Monday, September 17, 2012

Journal: Healing, Answered Prayers and Simplicity

I am really excited to journal this week because a lot has happened!  My only concern is I think this post is going to be crazy long, but in the end I think it will be worth it.

So here it goes...
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Last Sunday I had the opportunity to call my mom and it turned out to be a really amazing and healing conversation.  Let me back up a bit.  I'd posted my story three weeks or so prior and hadn't talked to my parents since I'd posted it.  I was nervous for some reason.  Yes, they already knew about my addiction and were in the loop on the interview I filmed and I'd expressed to them that I was going public eventually - so none of that information would be coming out of left field, but I was still nervous.  So last Sunday I decided I'd been hiding long enough and I called my mom.  I told her I'd posted my story and she said she knew.  We had a bit of a difficult conversation after that.  She had a lot of questions that I wasn't prepared to answer, but I said a prayer in my heart and asked my Father in Heaven to be with me and to guide my responses.  He did not fail me.  The conversation that ensued was one of the most healing conversations I've ever had with my mom, it was awesome.  I then got on the phone with my dad and answered some of his questions as well.  The result of that conversation was my dad saying he wished we were closer and would like to work on that.  Hello?  AWESOME right!?  Love it!  I'm so happy!  I love my family!
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I received some excellent news a few days ago! My story has been published on arp.lds.org.  I'm so excited about this.  I love the name they chose for my story, "Made In His Image" and especially the picture - it's absolutely perfect for my story!  The picture perfectly represents how I feel about myself now and the transformation I've gone through.  I'm so grateful for my Savior and His Atoning power that continually heals me.  If you haven't read my story on the church's website you can do so by clicking here.
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I've felt conflicted about something lately.  I have gone through a miraculous transformation in regards to my desire to actually share my story with the world.  When I first began this journey I could barely stomach my husband and Bishop knowing about my addiction let alone others.  But now that I have been released from the chains of shame I have this crazy desire to share my story with everyone.  It's more than courage that drives me to share my story and it's more than obedience to my Heavenly Father.  It's a true and honest tangible desire to share my story and help others. 

Dr. Ben Erwin - ARP Program Manager states:
When someone has received the miracle of recovery through the Atonement in their lives, they want to shout from the rooftops about the Savior’s power to heal. This process of helping someone else come unto Him to be healed is a sacred privilege and blessing. When you share what you have found, you can’t avoid this kind of experience. It changes you and it blesses you.
This feeling of wanting to shout from the rooftops what I have found resonates throughout my soul.  I want to share what I have been so graciously given.  But to do this I have to promote myself and I'm not too comfortable with that.  I feel like it is prideful of me to send my story out to different people/organizations to network with them.  But if I don't send out my story in an attempt to network with others then how am I to reach other women who are struggling?  I decided to take this dilemma to the Lord.  I'm so glad I did too because the answer I received was clear as a bell.  He reminded me of Prophets of old; as they would enter new cities they didn't waste any time gathering people and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them.  Heavenly Father reminded me that I am not promoting myself, but I am promoting the Savior and His healing power to restore us.  I immediately felt much better and got back to work sending my story around -which leads me to my next topic...

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I'm not sure if any of you have heard of Voices For Virtue but it's a blog as well as a facebook page promoting moral values among the youth of the church.  I'm not sure how I didn't hear about them prior to this last week but I've been perusing both sites and they are wonderful. I thought this would be an excellent venue to help spread my story of how the Savior heals me since their facebook page alone has over 100,000 likes!  So I decided to send it to them! 

It took a few days but they wrote back with the following:
Sidreis, we'd love to promote you and your recovery story... write a couple of paragraphs about why you did a blog and a bit about summarizing your story... we'll put in a V4V post... By the way---good job keep it up.
I responded right away and am awaiting the post!  I'm so excited though - my story can reach so many this way!
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I had an awesome experience with the scriptures this past week.  Since I have been struggling a bit lately and needed to get back to the basics, I started myself over at 1 Nephi.  A few days ago I read Nephi chapter 6.  This chapter only has 6 verses in it and each time prior that I've read it I had completely discounted it's importance.  In this chapter Nephi explains that on these plates he is only writing about the things of God; that it is his desire to turn the hearts of the children unto God that they may be saved. 

