Sunday, April 13, 2014

Peace, by Prayer

I only learned that peace could immediately be handed to me through prayer 3 years ago. Or, maybe I really had enough faith, to ask and know that it could happen. But when it did, it changed my life FOREVER.

I had been having an especially hard time with my experience as a birth mother. Lots of regret was washing over me, because years later it was still affecting many.  I had thought that being happy for the ability for people to change, to move forward in their lives, and become the people I thought they could be, was a good thing.  I didn't know that hoping the best for someone could ultimately break up friendships, and cause more hardship for others, including myself.
As you know the BF and I stayed together for a year(on and off) after we placed.  As I have said before, we were far less than awesome together.  What was I thinking?  Truly, what were we both thinking?  We fought like mad, and it was NOT right. 
I prayed day and night to find peace in being away from this person.  I didn't want to be with him, and I'm sure he didn't want to be with me... and yet, I did want to be with him.  I prayed and prayed for peace and understanding. For forgiveness for what I had done with him, and to find forgiveness for the things he did to me.  When it was finally over, there was peace.  There was peace... but not full forgiveness.
 If I would see him, I would get sick, and try to avoid him.  It would make me angry even.  One particular day i was on stocking duty at work, and saw that he'd come in. I quickly prayed that I wouldn't have to run into him and grabbed some items to be restocked.  Moments later he came out and began talking to me.  Small talk, nothing of importance, and mostly him being nice("waaaaht" I thought.)  In the end I remember hearing an apology, and a hope for the best for me.  He asked for a hug, and said that he hoped I wouldn't hate him anymore.  There was more forgiveness in that moment that I admitted at that time. But it was a good moment, because I could see something different.  I didn't have anymore run In's, or whatever you want to call them, after that moment.  And I was happy.  And I was happy that he was happy.

That still didn't carry full forgiveness. 
In a talk given by James E. Faust titled, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, he quotes:

Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.” 5
Most of us need time to work through pain and loss. We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours. The folly of rehashing long-past hurts does not bring happiness.
Some hold grudges for a lifetime, unaware that courageously forgiving those who have wronged us is wholesome and therapeutic..."
 he continues:
Forgiveness comes more readily when...we have faith in God and trust in His word. Such faith “enables people to withstand the worst of humanity. It also enables people to look beyond themselves. More importantly, it enables them to forgive.” 6
All of us suffer some injuries from experiences that seem to have no rhyme or reason. We cannot understand or explain them. We may never know why some things happen in this life. The reason for some of our suffering is known only to the Lord. But because it happens, it must be endured. President Howard W. Hunter said that “God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see.:""
Oh how many times I had hashed up my story, telling of what a jerk the boy had been, but that he was at least there. Then telling of how he had changed, through what had been said to me of his current life.  I never asked how he was, but rather, avoided it.  I still felt much anger/frustration those years later. I hadn't fully forgiven.  I was waiting for him/them  to apologize for the things they'd said.  all the untrue, rotten, horrible things that had still been being said.  I thought I deserved it.  And, maybe I do, maybe I don't.  What matters though, was that it wasn't adding anything to my life. I wasn't able to share my story and HELP others when I still harbored such distaste.  

At that time, when I was still be pushed down for my past, and had seen/read/heard things from people, I couldn't take it anymore.  I had truly hit my low.  I wondered how people who had been with me in moments where he would be "oh so loving", and then see what he would do when he would turn so mean.... could believe something so ridiculous.  I have always said I did some dumb things... but i never cheated, lied, stole, or did anything that wasn't brought on by being led on.  Despite those people, those moments, and that anger, it didn't excuse my emotional state. To still cling to it did nothing for me.  I had prayed before. I had prayed LOTS before, though it never seemed to do much. I would end up more angry and frustrated.  So, at that moment I got on my knees and prayed. I prayed harder for him and his family, for those friends I was losing, and for myself and my family, harder than I had EVER before.  I knew that if I didn't get this feeling out now, it would grow, and it would fester, and it would be ugly.  I didn't want to do what they were doing. So, I prayed.....

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the 12 said,
"It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer."
Psalms 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer

As I stood up from that prayer, I felt utter, undeniable, and absolute peace and forgiveness. 
It that moment, I knew that my prayers had been answered, and that they truly could be answered when I needed them to be. It wasn't by my timing, but by his, because this wasn't the first time I'd prayed for peace. But this time, it was INCREDIBLE.  Even as I am writing this, I can feel it in my chest, that moment, that peace, that LOVE, for those who were being so mean... 

I walked out, and I did a post about it on an old personal blog:  HERE

It isn't long, its hard to explain, and really, I don't think I need to explain.  
I learned more again recently, about forgiveness for those who weren't there to witness my story.  And I have been able to forgive for things said and done.  I still pray mightily, but less often, for those sort of things. But I am HAPPY..  I have gained a testimony of prayer. I have a testimony of forgiveness.  Someday, I hope it can be returned, and that, if for the sake of my angel boy alone, that it will be let go of.  I refuse to carry it anymore.  
in the words of my daddy, "quit carrying other peoples garbage"

So, Pray, pray often, because it truly does heal!  I can't state it any more than that!


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