A while ago, I wrote this post after a moment of revelation and illumination. I remember feeling so inspired, motivated, and excited. However, since then, I have recently gotten back into the rut I was in before. I have once again been feeling scared, confused, and frustrated with my life, and enduring a "great fight of afflictions"... until a few days ago. A sweet friend posted a link to this talk and it completely uplifted my soul. It's embarrassing to admit that I returned to that same dark place after being so inspired before, but this talk gave me so much comfort in helping me realize that I'm not alone in this. Satan's biggest tool against me is fear. He tells me I can't do hard things, and sadly I let my guard down and was listening to him for a while. I can't even begin to say how thankful I am for an ever merciful Heavenly Father who knows that this happens, and gives me opportunities for forgiveness, healing, and renewed motivation. I'm also thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that not only allows me to be healed from my sorrows, but enables me to have confidence and go forward with faith.
After reading this talk several times, getting some advice from my wonderful parents, lots of fasting and prayer, and the peace of a trip to the temple, I feel so much better and am inspired once again. I'm still scared, but much less so. I know my life is in Heavenly Father's hands, and he has wonderful plans in store for me. Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the talk. For the full talk, click here.
Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"Don't let your guard down. Don't assume that a great revelation, some marvelous, illuminating moment, the opening of an inspired path, is the end of it. Remember, it isn't over until it's over."
"We cannot sign on for a battle of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight - a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless. Paul says to those who thought a new testimony, a personal conversion, a spiritual baptismal experience would put them beyond trouble - to these he says, 'Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.'
"Opposition turns up almost any place something good has happened. ...With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been 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. Certainly don't give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. 'Cast not away therefore your confidence.' Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you."
"There may come after the [revelation] some competing doubts and confusion, but it will pale when you measure it against the real thing. Remember the real thing. Remember how urgently you have needed help in earlier times and you got it. The Red Sea will open to the honest seeker of revelation. The adversary has power to hedge up the way, to marshal Pharaoh's forces and dog our escape right to the water's edge, but he can't produce the real thing. He cannot conquer if we will it otherwise. Exerting all our powers, the light will again come, the darkness will again retreat, the safety will be sure."
"In the process of revelation and making important decisions, fear plays a destructive, sometimes paralyzing role."
"Of course our faith will be tested as we fight through these self-doubts and second thoughts. Some days we will be miraculously led out of Egypt - seemingly free, seemingly on our way - only to come to yet another confrontation, like all that water lying before us. At those times we must resist the temptation to panic and give up. At those times fear will be the strongest of the adversary's weapons against us."
"Along with the illuminating revelation that points us toward a righteous purpose or duty, God will also provide the means and power to achieve that purpose. Trust in that eternal truth. If God has told you something is right, if something is indeed true for you, He will provide the way for you to accomplish it."
"Fighting through darkness and despair and pleading for the light is what opened this dispensation. It is what keeps it going, and it is what will keep you going."
"Cast not away therefore you 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.