Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016!

Well, 2015 was a huge year for me. I met so many amazing people, was baptized, finished the Book of Mormon for the first time, moved out of my college town (best one in the country, if you ask me), received my first calling, and so, so much more. I experienced many trials, but was strengthened and taught by each one. It was a very full year.

I have learned so much. About myself emotionally, about my illnesses, how they work, and how to get through (sometimes). My mind has been fed; I have read so many good books and packed myself so full of knowledge that sometimes I thought my head might burst. I grew so much as a dancer and an artist (mostly in the spring, but that's still this year!).

Most importantly, though, my spirit has grown SO much. I have learned about prayer, about humility, about leaning on Christ, about the Atonement, about charity and loving everyone like Heavenly Father does. I've learned that everything God does is for good, even if we don't understand right away. I have learned that the most important thing we need to do in this life is endure, be diligent, persevere - Don't give up. All Heavenly Father asks is that we keep trying, that when we fall (and we will), we get back up and recommit. This is so important, that He tells us to do this every week: taking the sacrament. That's His promise to us every seven days - that when we fall, we can turn to Him and get back up. He'll always help us.

I have fallen a lot this year. A lot. I have made mistakes, I have doubted, I have lost faith. But I always find out that even though I wasn't faithful, He was. He is always faithful. This year has shown me so much about His faithfulness. He's the best at showing up. He always shows up. He's always there. We just have to open our eyes and look at Him.

I'm not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. I never really made them in the past. But, as I've been attending Church, I'm learning the value of setting goals. This year, my goal is to see Him more.

In General Conference last October, Devin G. Durrant counseled members of the Church to "ponderize" a verse of scripture each week - "a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization" ("My Heart Pondereth Them Continually"). Like most, I found the concept intriguing. But, it never happened for me. I listened to this talk again a couple of days ago, and the Spirit prompted me to make a better effort to "write a new verse of scripture on [my] heart and mind."

As I have thought over this counsel and prompting, another thought has come into my mind: "The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time" (Larry L. Lawrence, "What Lack I Yet?"). In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin also taught, "It is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize" (Mosiah 4:27).

Just as it did in October, ponderizing a new verse each week seemed really intimidating to me. I knew that if I ever missed a week of pondering, I would become discouraged and quit. So I continued thinking and sought the guidance of the Spirit for ideas of how I could follow this counsel at a speed that would work for me. 

I've decided to set a goal of ponderizing one verse each month. If I can do more than that, one each week, or two each month, I will. I feel confident in my goal, and feel that as I seek to grow closer to the Lord, I will. I know that this goal will help me to see the hand of God in my life more.

What goals are you setting this year? 

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