Hearthaven Publishing

12 Step Materials for the Latter-day Saint Community

I have found that peace which passeth understanding, which only Christ can give (Philippians 4:7). In Him I have found a perfect brightness of hope that shines through even the deepest darkness. I have sanity and serenity because of His living presence in my life. (He Did Deliver Me From Bondage, p. v.)

I wasn’t lying when I wrote that, but sometimes I’m sorely tempted to think I must have been fooling myself.  I’m afraid the mortal reality is that I can ebb and flow in and out of sanity and serenity in a matter of minutes, if I choose to let go of the Lord’s hand. That’s when Satan, the Liar comes peddling his  idolatries, enticing me to resort to unhealthy eating, overworking, overspending and other weaknesses.

If I find that “peace which passeth understanding,” shouldn’t it last?

I’m coming to realize that the Lord won’t hold me that tight. The yoke He offers me so that I can be blessed with His strength is light, not heavy and binding.  He’ll let me lean on Him if I ask. He’ll even pick me up and carry me if I ask. But the second I want to get down out of His arms and try going it alone He lets me.

I’ve had a hard time getting used to His total willingness to let me come and go as I choose.  Sometimes I wondered and even demanded, “Why doesn’t He try to stop me? Why doesn’t He try to restrain me? Why doesn’t He at least raise His voice and point out to me that I’m leaving the safety of His salvation? Just a simple, ‘Hey, Colleen. Do you really want to wander off and to try to live your life without me again? How did that work for you last time?’”

But He doesn’t. He respects my agency and the opportunity I have in this life to learn by my own experience.  He leaves the coming and the going, the wandering and the repenting up to me.  Meanwhile He’s as unwavering in His love and willingness to be my Savior as the sun is certain to rise each morning.

And so, wander I do. And I do.  And I do.

I’m discovering there is no other way but the way of imperfection—wandering off and then returning to Him.  I am grateful to report, though, that my times of wandering have grown less and less frequent and been of shorter and shorter duration.  It seems my dependency is shifting from my addictions to the Lord and the joy that being close to Him brings into my life.

~Colleen H.

©2012 Hearthaven Publishing. All rights reserved.

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