the Fragments: what we have to offer when things get hard

Sometimes you just need to know that everything is going to be okay. Even, if you can change nothing. If things have gone all wrong, if you feel at your absolute worst, if it seems like your heart will never stop breaking. even if everything seems to fall apart around you…no matter what. No. Matter. What. Everything, is going to be okay!

I’ve recently had a string of really hard life choices to make. Nothing made any decision, any easier. However, that never stopped me from searching for the magic pill! I mean, who wouldn’t want things to be easier?! Truthfully, there are still days when I feel like I just can’t breathe. I have no idea when that sensation will go away, if at all. There is one thing I do know and that is: My efforts are known and that I am worthy of love and acceptance.

As I was skimming through some articles a few days ago, I came across a quote by Elder Stanley G. Ellis: “In the world of nature, hard is part of the circle of life. It is hard for a baby chick to hatch out of that tough eggshell. But when someone tries to make it easier, the chick does not develop the strength necessary to live. In a similar way, the struggle of a butterfly to escape the cocoon strengthens it for the life it will live. Through these examples, we see that hard is the constant! We all have challenges. The variable is our reaction to the hard.”

So, what does that variable look like to you?

Earlier on the Becoming the Mom Facebook page I posted a video talking about St. John chapter 6 where Christ feed 5,000 with few fishes and bread. In order to continue feeding the multitude Christ requested the disciples to bring back the fragments that were left over so that he might bless them again. For us, when we have had a problem to solve and we have offered a solution to God and he has blessed it, what are those fragments that we take back to Him so that we can continue to receive the blessings we need as we work through the hard?

These fragments, to me, can be the same as the variables talked about by Elder Ellis. Your attitude and faith are one of the few things you have to offer God in hard situations where you are not able to solve the problem on your own. Now, in these instances I’m not talking about issue that might cross your mind like: What do I eat for lunch? How do I get that person to like me? Or other more trivial problems. I think of things that consist more of situations where you need to solve a problem, but have nothing to offer. Such as: How do I pay that bill?…when you have change left in your account. How do I fix my marriage?…when your spouse is chained by addiction or poor choices. How do I help my child graduate high school?…when they’ve lost the motivation to do the work or go to class. How do I care for my family?…when you are crippled by the web of mental illness or can’t physically move.

I hate the idea of being in a position where a part of my happiness seems to depend on another persons choices! This leaves me feeling weak and powerless since I have no control. These types of emotions quickly lead to fear and doubt. Fear and discouragement are hooks of the devil that pull us away from God and His love and blessings. Fear does not lead to peace and happiness, and we are constantly counseled in the scriptures to “fear not”. In fact that exact phrase is found in scriptures over 1,000 times!! Do you think He’s trying to send a message?! “…tell them to fear not, for God will deliver them…” (Alma 61:21) I’m certain that He would say the same to you as an answer to your pleadings.

So, if we remove the fear and fill it with love and we offer back the fragments of faith and trust then we can be confident that God will continue to sustain us, even if we don’t know how.

“He wants what is best for us. He will answer our prayers. He will keep His promises. He has the power to keep those promises. He knows everything! And most important, He knows what is best.” -Elder Ellis

Hard things look different to each of us and even change with the different aspects of our lives. We cannot lay negative judgment upon others and increase the pool of discouragement that Satan wants to fill our minds and hearts with. Love is always the answer, love for others, love for ourselves, most importantly love for God. Love is how we make it through the hard things and it gives us hope, peace, happiness, and patience.

I want to know that everything is going to be okay when I am working through hard. There’s only one place I can turn where all I have to offer is my love and trust, and that is with God. With Him things feel joyful in despair. With Him I feel safe and calm. With Him, I am never alone and there I KNOW that I can trust that HE WILL make everything okay.

-Charlotte