God and I have been having some pretty interesting chats lately. Mostly it’s been me spilling my guts, the ramblings of my brain, the fears from the deepest parts of my soul, and the constant begging for the slightest hint of relief. Relief from things that many people in this world cry out for relief from, and boy did I cry.
He asks us to trust ourselves, trust in the divine potential we had in heaven and brought with us. We didn’t lose it.
I am so grateful for the atonement, so incredibly grateful. It is such a vast divine truth that I hope someday to be able to fully comprehend at the level it is intended to be comprehended at. It provides relief from sin—and the guilt, shame, blame, and fear associated with it. However, it is also so much more than relief from sin (although, that’s a pretty big part in and of itself). It’s a way to transform ourselves, to move us forward to the divine beings God intended us to be. It provides a safe haven from the storm, a strong hand to hold steady to, a reassurance that we are loved beyond measure, and so so so much more. I knew this then, and I know it now, but what I’ve always struggled with is the actual application.
So here I was, on my knees, begging for forgiveness, begging for relief, begging to feel worthy to even be called a daughter of God again. I was working through pain I had caused myself, others, and vice versa. I was muddling through mistakes years ago and some a little more recent. I was dealing with the knowledge that I hadn’t and wasn’t living up to my divine potential. I was trudging through the disappointment I felt in myself. All the while these nasty, negative emotions swirled around in me, and I couldn’t get them to leave.
I would sit at work and think over and over about how much of a failure I was. I would drive home and the thoughts of failure would drive home with me. I remembered every.little.mistake I had ever made, even years ago, and felt the sting and pain of being human with each and every one. I believed (and still do) in the atonement, but I just couldn’t see how that would work for me. I didn’t see how I could ever confess enough, plead for forgiveness, or ever do enough to qualify for complete peace.
I couldn’t see how I could possibly be forgiven for the mistakes I made. I couldn’t see how I could possibly do enough to make up for my shortcomings. Let me repeat that again, I could not see how I could do enough…ever. I had done the Godly sorrow thing, but I was having a bit of trouble bouncing back from it. I was stuck in a deep hole, a pit of despair you could call it, and I couldn’t see any way out. I jumped, I clawed, I begged, and prayed for a way out, but alas there I was at the bottom still.
I was trying everything I knew how to do. I went to church, I prayed, I read scriptures, I fasted, I talked with close friends, I talked with family, I talked with people I knew were supposed to help me. No one had the answer. No one had the one step trick to letting go and letting Christ take it for you. They all just kept telling me to draw closer to the spirit and keep praying, so I did.
Then, one day all my efforts just clicked into place. I realized exactly where the thought of “it will never be enough” was coming from, and I sent it straight back. You see, we couldn’t possibly ever do enough to make up for our mistakes because we don’t have to. It isn’t our responsibility to save ourselves and the world, that’s Christ’s job. He is the Redeemer and Savior of the world, not you and definitely not me.
I realized that Christ had heard the pleadings of my heart and was oh so willing to take every last drop of pain I would let him. I learned to trust him and to trust in his guiding hand to help me let go of the things I thought I possibly couldn’t. I learned to let him fill in the gaps with his perfect love and mercy. I let him pay every debt.
Christ doesn’t require us to be perfect to be worthy of his atonement. He doesn’t require us to be perfect to be worthy of his love. He just asks us to try, to be honest, to do the things we know we need to do in order to let the atonement work in our lives. He asks us to keep trying, to block Satan out of our minds—even if that means casting him out multiple times a day, and keep trying. He asks us to trust ourselves, trust in the divine potential we had in heaven and brought with us. We didn’t lose it. We were and still are sons and daughters of God, even if it’s a little hard to remember exactly what that entails at times.
Don’t ever let Satan tell you that your efforts couldn’t possibly be enough. Hit your knees, ask God for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, ask him to help you right your wrongs, get up, and get to work. I promise you that it’s okay that you will ‘never be enough’ because Christ already is. He’s done it, he’s paid the price, and he’s just waiting for you to say “okay Lord, here, take it.”
The best part is he will, I promise you with all the energy of my soul, he will.
“But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.”- 2 Nephi 1:15