Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mercies of the Past

I keep hoping for some marvelous visitation of the Holy Ghost or some special experience that strikes me as a tender mercy. I keep hoping, not only so that I will have something to post on this blog, but also so that I will stop feeling so emotionally sterile.

This past month has been a spiritual drought. I feel like I'm living on auto-pilot, still doing--gotta keep doing!--but not feeling anything. I am tired and weary, without the energy to exert myself in prayer and study. So I speak and I read but I feel a bewildering gap between myself and the Savior.

I know that the windows of heaven are still open and still pouring out blessings on me, but my eyes are drooping and I often miss them. It startles me to have friends and family point out great blessings in my life, tender mercies of great value that I have not noticed. I have been grateful for their comments, which spark my gratitude. Yet I do not feel that joy and awe that I usually associate with it.

It's not that I have never felt this distance before. But I have never felt it when I was still trying to strengthen my testimony, to do what is right. I have never felt more keenly my separation from God, this ever-present trial of mortality. And it has never seemed such a struggle to maintain my faith.

When it has seemed too much to bear and doubt has threatened to overtake my faith, I have been sustained by remembering God's tender mercies in the past.

I've had many opportunities to be grateful for that reserve these past few weeks. Although I know that great faith has a short shelf life and that I must regain my spiritual footing soon, still I have felt a small measure of renewal by tapping into my memories of faith. When I have taken the time to review God's constancy, I have not felt a sudden burst of enlightenment but I have been granted the grim determination to continue.

In looking back on the experiences recorded in this blog and in my journal, I have remembered, as though from a dream, "in whom I have trusted." Like Nephi, "my God hath been my support; he hath lead me through mine afflictions ... he hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh". Because of this, I cannot allow my heart to weep or my strength to slacken. (2 Nephi 4)

I must instead trust that God is with me, as He always has been.


juanita said...

I think we all go through those periods of doubt and discouragement. I love that you ended with Nephi's words. You are truly blessed and I thin you are a spiritual giant! I love to read your blog and you don't know how many times you have inpired me on days that I have truly needed it!

Laurie said...

We definitely all go through these periods! Hopefully, you felt comforted by some of the talks today in Conference, as I did. Our leaders are definitely inspired! I had several questions coming into Conference, and I think all of them have been answered, just in the first day!

Like you said, just keep at it. You'll feel back to normal soon.

mk said...

This may sound strange, but it is comforting to know that you, someone who I look up to spiritually with all my heart, are struggling in the same way that I do sometimes. It is almost testimony-strengthening, to know that I'm not alone in having these kinds of feelings, and that others can feel the same way and still maintain their testimonies. Carolyn, you're incredible and so faithful. I love you and admire you so much. I'm grateful to your example and support to me during some difficult times when I've really needed it. You are an amazing example of service. Keep on keeping on. The Lord loves you. I KNOW it.

Hannah said...

I didn't really read the other comments, but I would like to say this: Be thankful, ever so grateful, that you aren't currently experiencing one of those heartbreaking trials that forces you to draw closer. Think back on those times when you have experienced that, and feel the peace and warmth of the knowledge that the Lord was there. And be grateful that He was. Love ya.