Today, I am amazed. Baffled. Confused. Shocked.
I cannot believe that it has been one entire year since I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It seems like yesterday. SO much has happened in this first year of my life as a latter-day saint, that it seems like I haven't had time to breathe. I pick my head up, and it's been a year! What??
A lot has been going on, socially, mentally, emotionally. It has been a trying time. When I wrote about my baptism last spring, I said "He is a foundation 'whereon if men are built they cannot fall' (Helaman 5:12)." And I still believe that is true. I have built upon His rock for the last twelve months, and this has been the only way I could stand, keeping my head high, knowing that the battle is the Lord's (2 Chronicles 20:15).
I haven't always been filled with confidence, though. I haven't always proudly worn the name of Christ on my heart or in my actions. I haven't fully lived up to my covenant in the past year. There have been many times is didn't trust God, many times I doubted, many times I wanted to give up, many times I didn't "always remember [Christ] and times I didn't "keep His commandments" (D&C 20). THIS is why I am so grateful that the Atonement is infinite. The day of my baptism wasn't the one and only day of forgiveness for me. I get to repent and take the sacrament and be cleansed as many times as I need to. When I'm sincere and I'm trying, He will always forgive. When I fall, He will stand me up, dust me off, and say "Go on! Try again!"
"After learning to crawl and then stand, [our grandson] was ready to try walking. During his first few attempts, he fell, cried, and gave a look that said, “I will never—ever—try that again! I’m simply going to keep crawling.” When he stumbled and fell, his loving parents did not feel that he was hopeless or that he would never walk. Instead they held out their arms while calling to him, and with his eyes on them, he tried again to move toward their loving embrace. Loving parents are always ready with outstretched arms to welcome even our smallest step in the right direction. They know that our willingness to try and try again will lead to progress and success."
(Your Next Step, Randall K. Bennett).
Since I was baptized, I have faced many trials. But I have faced them, rather than running away. One of the biggest blessings the gospel has given me is the strength and hope to go on.
Heavenly Father has blessed me so much this year. He has taught me so much, gospel knowledge in the scriptures, and spiritual knowledge and assurances that come from Him in prayer. We are growing together, Heavenly Father and me. I'm learning more about Him and what He asks of me every day. I am so grateful that He chose me, that He called me out of darkness and despair into His marvelous light. I still have a lot to learn, and I'm grateful that our Father is a patient tutor. I want to be just like Him one day.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.