was able to spend the weekend, an extra weekend with them and take them to school today.  As I watched their excitement and nervousness at going back to school after this break, I reflected upon this day and the similarities it must have to an actual first day of a new school year.

I have missed out on many opportunities, ones that I will never be able to get back with my children, today was a gift from God, an opportunity to experience ever so slightly something I have yearned to experience with my children for a lifetime.  Although today wasn’t an actual first day of school, I am grateful to have this opportunity to have as close to one as I have ever experienced.

A BLESSED WEEK – A Fathers Heartache part 7

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The school that my children attend is year round.  They are on a track schedule where they are out of school for 3 weeks and then go back for 12 weeks and then off again.  During the 3 weeks from school, I am able to spend time with them for one week during each off track cycle.   I look forward with great anticipation for this golden moment in time.  This is a time for my children and I to reconnect, a time when we can let our walls down and strengthen our relationship.

Last week was one of those precious moments in time that I treasure above everything else.

I left the office at noon everyday last week in an effort to maximize every single second I could with my dear children.  We went to the movies, the arcade, the ballpark.  We carved our pumpkins and went for hikes.  We laughed and we cried together.  It is in these tender moments of mercy that I am able to have with my children that keep me energized and capable of continuing on during the difficult times in between.

My children were able to participate in the primary program on Sunday. I fought the tears as I watched them sing and give their little parts during the program.  It was the first time I had ever been able to see them in a primary program, I savored the moment watching them.  During dinner Sunday night, my dear wife asked the kids what they liked most about spending this week with us, the answer that my son gave me brought tears to my eyes as he replied, “our family and being part of it.” Words are incapable of expressing what I felt at that moment.

Sunday night, as I sat on the couch with Londyn laying in one arm and Bridger laying on the other, we reflected together on the fun times we had during the week.  I was able to tell both of them how deeply I love them and how grateful I am to be their dad.  We cried together as we felt the realization that our week together was coming to a close.  We took courage and strength in knowing this would be a short week apart as the coming Halloween and weekend would be spent together, our first Halloween that had fallen on a night with dad.

As I dropped them off early Monday morning, on my way to work, I thanked my Father in Heaven for the time I was able to spend with them.  I pondered the coming silence I knew would take place without the phone calls and communication.  I looked forward to the coming weekend and holding them in my arms again.

I live for these moments with my children.  I yearn to be a full time dad to them, to tuck them in each night and to hug and kiss them each day.  It is through the weeks like we just shared that I know I am making a difference in their lives, and they in mine.

A DECLARATION OF BELIEF

I believe in God! I believe in my Savior Jesus Christ!  This is who I am.   I have many deeply held beliefs and my life has been greatly blessed as a result of my standing firm in what I believe.  I have endured many verbal assaults against me and what I believe lately,  by some who have been considered my friends, and others by total strangers.  I have been told I am a vile human being and delusional because I believe in something.

I will never make apologies for my beliefs! Some of them are,

  • I Believe in GOD
  • I Believe in Jesus Christ
  • I Believe in the Atonement
  • I Believe in the sanctity of human life, this includes the unborn children
  • I Believe in the sacredness of the marriage covenant and families
  • I Believe in honor
  • I Believe in fidelity
  • I Believe this nation is a blessed land
  • I Believe in small government
  • I Believe in conservative values
  • I Believe in the freedoms to worship and in others rights to believe differently
  • I Believe in acceptance and tolerance
  • I Believe in the constitution and rights under the bill of rights.
  • I Believe in hard work and discipline
  • I Believe in Charity
  • I Believe in kindness
  • I Believe in self reliance

These are merely some of my beliefs and I will make no excuses to anyone for them.   There will undoubtedly be those who will find it necessary to mock some or all of these beliefs.  Trust me. I have heard them all before.  Those who choose to mock, I feel sorry for.  The mockery of anyone’s beliefs is evidence of a lost individual who has no solid ground to stand on with their own personal beliefs, for many have none.

If you are threatened by my beliefs ask yourself why, don’t attack me for standing for something.  You are free to believe differently.  I would actually love to hear differing beliefs.  You are free to state them, in a positive and effective manner.  I have found however, that many people will feel the need to make some pointless statement about any of these beliefs in an effort to disparage or attack me for mine.  If believing in God, having values, believing in something, helping others, giving to charity, and standing for what I believe to be true makes me a vile human being as I have been called, then I gladly accept the title, it is not your acceptance I seek or need.

ALL THINGS DENOTE THERE IS A GOD

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Last night as I walked along the beach, listening to the sound of the waves as they came ashore my mind wandered to the majestic beauty of this world.   What a marvelous creation we live upon.  The perfect balance that exists in nature is unfathomable.  The harmony between the plants and animals that creates the ability for all life to survive on this earth is impossible to be chance.  The evidence of God’s hand in this world is undeniable.  Science will argue this fact yet they are grasping at straws to prove theories with no evidence to support their stance.  If science were correct, we humans would have the ability to create other worlds,  we do not.  Only God can.

The evidences are far greater that there is a GOD;  The exacting distance for the placement of the sun and moon. The photosynthesis in the plants. The conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen performed by plants. The pollination done by bees that allows plants to grow,  The waves of the ocean.  The gravitational pull on the earth.  The changing seasons.  The different climates.   All these things and so many more all working in perfect harmony together creating a sustainable living planet.

How can anyone believe that this happened by chance, one time, one big uncontrolled bang and magic, it all came together in a perfect balance for life to begin?  Its absurd to think that so many required elements coming together to sustain life just happened.  The human race is incapable of preventing disease, war, abuse, bloodshed, famine, yet we believe that there was no intelligence in the creation of this world.  Absurd!

Each time I reflect upon the beauty and wonder of this world. with each moment I take I am reminded that God is real.  Each time I hold my baby girl in my arms, each hug and kiss from my children I am reminded of God and his love for us.  The miracle of children and families and the natural laws of God that provide for our ability to participate in creation with him as we bring these little ones to this earth to live.  What a remarkable blessing we have been given to know and understand his love through the love we experience with our own children.

As this world moves away from the God of this world.  As we continue to rebel against Him like the spoiled children we are, we create a distance between God and us.  This distance is our own doing.  This heartache that we bring upon ourselves and this world through disobedience to Him that created us will for some be the end of the journey.  God has given us the freedom and the ability to choose what we will believe and act upon, however with each choice is a consequence, positive or negative.   The world is choosing the negative.

God has given us plenty of examples in this world of his love, power and knowledge.  All things in this world denote that God is real, from the smallest grain of sand to the miracle of childbirth,  Every breeze that blows in the trees is a reminder of our God.

God has given us everything in our lives.  He has provided for each of us.  He has given us the freedom believe or not to believe.  Isn’t it time we give something back to Him?