1 Nephi 6:4
For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.
As I read this verse I felt a very personal connection with Nephi; I felt the love he had for his people and for future generations; for me.  I also related to his desire to bring his brothers and sisters to God; that by Him they can be redeemed. 

My blog is my way of sharing my testimony with the world to bring people unto the Savior.  I often think of my dusty journals and how when I first started writing in them, early in recovery, I questioned why I continued to write in them because I was sure I would never share my story with anyone.  As I progressed my desire to share my journals with future generations of my family increased but I thought I'd only be OK with them reading my journals after I die so I wouldn't have to know what they thought of me.  I was still scared.  I still carried shame for my actions.  After more time passed the Savior healed me even more to the point that I no longer carried shame and I was no longer bound by fear.  And now I will share my struggle with whomever the Lord would have me share it with.  Reading the desire of Nephi's heart was the Lords way of telling me that my blog is not just for me, or just for you, but it is for many all over the world; it is for this generation and generatons to come.   The Lord also revelaed to me that with this knowledge I should always keep my blog centered on the Savior.  Which, I gladly do!


Oh the scriptures are so awesome!
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I had the opportunity to attend Stake conference this past weekend.  Admittedly, I didn't get much from Sunday's regional conference broadcast due to kids piling all over me, but I really enjoyed the Saturday night adult session.  Tim was working and so I was able to go alone and just absorb everything I heard.

One talk given was by President Miller- 1st Counselor in my Stake Presidency.  His words really touched my heart as he spoke of the Savior and how important it is to prepare to meet Him.  He advised that we not get so caught up in physical preparations that we forget about Spiritual preparations.

President Miller instilled hope in my heart as he counseled:
It is by our obedience that we show our faith.  The more faith we have the less fear we have.
I love this statement.  Faith and fear cannot coexist for they completely cancel one another out.  They are eachothers opposite.  They are the light and the dark.  Even the smallest amount of faith will shine and illuminate the dark.  The dark cannot shut out the light - it is impossible.  The Savior illuminates all darkness - no darkness can shut Him out.  None of us are beyond the reach of His light. 

President Miller ended by stating:
Stand in Holy places, love as the Savior loved, and return home.
I had tears in my eyes as I pondered the simplicity of this statement.  Can the path home really be this simple?  As this question formed in my heart the sweet Spirit answered in return... "yes."  At that very moment my desire to do better was renewed and I left that meeting feeling empowered and capable of leaning more heavily on my Savior and striving to return home.

I'm not kidding when is say I really believe I can make it.  I truly believe I have a spot next to my Savior in the highest kingdom.  I don't know if I will make it there, But I know I can and I am working as hard as possible to get there.

I'm so grateful for my Priesthood leaders.  I love and admire each one of them and I can't wait for the day I can hug them as my brother and cry in their arms as I express my gratitude to them for upholding their Priesthood and faithfully leading, guiding and supporting me.

Thank you President Miller - for your example and your faith.  Knowing you has made me a better person.  I will miss you.
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I saved the best for last.

Rose reached out again.  She let me know she's still reading but she's just not quite ready to take the next step yet.  That's OK.  The seed has been planted and I know it will continue to grow. 

Still praying for you Rose!  Love you much!

4 comments:

  1. What a great blog! Best wishes in your recovery!

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    Replies
    1. Beautiful post Sidreis! I love that you are a light on a hill... a beacon of hope for many. I am happy to have found your blog and look forward to reading about your journey.

      I especially appreciate this...

      "President Miller instilled hope in my heart as he counseled:

      "It is by our obedience that we show our faith. The more faith we have the less fear we have."

      "I love this statement. Faith and fear cannot coexist for they completely cancel one another out. They are eachothers opposite. They are the light and the dark. Even the smallest amount of faith will shine and illuminate the dark. The dark cannot shut out the light - it is impossible. The Savior illuminates all darkness - no darkness can shut Him out. None of us are beyond the reach of His light."

      Reminds me of the scripture, " For God hath not given us [me] the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." -- 2 Timothy 1:7

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    2. Ohhhh I LOVE that scripture! I'm adding it to my recovery scriptures list! Thank you!

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Thank you for sharing a moment with me:-)

Ezekiel 34:11-12,16

"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick"