Friday, July 10, 2015

Come What May And Love It!

"Sister Rice let's get you home."
That moment creeps into my mind as I sit watching the sunrise. I instantly am back in that tiny little room feeling trapped. As I heard President Turner say those words I can feel my heart sink down into the pit of my stomach. I try to argue what he just suggested but I open my mouth and no words come out. I had never felt so alone in my life. He calls my companion in and as she sits down and looks at me I force a smile on my face through the tears. As she was updated on the situation and looked at me I could feel the love and the bond grow stronger. I knew right then that she was a blessing and that I couldn't have asked for a more caring person to be with me for this moment.
My mind wanders..."Sister Rice you are hereby called as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the South Carolina Columbia mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months." My friends and family clap and congratulate me as I sit down my head is spinning. It was such  a surreal moment. 18 months. My mind just keeps repeating that. "18 months...18 MONTHS...EIGHTEEN MONTHS!" Then I begin to feel small as a voice whispers, "you were there for only five months....just 5 very short months. You couldn't even make it a third of the way!" A tear rolls down my cheek and for a moment I feel as if I failed. That feeling of failure grows until it becomes anger. I began to be filled with pride. "I was willing to give up 18 months, why did you take that away from me? Why did you cut my time short?" But guilt begins to eat me alive and I apologize to Heavenly Father. And for a short moment I feel His love.
I close my eyes and suddenly I'm back 9 months ago sitting in a transfer meeting listening to such a beautiful and powerful musical number that still rings in my head. I meet my new companion and were off back to a place I start to call home. The next thing I know a doctor is sitting across from me telling my companion that I need to be off my foot for 3 weeks. I'm thinking to myself, "Yeah right like that is going to help anyone."  I try to listen to her as much as possible but my pain isn't going away. There are nights I feel as if  I have no control over my foot and wish that it wasn't apart of me. The sun begins to become warmer and I open my eyes. I glance down at my foot and am filled with resentment. That voice comes back...."You could have done more."
I begin to talk to myself, "No I couldn't".
 "Yes you didn't even try to stay, you didn't even ask."
"Well they would have just told me no."
"How do you know? You didn't even try. You could have done more. You could have completed your mission. You FAILED."
As I begin to believe this I start to cry even more. My mission feels like it didn't happen and that I did no good. But as I spiral down I hear a much more softer voice, "Micaela I am pleased with your mission. You accomplished great things."
This is a cycle that happens more than once a week. I have a constant reminder of the reason I couldn't finish my mission because it's still a problem, and with that comes this vicious cycle of the biggest lie I could tell myself, "You could have done more."
Knowing Heavenly Father to be such a loving creator that wants us to succeed, do you think He would ever tell us we didn't do enough? NO
That is our self, and that is Satan! It took me a long time to learn this and is something I still struggle with, but through it all(especially these last 7 months) I have come to realize that faith is the key to overcoming. Can I just state that one more time, Faith is the KEY to Overcoming! I have learned that as long as I have faith in my Savior and His Atonement, and my all knowing, loving Heavenly Father that everything wont necessarily go away but that I am given the strength to endure it and overcome it. Elder Holland said, "The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of earlier hours(real or imagined) fall away in the abundance of the final reward." I know that final reward is eternal life, and so whenever there is a moment that I feel as if  I can no longer hold on or see it through, I remember my Savior and the sacrifice He made for me and every single one of you so that we could have eternal joy and life. And that moment of despair, anger, pain, or loneliness diminishes and love begins to fill my soul. May we remember that Jesus Christ is so very aware of each of us. You are never alone! Do not let Satan feed you lies that you have not done enough, because Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ KNOW you are ENOUGH!

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