I was having trouble falling asleep last night and got to thinking about something that's been coming back to me often lately. Over the last several months, the roller coaster of life has seemed to be a little more acute. I've felt great joy and peace, but also had many hard, low days. Most days, though, have both little bumps and dips, times when I feel good and productive, and times of set back. As yesterday was one such day, I got to thinking about it.
"How," I wondered, "do we keep rising above it? How is it that through all the highs and lows, we can, in the long run, have a generally upward trajectory?" And as I pondered, I knew that for me the answer was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because I know where I'm headed and I know how to get there, I can take the bumps and bruises and hand them over to Christ and keep stepping forward and upward.
Of course, I'm not saying it's as easy as that. Last month I seemed to stagnate for weeks, always ending the day in frustration and silence. But once I finally committed to get back to what I knew was right-- prayer, study, service, forgiveness-- life took a turn upward. Had yesterday happened in those hard weeks, I might have ended the day in tears, but since it happened on a day of prayer, fasting, and forgiveness, I ended the day at peace.
I am so grateful to have this faith. Because I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have structure and purpose in my life. I have short-term and long-term goals. I have a vision for my life and family. When I feel lost or unsure, I know where to turn to find answers and direction. I have friends who have the same goals and vision for their families, and we learn from each other and find strength in our friendship. My husband and I have made strong, eternal commitments to one another and we know the goal and end of our relationship.
I don't know how I would proceed through this life without something so stable to fall back on. My life is best described by Helaman, in chapter 5, verse 12:
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
This is how I'm happy. I build on the foundation of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer.