Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Real Talk

  There is this little gal in our ward who was giving her farewell talk a couple of months ago. She read this little story and I asked her to send me a copy of it before she left on her mission. Sure enough, I received an email with the story :) 
Because this is a journal for me and my fam, I like to remind myself that I can share these types of personal experiences here. This place feels safe, and who knows- maybe someone else needed to hear what I have learned and be strengthened by someone else today. So here it is!
 In 1980,  a young man from Rwanda  was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused and was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room:
"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit's power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made -- I'm a disciple of his. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals."
"I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in his presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power."
"My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifices, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity."
"I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me ... my banner will be clear."

I feel like some of these things that he wrote down carry so much power.
He is unashamed of who he is and what he believes. I have thought a lot about this.
There have been times in my life where I have done something or said something and immediately (or soon after) felt ashamed. I have since asked myself the question on a daily basis if I live a life that I should be ashamed of. Now, I normally do not find myself saying YES to this question, but I do find the little things that I can improve on daily. I want to take a stand and say that I also am part of the 'fellowship of the unashamed.' I want to be so happy with who I am and what I represent that I never have a doubt that I am doing my best.

He continues on in saying that his decision has already been made. He is a disciple. This part reminds me of a message that our home teachers taught us this past Sunday. In a talk by Elder Holland he talks about how from the very beginning of time, we have already known who the winning team is. Heavenly Father vs. Satan. We already know that Heavenly Father has won this battle, yet each day, we are faced with choices that make us question who's side we are on. If life were perfect, I am sure each of us would choose the right in every decision we ever face, but Heavenly Father also knew that we would make mistakes, maybe not choose the right team, and struggle. But, he also gave us the Atonement to help us score the next touchdown. Like he says, we cannot slow down, let up, or back away. Satan fears most when we are confident in who we are and in what we believe.

"My future is secure."
He says this with such conviction! Life is full of ups and downs, but knowing that we are on the Lord's side and that He is on ours is our security blanket. He has a plan for us. One comfort that I always have is that I know that my Heavenly Father will never give me a trial that I can't overcome. He knows that is may push me and make me grow (even more than I am comfortable with) He is still willing to be there for me to lean on when that trial comes my way. If we all had faith that our future was secure, there would be no need to fear, because we are on the Lord's side.

Skipping ahead, he talks about how he now can live by faith and walk by patience. This is something I really want to be better with. Having more faith in me, faith in my husband, and faith in my Heavenly Father that everything happens for a reason. Not only faith- but ESPECIALLY patience. As I get ready to have this baby, I am terrified with my flaws. One flaw that scares me the most is that I am not the most patient person. I have been tested over and over again in this area and have been blessed to become more aware of when I am being impatient, but that does not mean that it doesn't happen anymore. I know that this baby will be a joy and a blessing, but I also know my Heavenly Father well enough to know that this sweet blessing will also be a challenge and will definitely test my patience.
"My goal is heaven."
I think that most people would say this, but are they living this way?
I hope to be living my life, for the rest of my life, in a way that pleases my Heavenly Father. I hope that when my time comes, that I will have been preparing each day here so that that goal would be completed. 
"My road is narrow."
I think about the many times I have heard non-members say that because we have commandments, we are only limiting all the things we can do. We don't drink, we don't smoke, we don't drink coffee, we don't watch porn, we don't...we don't...we don't...
But really, it should be a a "We CHOOSE!" We choose all of these things. We choose a narrower road because we believe that these things will keep us safe.
I personally know that my Heavenly Father is wiser than I am, and even though it may be seen as a sacrifice, the choices I have made and will continue to make- make me happy.  So holding on to that Iron Rod on that narrow path is exactly where I would like to be.

"My way rough." 
As a little girl, the quote, "He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it." hung on my wall. I don't think I ever understood what that really meant until I grew up a bit more. But, as all of us can probably state, life is not easy-- Nor should it be. We are here to be tried and to grow. That means there might be some challenges among all of those joys.
I just hope to be more ok with those challenges as they come my way!!

"My guide reliable."
I can't think of a more fantastic way of saying this :)
Amen to this!

"My mission clear."
Heavenly Father gave us a plan. A Plan of HAPPINESS! Who wouldn't want to follow that?
I think of the guidelines that we have been provided with. We have prophets and apostles that continue to provide us with these, and it only makes our mission clearer.
Today, things have become more black and white than they ever have.
I know that as I raise my children, that they will be able to see their mission and path ahead of them, clearly.
"I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed."
I feel like this should be our family theme...for life!
Each day we face decisions and I can't imagine facing those with such powerful words. I want to look Satan in the face and say this. And not just speak it, but demand it.  
  I hope to one day be able to stand for something like this man has. He showed unwavering faith and was willing to die for his beliefs. 
What lines stood out to you and what kind of changes do you want to make in your life after reading something like this?
Just a little food for thought on your Wednesday night :)
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!!! The line about no longer needing popularity and position really stuck out to me tonight. Recently, some individuals have been very critical of my faith and it is so hard to remember I'm not following Christ so I can gain friends in the short term, ya know? Thanks!!


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