Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 2: More Of A Father, Than A Supreme Being.

I used to go to this class.
It was technically a “Gospel Doctrine” class.
It was on Sunday nights at 7:00 until…well, until we were exhausted from feeling the spirit.

It wasn’t your average class, though.
It was a class full of sinners.
It was a class full of people who had thought about becoming better, but had no idea where to even start.

And it changed my life.

You realized that you weren’t the only one out there messing up along the way.
You weren’t the only one making human mistakes.

And we were all the most opposite people you could ever think up in your head.

There was the member of the Tongan Crypt Gang, who had seen people killed.
There was the boy who watched his dad beat his family his whole life.
There was the pretty girl who saw something entirely different in the mirror.
There was the boy who didn’t know how to function without drugs.
There was the weird girl from Alpine who never wore shoes to class.
There was the boy who watched his dad get taken away to jail.
There was the girl who morphed into whoever people wanted her to be.
There was the boy covered from head to toe in tattoos that meant things to him.

But we all had one thing in common – we wanted to be better.

The most hardcore people you could ever think of, would leave with puffy eyes.
And the most hopeless people you could ever dream up, would leave a little more hopeful.

One day, our teacher was talking about prayer.
And he gave us a challenge – a challenge that rocked my whole core.

He said, “I challenge you guys to say a 10 minute prayer. Out loud. Go somewhere quiet. Go somewhere where nothing will be able to distract you. Put your phones on silent. And time yourself. Say a 10 minute prayer, and I promise your relationship with God is going to change.”

So I went home. And I went in my room. I turned off the lights. I silenced my phone. And I started to pray out loud. It started out like this, “Heavenly Father. Thank you for this day. Thank you I could go to church. Thank you for letting me feel the spirit in class tonight. Thank you for letting me come home safe from it. Please bless me to sleep well.” And then I got a brain-freeze. Because that’s all I usually said in my prayers. I was out of all my rehearsed lines. And because of this, for the first time maybe ever – I was forced to actually start talking to my Father In Heaven. And what started out as, “thank you for this day. Thank you I could go to church safe,” turned into, “Heavenly Father, I am tired of feeling like this. I am tired of letting my parents down. I am tired of being a terrible example to my brothers. I want to change so badly, but it just seems like I’m never going to get there. Why can’t I do anything right?” And it continued like this for 30 minutes. And I cried. And I yelled. But for the first time, I felt Him listening. I felt His compassion. And I felt His love. And it changed me forever. It changed the way I pray, and it changed the image of who I pray to.

God listens. Isn’t that the craziest thing you’ve ever heard? There are a bajillion people on the Earth, all complaining about different, stupid things every second, and He listens to every single one of them. Scratch that. He doesn’t just listen to them, He actually gives a crap about them. He actually cares about your fight with your parents. He actually is worried about the way your best friend is making you feel. He actually comforts you after you fail an 8th grade math exam. Can you believe that? And the craziest part of all of this, is that He takes the time to answer us.

The time I prayed to Him about my self-esteem issues, I felt his compassion literally hug me.
The time I was praying; crying and screaming and sobbing my head off, he immediately calmed my mind, and I was suddenly so calm, I had to sit down.
The time I prayed to Him about my decision to go to Africa, He gave me a nauseas feeling in the pit of my stomach, so I would stay home and meet the love of my existence instead.

The second He stopped being some Supreme Being in Heaven I sent a request to, and started being a Father who cares about me deeply – is the day my relationship with Him changed forever. 

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