Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fasting and Faith....

brings about great blessings.

I woke up this morning and actually remembered that it was fast Sunday (we had Stake Conference last week so it was moved to the 2nd Sunday). I was so proud of myself and knew that as soon as I rose from the bed, I would feel nothing but the sweetness of the Spirit. But, try as I might (sang church music, read books with the kids, watched conference talks, listened to the Spoken Word, turned off the TV and listened to church music, prayed), it just didn't come. So, at noon I thought, "All I wanted was to feel the Spirit today and still nothing. Well, just bag it. I'm starved so I am going to get something to eat."

Just as soon as my rebellious, bratty spirit voiced it's mind, guilt crept in and I decided to just be obedient and continue my fast. I laid down in my bed, watched a movie of Hunter's 9th birthday and tried as hard as I could to continue fasting.

We arrived to church early and sat all together while I still waited. Sang the opening song and the sacrament song and waited. Had a wonderfully reverent sacrament (this rarely happens with my rambunctious family) and still nothing. Then the first counselor started to bear his testimony as he read from 3 Nephi and the coming of Christ. Immediately I thought of Mosiah chapter 24 that I just read in last week's scripture study. But still, I didn't feel the warm tingling and the strong feeling of the Comforter that I was seeking. Next was the testimony from our Bishop, Bishop Flake. He encouraged us to have joy and try to change just a little bit of us to be better. Both testimonies were beautiful but still, where was the Spirit that I so desperately wanted.

Just moments before the Bishop closed his testimony Kadan started to speak to me. Normally, I would sternly whisper, "Shh" but I feel inclined to listen as he whispered to me, "Mom, you know you are never alone in your home because you have your family. And you are never alone at school because you have your friends. And even when you are all by yourself, you are never alone because you have the Spirit (he taps his chest softly) deep within you."

I was immediately overwhelmed, flooded by the Spirit of Testimony, I tried hard to hold back the tears and knew that he was the answer to my prayers.

I walked to the pulpit and bore my testimony. I would like to bear that now. I know that through obedience to Heavenly Father's commandments that we will all be blessed. Yet, we need to be patient, we need to be happy in long suffering, we need to invite the Spirit into our lives and we will be blessed. I know that if I had not been obedient in fasting that I may not have had such a wonderfully spiritual experience today. That through faith, diligence and obedience my testimony was strengthened. I thank the Lord that my son was able to feel the Spirit and was able to answer my prayers.

I would like to share some more tidbits of spiritual messages and moments of epiphany that I learned today (with pictures to break up some of the monotony of all this typing) In Stake Conference, the beautiful lady with broken English that gave the opening prayer said, "And bless that we will make it to our DESTINY in safety." I am unsure if this woman realized what a beautiful message she relayed with her simple mistake of wording. Instead of destination, she said destiny. I pray that we can all make it to our Destiny is safety.
Hunter came up to me and said, "Mom, I have been honest and have told to truth for over 5 years now. I have not even told a lie." I hope that in 5 years from now I too can exclaim "I have been honest and truthful for over 5 years."

In singing "Love at Home" as the opening song in relief society the second verse starts, "In the cottage there is joy, when there's love at Home." It did not read, "In the mansion" or "In the beautiful 4000 sq ft English Tutor with a media room and a 6 car garage" it simply said, "In a cottage" -- a small, quaint, home maybe even in a bit of disrepair, you can find joy. Joy is found through families and love and the gospel. Not in money or large houses or extravagant clothes.
I always get nervous when I sing and my lips start to quiver -- very embarrassing. As a result, I have been choosing to avoid singing in church. On Friday, Theresa asked me to sing "Walk Tall You're a Daughter" and I accepted. Later I find out that she woke up early in the morning and had the impression that I needed to sing in Young Women's at the end of her lesson. I prayed numerous times to be able to sing with the spirit and without a quiver. As soon as I started singing so did the quiver. As a said a prayer in my heart, I had the impression to look into the faces of the girls and sing -- angles were with me and I sang the song more beautifully that I had ever sung before.
During the YW lesson, Theresa and Sister Henderson talked about the iron rod being straight not bent. For the first time I realized that this is for 2 reasons. One is because we know that for the righteous the journey to Eternal Life is straight and leads us unequivocally by the Word of God. Yet, the second thing I realized is that having a the pathway narrow and straight also helps so that fall away. Ultimately, if the path was curvy and made lots of bends, it would be harder for those that have strayed to find it. Instead, Heavenly Father, in his brilliance and forbearance, provided a straight way to return. For, just like the north star, even in the darkness of night, if you follow direction of that star, you will not wonder in circles and will find your way.


Courtney said...

Jen- you are truly an inspiration and example to all of us! Out of the mouths of babes..
Miss you! Lots more people moving away again in the next!

The Davis Crew said...

Girl...u are still amazing:)!!! You have always been a woman of great faith and I was just remembering the other day when i had read the Book of Mormon (in college) that u gave me for the first time u came to celebrate that with me and it was such a sweet experience:)!!! You Rock!

Stephanie Ewell said...

Jen- You are an amazing example of faith to me...what a beautiful testimony building experience! Your children are blessed to be in a home with such a mother- lucky! I miss you and wish I could be in your ward but it is way fun to check out your blog- Love u!!

dawn said...

Jennifer...Thank you for sharing your testimony. I wept this morning and felt the spirit because of you.

The Amayesings said...

I just miss you. Thanks for sharing that beautiful experience.