Sunday, April 29, 2012

18/30: Forgiveness

This has been the hardest of the 30 posts for me to write {so far}.

The hardest person/thing that I have ever had to forgive, has been myself.  Let's start at the beginning shall we?  I have always felt the need for spirituality and religion in my life.  My life has always been better when I have been studying and learning about God.  Late in 2007, I became curious about the LDS church.  My roommate and surrogate sister, Cassie, was a member as was her family.  They took me in after my parents moved across the country and treated me {as Mrs. Revelli does with all her kid's friends} as one of their own.  To make the background of this story short, I ended up taking the discussions from the Missionaries, and was baptized a member of the Church June 7, 2008 {06-07-08; makes it easy to remember}.

About 9 months later, circumstances in my life seriously changed.  Without going into all the gory details, my life was basically turned upside down and everything that I thought I knew or thought that I believed in was tested and let's just say I didn't pass.  I couldn't find my balance and subsequently fell off the line I was walking.  That was 3 years ago.  Since then I have thought about trying to find my way back but every time I thought about trying the hill seemed insurmountable.  It felt like I had gone so far the wrong way that there was no way I could find my way back.  I also realized that when I first started this journey, I left behind all of my friends that had been there for me for years prior, and I didn't want to do that again. I had a hard time trying to find a balance between my spiritual life and my social life, both were equally important to me but I couldn't seem to find a way to make it jive.  I also felt an overwhelming sense of guilt and unworthiness.  Heavenly Father couldn't possibly forgive me for all that he had given me, I just went and ignored everything that I knew was right and proceeded to do everything I knew was wrong.  I thought that I was too far away to ever come back

Jump to three years later, I decided that I need to attempt a balance and ask for forgiveness, because if you never ask you'll never know.  So I started with Conference, I wasn't fully sure if I was ready but after I heard this:

"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don't have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love.  It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ's Atonement shines.

Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone.  There is no problem which you cannot overcome.  There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot be realized.  Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer if the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning.  "Come boldly [to] the throne of grace," and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel.  Come and feast "without money and without price" at the table of the Lord.


His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there.

So if you have made covenants, keep them.  If you haven't made them, make them.  If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them.  It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time.  Please listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning gift of the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the fellowship of His labor.  Don't delay."

That is from Elder Jeffery R. Holland's talk, The Laborers in the Vineyard, during the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference, April 2012.

After that talk, which I felt like was given especially for me, how could I do anything other that go back to church and at least give it a try?  The hardest person I have ever had to forgive was myself.  Heavenly Father had already forgiven me, he has forgiven all that sin through the atonement.  My problem was that I couldn't forgive myself and try to do better.  I am in no way a perfect person {no one is, by the way, its a function of being human}, but I can try to be a little better every day.  I can make choices that are right for me, regardless of what other people will think of me.  I can find strength and joy through the atonement, and I can be forgiven.