Have you seen this video yet?
I’ve been battling some inner demons lately. The ones that tell me I’m not good enough, that I can’t change, that I have so far to go that there’s no use in even starting. When I’m in the mire of self-doubt, comparison, and criticism, it can be difficult to pull myself out.
On top of that, I’ve had some emotional stuff come up as well—grief from the loss of my mom and all the repercussions of that event. So much has changed over the last two years, and I’m still trying to come to terms with all the changes in my family and figuring out what role my mother still plays in my life.
To sum up my emotional makeup lately: grief, shame, sadness, anger, hopelessness.
The color gray.
Now, I know that’s kind of depressing. TMI, almost. (Don’t worry—I believe that therapy is a good thing.) But the thing is, life is real. Its challenges knock us down sometimes. The pain, grief, sadness, and shame we feel are a deeply poignant part of our human experience. I’m no exception. Neither are you.
Life is real. But the good thing is, so is the Savior.
Now, I know we kind of throw around the phrases, “Jesus loves you,” or “Thank goodness for the Atonement” when someone is hurting or going through a difficult time. But the fact of the matter is that the Savior’s Atonement is not a Band-aid solution, something we slap on to make ourselves feel better about the situations we’re in. The Atonement is infinite and eternal; it’s big enough and deep enough and powerful enough to cleanse all sin and heal all sorrow.
The Atonement is real because the Savior is real. He was born as a baby in Bethlehem. He lived, died, and rose again to accomplish the work His Father gave Him to do. He lives today.
So today, I’m grateful that these feelings I have don’t have to last forever. I’m grateful that even when I don’t always know my way, or when I DO know the way I need to go and am afraid to go down it, the Savior has been there. He knows the way. He IS the Way. His suffering, death, and resurrection gave Him the power to know exactly how I feel and exactly how to overcome anything that stands in my way. Because of Him, I can change. Because of Him, I can have peace. Because of Him, I can heal.
One of my favorite parts of the Atonement is summed up in Isaiah 51:3:
For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Because we have a Savior, the wildernesses in our lives—the sadness, sin, sorrow, and pain—can be made as Eden. When we take all those things, our broken selves, to the Lord, He takes them and makes them beautiful. I’ve seen it in my life and the lives of others, and because of that I have faith that beautiful things will come of what I’m going through now too.
So, my friends, I need a Savior. We ALL need Him. You need Him just as much as I do. As we begin the Christmas season, let’s remember Him. Let’s choose to let Him into our lives and our hearts today and always, and He will make us whole.