Don’t cast it away

For months, I have been striving, working, changing.

I have been trying to give so much of myself to things that are important to me. I want to serve and lift and help. As I and my family have followed this course, we have been very happy, and very blessed.

But this week has been difficult. I have felt such an oppression in my mind. Such doubts and such discouragement. Thoughts of negativity have raged in my mind.

“Do you honestly think you can change things?”

“Who do you think you are?”

“Do you actually believe you’re making a difference to anyone?”

“You’re wasting your time.”

“You don’t matter at all…quit trying so hard.”

“No one cares about those things…you’re being silly.”

“You’re tired. JUST GIVE UP.”

Sigh. It’s no fun to have those thoughts be a constant companion. We’ve all been there, right?

Today I hit a low. I sat in church and watched change and growth all around me, but for some reason, I just couldn’t see it in my own life. Discouragement overwhelmed me and flowed out my eyes. I silently pleaded for help, but even that was difficult.

The day wasn’t easy, but I continued to try and to smile and to do my best. And as I kept trying to plod along, gradually light returned, little by little to my mind. Gradually, the negative voice of before was replaced by one I dearly love:

“Once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts… Don’t give in. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence.’ Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.”
Jeffrey R. Holland

Was anything worth doing ever easy? Was anything good and worthwhile ever unmet by opposition?

I don’t believe so.

In fact, tonight, as I think about it, I find myself believing that if you are experiencing severe opposition and discouragement, it’s probably a good sign that you’re on the right track.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Hebrews 10:35–36

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