Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Eight Years Ago

As I sat, now that the 14 day challenge is over, I wondered what I would write about and I found myself drifting back over memories of the past six years.  Many things come to mind but nothing more so than my period of repentance.  I've wondered if I should write about it; I've wanted to for maybe it will help someone else and I've been told to, by many of those I have shared with in private.  Then I thought, "what about those who won't understand, who don't understand the principles of the gospel, and the true love of Christ"  So many think of repentance as a bad thing.  So today I decided I will begin a preface series to MY story.  A couple of blogs to help us better understand the principle of repentance, the love of the Atonement, and what I believe as a Latter-day Saint; during which I will tell my story.  So if for no other reason, stick around and read a few days, my story is actually quite unbelievable, even to me.......
Thought for the day:  In my personal experience there is a big pre-requisite in understanding repentance,  and that is Godly Sorrow. The Apostle Paul taught that “godly sorrow” is required if true repentance is to take place.   2 Corinthians 7.  So then we must understand Godly sorry, before we can understand repentance.
 " Godly sorrow is a gift of the Spirit. It is a deep realization that our actions have offended our Father and our God. It is the sharp and keen awareness that our behavior caused the Savior, He who knew no sin, even the greatest of all, to endure agony and suffering. Our sins caused Him to bleed at every pore. This very real mental and spiritual anguish is what the scriptures refer to as having ‘a broken heart and contrite spirit.....It is not uncommon to find men and women in the world who feel remorse for the things they do wrong. Sometimes this is because their actions cause them or loved ones great sorrow and misery. Sometimes their sorrow is caused because they are caught and punished for their actions. Such worldly feelings do not constitute ‘godly sorrow’ - Ezra Taft Benson.

"There is an important difference between the sorrow for sin that leads to repentance and the sorrow that leads to despair.  Godly sorrow inspires change and hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Worldly sorrow pulls us down, extinguishes hope, and persuades us to give in to further temptation.  Godly sorrow leads to conversion and a change of heart. It causes us to hate sin and love goodness. It encourages us to stand up and walk in the light of Christ’s love"-Dieter F Uchtdorf

Eight years ago, I had a great desire to change my life.  I was not a "bad" person, in fact my family and friends thought I was the kindest person they knew, a really great person they told me.  I always helped everyone I could, I volunteered, I ran a non-profit dance studio, I worked two jobs to take care of my family,  I went to church and tried to live the teachings and raise my family right. My husband told me I had the biggest heart of anyone he had ever known, and  I believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ; I had faith.  Yet, the more my testimony strengthened, and the closer my relationship became to Christ and Father in Heaven, I felt there were things amiss, things of my past that continued to live in my present and threatened my future.  Things that were not horrible and by the world standards, not sinful at all, yet to me, I felt unclean, I felt unworthy of my Father in Heaven's love, I felt unworthy to carry the light of Christ.  The choices I had made in my past were made with a worldly mind and heart and I knew that I surely must have offended the Lord because it was offensive to me.   After spending my days of months in prayer; after truly beseeching the Lord,  for my burden grew heavy, even more than I could bear as I began to dislike myself more and more; I became  humbled.  Rather than turning away, for this was the point at which many turn away as the embarrassment, the pain and sorrow are too great, and Satan even that old serpent can make one think, there is no hope, all is lost; even so, I began to ask Him.  "How can I show thee that I am sorry for my sins, how can thou knowest that I pray unto thee that thou would knowest of my broken heart for the things that I have done, for the choices I've made and the way I chose to live.  How is it that thou would knowest I wish I had been a good daughter I wish I had understood thee and the gospel better but it was as if a blanket covered my mind and I was blind..  And now I am beside myself that I have offended thee, for I do love thee so and I believe, thus I want to be a righteous daughter of God, I pray thou will help me. "  (notes from my personal journal)

These were the thoughts of my days, and my prayers were for my survival in this life and the next.  I discovered through those prayers that the only way to gain peace in all things, was to seek forgiveness, was to become clean, and forgive myself.  That is when I learned of Godly sorrow, and I learned first hand from the Savior who, over a length of time, personally taught me......

The following is a piece of poetry I wrote during my time of suffering and broken heart. I hope it will help those who read to understand Godly sorrow and the need to understand repentance. 

Join me tomorrow for the next segment in my personal series.  


Godly Sorrow
Acceptance is not found
With in walls of brick
Among members of sects
With in the heart of man
It can only be found
With in my self
And my self is that
Which I cannot accept
I can no longer fight
The good fight
For I have been fighting
Yet they cannot see
Do not hear
And don’t understand
Even so my solace
I find in the mercy of my savior
For he knoweth the truth of my heart
I am ugly before him
In my sins
Yet his compassion be divine
And surely I have felt his compassion
For I can in no way deny the things
I have seen and heard
The things I have felt
How is it then
If even I have felt
Such compassion and mercy
I do sin
How is it that I can yield to temptations so
Disgracing my Lord, My God
I am therefore hopeless
Even the least of them that do breath
For I know my Redeemer
And yet I am lost
In an abyss of pain and torment
Subject to humanness
The carnal desires
That do beseech me
 March 2009  © Dawn Michelle All rights reserved