I think my last post was quite depressing, and I'm sorry about that. I'm feeling better about everything today so hopefully that means I can let it go. The real reason I want to write, however, is because I had a wonderful experience that I want to share.
Today I attended a baptism for a girl in my ward. I wasn't aware until a couple months ago that she wasn't a member and has been investigating the church for some time. I was quite excited to hear that she was going to be baptised, and although I don't know her all that well, I wanted to go to support her.
I was amazed at how many people came! We almost filled up an entire chapel, but I'm glad because that means she has support. Going to an important event like this was a good opportunity for me to reflect and to remember how important my own membership in the Church and testimony are to me. I also felt so loved and welcomed from a lot of my fellow ward members. I've been gone a lot recently so I haven't seen many people. It always makes me feel good to know that I'm missed. :)
But all of this is aside from the point. The neat experience came during the special musical number. This sister's boyfriend and his family were singing "Come Unto Jesus" and the congregation was asked to take out their hymn books so they could join in on the fourth verse. It's been awhile since I have sung this particular song, and I didn't remember all the words. As I listened, I was struck by them to the point of tears:
"Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden, Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed;
He'll safely guide you unto that haven, where all who trust him my rest.
Come unto Jesus, He'll ever heed you, Though in the darkness you've gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you. From darkest night into day.
Come unto Jesus, He'll surely hear you. If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you, from brightest mansions above."
Reading the words helped me feel the love my Father in Heaven has for me full force. I knew that He is aware of me, and he is strengthening me through this difficult trial. I also gained a greater testimony of the Atonement and understood its importance to me personally in dealing with my sadness. Several friends have told me they hope that if nothing else I can feel the love of my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ always. Today it was made clear to me just how strong that love is.
Heavenly Father will try us, and He might even try us to the limit of our endurance, but He'll never leave us alone or try us above what we're able to bear. And miracles come along the way, sometimes at unexpected times or places. I just hope I can keep what I felt today close to my heart so when things do get really hard, I'll remember who is the true source of my strength.