Monday, March 17, 2014

Finding Purpose

A young friend saw me make a comment on Facebook late Saturday night and took the chance that I would answer my phone. The strain in his voice revealed his mental struggle as much or more than his words did. He said he wanted an objective opinion from an experienced parent, someone unrelated to himself. To protect his privacy, all I can say is that this person expressed fears about his future and some big decisions he gets to make and some of the challenges that are making those decisions complicated.

I felt impressed to ask him "If you were promised that [in making a particular decision] you could not fail, would you be more inclined to go with that choice?" I was trying to find out if fear of failure was really the only thing holding him back from making his decision. He told me he doesn't want to start something and not be able to see it through to the end. He doesn't want to disappoint his family or friends. But I think most of all, like all the rest of humanity, he doesn't want to feel like a failure.

Fast forward to today: I woke up this morning feeling the same way I ended the day before -- out of sorts, disconnected, annoyed and feeling stuck in that glass box again. But I made myself get out of bed. Actually, I thought I heard the trash truck and leaped out of bed and hollered "Doug, the trash truck!" Then I stumbled, bleary-eyed, back to the bed and threw myself across it as Doug stepped into the room and whispered, "It's only Monday. The trash guys come on Tuesday. That was a construction truck." Ugh.

Of course, now I was wide awake. I buried my head under the pillow. I heard Doug whistling a hymn in the shower. I fell out of bed to my knees and thought a quick prayer. Doug had already fixed himself breakfast, but he still needed a lunch for work so I headed down the stairs to the kitchen. As I prepared his bagel and threw a brownie and some fruit in a brown paper bag, I made a mental list of to-do stuff. The number of tasks grew long enough that I decided to write things down. As I pondered my priorities, I thought about my young friend. I offered a more sincere prayer and I remembered something important. I remembered who I am. I remembered that Heavenly Father placed me here at this time and in this place for a specific purpose.

Whoa! Just like that, my glass box exploded into a gazillion sparkling particles. As light filled my heart, I felt hope and peace and joy. It took  the desire to do the right thing. It took faith to get out of bed and pray and ask for strength and clarity of thought. That desire and those acts of faith invited the Spirit, which enlightened my mind and eliminated Satan's chatter of negativity.

I wrote my friend a new message. I told him how amazing he is and how grateful I am for his example and friendship to our family. I thanked him for helping me remember who I am and for bringing light back into my life! I told him that as he remembers who he is, he will know what path to take. And as he recognizes his purpose, he will succeed in all of his endeavors. It won't be easy. But it will be worth every ounce of effort he can give.

As I  continue fine tuning this blog, I hope to fulfill a purpose of strengthening home and family and sharing the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What helps you discover or remember your purpose? What topics would you like to see discussed on this blog? I'm sure my passion for all good things - family, chocolate, baking, nature, music and books and food will all find a place here. Most of all, I hope that after you read my blog you'll feel hope and joy and know that you are loved!

 Looking at this picture of our daughter makes me smile! We have a big beautiful world at our feet!


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