January 13, 2012

Where Do I Turn?

We lift prayers for family members who are traveling a difficult road of life. We pray for healing and comfort for those who are ill or recovering from surgery or another trauma. 

When I pray for others, I ask for God’s presence to be near the person in need. God’s all-powerful presence is calming and peaceful for me, so I pray for others to feel the calming peace of knowing God is near to them, too.

Each time we face a trial, we have a choice. I know not long ago my reaction to a stressful situation would have been to completely stress out. I would feel frustrated and out of control, totally unsure of what to do. Now I have a new tactic. I pray.

Turning to God in the midst of my stress is very calming. I wish I could say I always remember to do this right away, but I am still learning! Each day is a new opportunity to try a different way of dealing with the challenges our lives bring. For me, turning to God releases some of my burden. I envision leaning on Him for support, encouragement and direction. My thoughts become clearer, and I look for solutions instead of focusing on the problem.

I have also learned that my emotions are information. Very important information. I used to be afraid of my strong emotions, and I held them inside instead of releasing them. Now if I feel sad, or confused, I try to figure out why. Sometimes it’s good to just let it out (privately if possible). Go ahead and cry or be angry and yell at the wind. Then, when the emotions have subsided, it is easier to see more clearly. Examine where the emotion came from, what caused it and what can be done to remedy the situation.

We are given emotions and nerves to sense our world. Another great tool is our intuition, or instinct. We have come to rely on our material world for all of our needs, but there is a part of us that can sense beyond tactile or other sensory perception. 

All animals are born with instinct to survive. We have protected ourselves in our safe little worlds and don’t often use our instincts anymore. But they are still there. 

Sometimes we have an instinctual feeling about a person or situation, and we need to trust the feeling and listen to that tiny voice. It can be difficult with the noise and busyness of our lives. But if you practice trusting your intuition, you will find it to be a helpful tool to use in navigating your way through this life.

So where do I turn? I learn a lot about myself and how to deal with a situation by understanding my reaction to it. When I am overwhelmed, which is frequently, I turn to my Savior for peace and direction. Most of the time I am sustained with the comfort that acknowledging Him brings me. Knowing that He is always near is a great comfort. His peace calms my spirit so that I can find a direction to resolve the situation. 

God’s Spirit lives in us, when we make our hearts welcoming to His presence. This is achieved through relationship with Him and through striving for right living. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. We can never be. But we can strive to live our lives according to His principles, learning and growing in our understanding of ourselves and our place in this world.  Through His love, we can learn of His perfect peace. 

Please enjoy this video of Laura Story's thought-provoking song, "Blessings". I have had the priviledge of sharing the message of this song through singing it with my sweet sisters in Christ in our trio at church. Laura has faced incredible trials in her life, through her husband's illness, and this song was born out of her experience of praying her way through that trial.

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