Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Confessions of a Crumpled Up Dollar Bill

My sweet husband has been working so hard to give himself (and our family) great opportunities in the future at internships and work that I've often been alone this summer. 

And by alone I mean lonely. Very lonely.

Spirits, like bodies, need nourishment and consistent care. Instead of filling my loneliness with something of substance, I search on social media for some type of interaction. I have spent my time on facebook, instagram, pinterest, blogs, reading comments on news and opinion articles... anything. All summer I've been telling myself that I've been fine. I haven't changed...
When we choose to consume the attitudes and opinions of the mass media, we find our own values and viewpoints following suit. We tell ourselves we’re not being affected by these messages, but that is not possible. 
- Elder Patrick Kearon, Opening Our Hearts to Revelation
Over the course of these past two or so months I've felt myself grow more cynical, judgmental, and pessimistic. I've had an extremely low perception of myself. Extremely low.

This is what I believe has happened:

I was not actively seeking to fill my heart with darkness. Instead, I was too casual about filling my soul with light. I told myself that I'm still doing as I should, but it's like my "spiritual feasting" has the nourishment of a stick of celery and my media intake has the indulgence and calories of a gallon of ice cream. In one sitting.

I think since I have been so absorbed in media, I have begun to focus solely on what others may think of me. Everything has become a comparison: her hair is more beautiful, his words are more witty, her arms are skinnier, she serves so selflessly, I'm worthless. I've gained 20 pounds since my college days. Everybody probably looks at me and thinks, "Wow. She has definitely gained weight since she got married." My waist isn't thin enough. I don't cook as well as she does, I don't work as hard as he does...

It consumes me. Every thought is some form of judgment. Every minor weakness is just a confirmation of my worthlessness.

As summer continued, I told myself it was not a problem and instead of fighting it fed it because that's easier. I have tried to volunteer to help others, tried to be productive in some way, but then I listened as the adversary whispered, "You can't do it well anyway. You're not even that good. Besides, nobody wants to spend time with you." I allowed myself to believe that I'm even more of a failure and even more alone. Worth nothing because I can do nothing.

Within only two months of time, I have forgotten completely how to hear the sweet, comforting words of my Savior. I have felt the Spirit, but have consistently declined to believe it. Instead, I have welcomed in the slimy, degrading thoughts from the adversary.

Lately, I've been trying to change and it has been HARD. You see, I am a daughter of God. I have worth, and influence. Maybe not a lot now, but I will someday have a world of influence as a mother. And the devil knows it. He doesn't want me to know it, or to use it. He has been fighting to convince me that I am not enough. That I don't measure up.

But I do.

A few weeks ago I set the song below as my Sunday morning alarm. I picked it because it starts off sweetly and calmly. This Sunday was the first that I actually listened to the message rather than hit snooze.

In this world it seems 
You may never be enough
Don't let anyone 
Convince you that it's true
So much beauty 
Lives inside of you
You are enough
Just look up

Remember you are greatest
When you walk with God
When his light is in your eyes
You are truly strong
You don't have to prove your beauty
In the eyes of men
You are divine within
You were sent here to become like Him

"To Become Like Him" - Jenny Phillips

Like the woman mentioned in President Uchdorf's talk, I have come to realize that I am worth something (read it if you haven't). Accepting that a crumpled up dollar bill has as much worth as a crisp new one seems simple. It's not.

I made this to remind myself, though.

I am trying. I'm asking my Savior to be my friend once more, and seeking to find His peace. And I will overcome. Because I'm not a failure. Because I am not alone.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phillipians 4:13

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