Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Finding my identity through Christ.

Identity...what does that really mean anyway. 

Some of us may never know what it means to find ourselves, or find ourself or "true identity". This is something that I hear very often among the youth everywhere, but especially in the church I attend, and I think it's because the teenage years are the hardest years to find out who they truly are, and why they are really here. 

I personally have never understood that until I found my own identity. Teaching my children true principles of the Gospel, and the church we attend helps them figure out their place in this world, and with our help can give them an understanding as to who they are, and where they come from. I know that our example, and by seeking guidance from the Spirit, and praying to God can help them find their own identity. Throughout the years of raising my firstborn who is now 18, and seeing her go through the actions, and possible motions of who she is becoming as well as what she endured to get to where she's at today makes me one proud mama. 

I saw Sierra growing up spiritually, and building her testimony as she attended church services, and various activities. Bearing her testimony on her own motive. Sharing her beliefs with others without me telling her to. I have never, ever stood up with her at the pulpit to help her bear witness that Jesus is the Christ and that the church she is being raised in is true. Having the desire to attend all youth church activities was from her heart...not mine. I have to say I have never struggled with her in finding out who she is. I never had to coddle her too much, but if she had an issue or problem in relation to church or school, I was always there to talk, and listen. 

I asked Lexie the other day if she knew who she 'really' was. She said she knows she's a daughter of God, and that she is here to learn. Yet she's 14, and even though I feel she has a good head on her shoulders, she's bound to be tested. However, I feel that she herself truly knows that she's a daughter of God, and that she has Heavenly Father who is there for her no matter what. Knowing that my two oldest daughters have found their identity through Christ puts me at ease, and helps me to live less stressfully in a high strung world.

Finding our true identity whether at the age of 14, 16, 20, or 40 definitely bring us a clear picture in the life that we live. Once we get it, and I mean really get it everything will make sense to us & we'll have so much confidence within ourselves that no matter what trials come our way we'll be strong enough to fight them & make it through. 

I know this because like my daughters...I also had to find my own identity. And I found it at the age of 20.

Once I found my true self in knowing who I am, where I came from, & why I'm here living out my years in this mortal life I became more self confident, happy, and was dying to share my excitement. After all the shame that I felt of the things that I did as a teenager, and what happened to me as a young girl...I was lost, and had no idea why I was even living this life. Wondering why this happened to me, and why God would allow 'bad' things to happen to such an innocent little girl. It took years of healing and thoughts of believing that I was 'damaged goods' to leave my mind. The difference between my and my girls while finding our true identity is that I didn't have the tools that they have now. Scriptures, two parents, values, morals, and The Lord. Once I got baptized I literally wanted to shout it from the rooftops to the entire world and say, "I truly am a daughter of God & man does it feel good to finally know that at the age of 20! God really loves me...he really does love me!"

I know at one point every one of us has been lost with our identity including my husband, my daughters at some point, and everyone who in some shape or form has struggled with finding out who they are, why bad things happen to us, and where we came from.

I endured so much heartache in trying to understand who I am, why I'm here, and what my purpose in this life was. I was tired of living a life of being a 'wanna be', of hurting myself, and having morbid thoughts of how it would be to just leave this life. I often wondered how it would feel to just live a life somewhere else. I guess that's probably why I did so much soul searching by investigating every religion that was out there, and spending time in various states to find out what I really wanted. Is it going to be different if I move here. Is the grass going to be greener if I live there. If I live with my sister in Florida will the pains from my past go away. No, no, and no. 

Watching commercials from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints practically airing 24/7 gave me the will & courage to call that 800 number. Then I'd feel it again on days where sadness, and loneliness would kick in. As if some special 'being' was standing right beside me telling me to pour that quart of bud light down the drain. Your mother does care...she just doesn't know how to show it. You don't need it. You don't need it to belong. You don't need it to fulfill your life. You don't need it to make you tough and strong. You don't need it to forget what happened to you. You don' just don't. Slowly but surely I began to listen to that special 'being'. I began to see that maybe this so called video will help me realize the purpose of my life, and possibly answer those questions. 

And it did with help from the missionaries. After so many attempts of feeling that nudge on my shoulder I finally called to order this specific video, and let me tell you something...It forever has changed my life! wasn't that easy. Giving my life to Christ was just the beginning. 

I had to go back to the place where I felt lost as a young teen to face reality, and the demons that were unable to set me free from the pain I endured, but I had to make the choice to want it. To want to change, to want to listen, and I mean really listen. And that desire of wanting it was passionately burning inside of me. After months of stubbornness, I had a change of heart & finally made it out of that dark cloud of confusion that was hovering over me for so long. My life was saved, but even afterwards escaping adversity never ceased. And that's okay. As long as I have the love from my Father in Heaven, and the tools I have to keep me firm in His love, along with the gospel- I can overcome anything. 

I am extremely thankful for seeking out the spirit in helping me deal with all those emotions from long ago, and for helping me change my life at the age of 20. I am grateful for the calling that I have in the Stake Young Women. I look forward to taking the time to know the girls. I know a few already, and hope that for those who may feel lost, alone, with dark clouds hovering over them that one day they'll see the beauty that's inside of them. I hope that they'll come to the realization that no matter how hard life gets, how rough times at school are that they'll know there's a reason for them being here, why we have to go through certain trials, and why we long for them to give God a chance in helping them know that He is always there for them. Ready and willing to listen. 

As a teen I always wondered how can this supreme being whom I've never met possibly know what I'm going through. And then I remember the time when I was little and how my mom was so desperate in keeping us faithful by going to church on Sundays, and watching Jesus movies. Unfortunately that didnt last. One thing I'll always remember is the love I felt for Jesus. Every time I saw a picture of him in my catechism book I would always wish (not pray) that He would save me. I have to say that one spark of memory helped me to know that Jesus is always watching over us. I just had to let him in, and when I finally allowed Him back into my life at the age of 20 I felt like a little child again. It truly was the greatest feeling being cleansed from my past, and to have forgiveness in my heart towards those who wronged me. 

So to all the young women out there who may be reading this... 

You have something so special that I didn't have while growing up. Values that I wasn't taught or raised with. The gospel of Jesus Christ that helps you find answers to your prayers, and a loving Heavenly Father that loves you. Give your leaders a chance to help motivate, and encourage you to know that there is that eternal light, that special 'being' that is always watching over you to let you know that life can be good, that we can find our true identity. And when we do, I promise that you'll be able to endure any trial that comes your way, and that all will be well. 

All you have to do is pray your heart out, listen, & know that He is always there. 

"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. 
The Savior has [even] promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. 
And He always keeps His word."
 ~Henry B. Eyring

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