Wow. Life. It’s amazing, and exciting, and heartbreaking, and terrifying, and yet somehow, through it all, I feel God’s grace, lifting me and guiding me along. I feel the Spirit whisper to my heart that God loves me in a way beyond my ability to even imagine.
He reminds me that he loves everyone in that same way. He loves my grandma’s neighbors who threw their dog poop over their fence into her backyard, just as much as he loves my grandma. He loves the mom who yells at her toddler for dumping flour all over the kitchen floor – “It’s snowing, Mommy!” – just as much as He loves the imaginative little girl who did that. He loves the felon, and the victim, and the survivor.
Whether we consider ourselves or someone else a work of art or a piece of work, God loves all of us. He continually points out to us the way He wants us to live, so we can learn to be like Him, so we can live with Him someday. I don’t always follow His directions very well, but God’s pretty awesome about letting each of us try again.
The thing I’m learning really hard right now, is that Heavenly Father is 100% on board with letting us learn the hard way for as long as we insist on doing it. We can’t make someone else not learn things the hard way, because people just have to learn however they choose to learn. The more we try to force some other way onto someone else, the more they will resist, and the longer it will take them to learn the things they need to.
One of my daughters is so good at letting her kids take some bumps and falls, because she knows that it’s the most effective way for them to learn how to control their highly adventurous natures. She would rather they risk a broken arm now, than greater harm later, because they didn’t learn from the smaller risks.
Tomorrow I’ll sit in a court room and listen to a judge make a decision regarding someone I care about. A part of me wonders, if I’d spoken up sooner or been less worried about whether other people thought I was being loving enough toward her, if I’d been more willing to let her fall hard on her backside a long time ago, would she have learned sooner from her choices? Would she have made more progress by now? What could she be accomplishing now if I’d been less worried about what everyone else thought about me or my supposed hard-heartedness?
Oh what a mess we create when we worry more about what anyone else thinks than we do about what God thinks! There’s sure plenty of that going around making big messes for us to clean up.
The thing I have to remember is that God uses a bigger clean-up shovel than I could even lift, and that He wants to help me clean up my messes. (I have to say, that is so amazing!) Just like He wants to help my loved ones clean up their messes. Just like He wants to help that neighbor who tosses crap over the fence. But God doesn’t force His help on any of us. We have to ask for it, and then listen to the answers that come and act on them.
“5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.”
Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 32:5
Dear Heavenly Father,
I really like this promise. Could I please request slightly more advanced notice?