Have you ever watched a friend struggle with a decision when you can see the bigger picture and therefore the obvious decision, but they aren't ready to hear it?
Well today, that friend sought out my advice and I was finally able to share my perspective. Not gonna lie, it felt REALLY good to get it off my chest. And in the process, she was able to realize that it's the answer she's known all along, but didn't like... so was basically just buying time hoping that the answer would change. It hasn't.
The whole experience has reminded me about how we each receive personal revelation differently, and in the manner which will be most beneficial to us. I think the reason that I was able to recognize an obvious decision in my friend's dilemma is because it was being given to her in a manner which I often receive my own revelation: stupor of thought.
I remember the first time I received an answer to a prayer with a stupor of thought... I was 15 and a newly called MiaMaid class president. I was praying about who to call as my presidency, and one of the names I took the Lord that I'd felt confident about beforehand, I couldn't even remember who I was praying about by the time the prayer ended. And I was really confused because I had a REALLY good memory... and the Spirit opened my mind to understand that it was a stupor of thought.
Since then I've had several more experiences, that were all a lot more muddled and soul-wracking, and it's taken me A LOT longer to recognize my inability to make a decision as a stupor of thought and therefore an answer from the Lord. I had an experience with this a few months ago, and my mom gently reminded me that I often receive revelation via stupor of thought. I was 1) floored that my mother had been in tune enough to recognize that about me when I had a hard time recognizing and remembering that about myself... and it's MY personal revelation! And 2) grateful that she was able to remind me of this. It was just the re-calibration that my soul needed in order to make the decision.
So all of that made it glaringly obvious to me that my dear friend wasn't suffering from anything more than an answer to her many prayers, but an answer she wouldn't recognize because she wasn't ready to follow through with the consequences of said answer. Well, she must've finally prepared herself to act on her personal revelation, because the clouds finally parted and she was able to see the decision more clearly. Of course she still didn't like it, because it will be hard and painful, but she's finally ready to offer up her will in faith that Heavenly Father WILL fulfill ALL His promises to her in some other way.
We've all been there, multiple times. And yet, each new decision and faith-filled action that offers up our hearts to God, piece by painful piece, normally doesn't get easier with more practice. However, I think this is the very condition that Christ referred to when He said, "And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit." (3 Nephi 9:20) But of course God never gives us a commandment without also including a promise, just as Christ does in the next sentence: "And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost...." Just as with my friend, the condition of her heart was a pre-requisite for the promised blessing of having the Holy Ghost part the clouds of indecision and enlighten her mind with understanding of the revelation she'd already received.
I'm proud of her, but I know that Heavenly Father is even more so. Only He can truly understand how hard this decision is for her to make and follow through with. Only He can know the pain she will feel and endure because of it. And Only He knows how His promises will be fulfilled. It's weird, but this whole experience, though watching it all from a distance, has taught me a lot... especially about Heavenly Father and my personal relationship with Him. I see those same fears and struggles in my own life as in my friend's... it just comes in different forms. But ultimately we each have to choose to give up our will for the Will of the Father and to trust in His eternal promises, even if it means giving up what we want right now. So now that I've had all these lessons and eternal truths reinforced in my life, I feel like Heavenly Father is going to put me to the test again. I'm not-so-secretly hoping He chooses to start small and work His way up to the really big doozies.
Sorry for rambling. But, in all fairness, it IS my blog.