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Everything is not okay
(and that’s okay)
It’s usually around 2am or so (assuming I was able to get to sleep quickly, which happens sometimes, sometimes not) when I snap awake.
I’ll sometimes be in the middle of an anxious thought—a fierce worry—something that was buried in the busyness of the day but now has my full attention. Sometimes it is work or money or some other thing, but more often it is someone I love or something I’m not doing well (or at all.) But more than any thing else, it is a sorrowful wrestle in the gap between what I am and what I must yet be.
I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.
After awhile, if sleep has fled, I quietly make my way down the stairs into the dark of our family room, sometimes to pray, sometimes just to sit and still my mind enough to try to go back to sleep…but, as they say, results may vary.
It feels right now like nearly everything is falling apart.
Many are giving up, hiding, disconnecting and for lots of different reasons. Maybe things have always been this way and social media and cellphones have just made us all more aware of the troubles the world and those we love may be in. But it feels like more than that. Harder. More to fear. A general loss of hope.
Everything is not okay.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Can I just say that verse 8 may be one of the most sobering passages in all of scripture?
All these are the beginning of sorrows…
It’s going to get worse?
Love will wax colder?
Calamities will multiply?
Is this what we signed up for?
“While most of our suffering is self-inflicted, some is caused by or permitted by God. This sobering reality calls for deep submissiveness, especially when God does not remove the cup from us. In such circumstances, when reminded about the premortal shouting for joy as this life’s plan was unfolded (see Job 38:7), we can perhaps be pardoned if, in some moments, we wonder what all the shouting was about.”
What to do/think/feel?
We sometimes use the words “bind” or “cleave” when trying to describe what our relationship with Jesus should look like, usually in reference to “binding ourselves” or “cleaving” to Him in a covenant relationship.
Here’s another way I like to think about this idea that helps me keep hoping: I imagine being literally strapped to the back of the Savior so tightly that nothing can separate us from each other. Perhaps this is a silly or irreverent way to think about Him? I am often looking for ways to get closer to Him. Compared to many I know (including many of you, dear readers) my trials and worries are so small, so easy-peasy.
But I still need to believe He can help me and will. Perhaps you do too.
Everything is not okay. And that’s okay.
The Bright & Morning Star has told us what to do.
Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
Doctrine & Covenants 6:36-37
Just a few weeks ago, I read these words from Sister Bonnie Cordon and have returned to them several times since then. I’m so grateful for what she taught.
When we need that which we cannot do for ourselves, we can trust that Jesus is coming. And we can trust that as we wait in faith for His miracles in our lives or the lives of our loved ones, He will walk with us. He will walk with us all the way through the anxiety and fear and sadness that may await us on the road leading to deliverance.
This is in His hands. (All of it - the pain, the fear, the loss, the heartbreak, the darkening skies…ALL) He’s not surprised by any part of what we are going through or what’s happening (or is going to happen) in the world. And He’s not afraid. It’s all going to work out. It’s all going to get better. It’s going to be okay.
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.
Doctrine & Covenants 68:6