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I am studying Psychology and Sociology at Utah Valley University, and working at a treatment center for troubled teens. I love life, being with people from all cultures, speaking Spanish, and traveling all over the world. I will never stop laughing, dancing, singing, enjoying, appreciating, and just being.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"for the JOY of the Lord is your s t r e n g t h"

(Nehemiah 8:10)

I found myself in church on sunday, hopeless and desperate, rustling through the scriptures for anything to feed my hungry and spirit seeking soul.  With the soothing sound of the speakers voices muffed in the background, my mind was racing with thoughts of worry and concern and the only word I could find myself constantly coming back to with all my flips of the pages in my messy and marked up scriptures what the word STRENGTH.  I guess I was feeling pretty weak and I felt that the answers I was really needing at such a hard time in my life was some physical and emotional strength from someone or something.  I found this slightly random scripture in the book of Nehemiah (who has ever really heard of this book/studied it?) and I read it over a few times in my mind wondering what it actually meant.  


I was low and weak and for a moment realizing that this meant the Lord was not happy with me at all because of my lack of emotional/physical energy....?  weird.

I then continued to "feast upon the words of Christ" and read as much as I could about strength and what it is and how to get it.  I read in Psalms' some more insight and my heart was lifted and inspired by its poetic and deep words...

Psalms 71:

 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou artmy arock and my fortress.
 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and acruel man.
 For thou art my hope, O Lord Godthou art my trust from my youth.
 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall becontinually of thee.
 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.
 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
 Cast me not off in the time of aold age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
 10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
 11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; forthere is none to deliver him.
 12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.
 13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with areproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.
 14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
 15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.
 16 I will go in the astrength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
 17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
 18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, andthy power to every one that is to come.
 19 Thy arighteousness also, O God, is very bhigh, who hast done great things: O God, who is clike unto thee!
 20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shaltaquicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
 21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and acomfort me on every side.
 22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
 23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto ashame, that seek my hurt.

I sat and pondered for a sec and just thought, "what a good attitude to have."  In such pain and sorrow, seeking deep and profound words of wisdom to tell me how to get strength, I found it quite simply in the humble words of a faithful man that the answer was that it is all about your attitude and your belief on where you stand with your relationship with God personally, regardless of your circumstances or situations at the present moment.  Easier said than done right....?  I remembered some of my most favorite and uplifting scriptures I had found throughout my mission as well as shared with other people who were struggling or needing some strength and courage.

Romans 8:31,38-39

  31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, whocan abe against us?

 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able toaseparate us from the blove of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And he said unto me, My agrace is sufficient for thee: for mybstrength is made perfect in cweakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ maydrest upon me.
 10 Therefore I take pleasure in ainfirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in bpersecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am cweak, then am I dstrong.
2 Nephi 4:17-30

 17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great agoodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O bwretched man that I am! Yea, my heart csorrowethbecause of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
 18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily abeset me.
 19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have atrusted.
 20 My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through minebafflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
 21 He hath filled me with his alove, even unto the bconsuming of my flesh.
 22 He hath confounded mine aenemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
 23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given meaknowledge by bvisions in the night-time.
 24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty aprayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
 25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been acarriedaway upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
 26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath avisited men in so much bmercycwhy should my dheart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
 27 And why should I ayield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to btemptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my cpeace and afflict my soul? Why am Idangry because of mine enemy?
 28 Awake, my soul! No longer adroop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the benemy of my soul.
 29 Do not aanger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
 30 Rejoice, O my aheart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the brock of my salvation.

Is it really that easy to shift our view and thoughts on things from negative to positive and be able to regain such strength and courage from a Lord that loves us and that is filled with joy when we are strong....??  I think it is!  It is our attitude and our thoughts that fill us with God's power, courage, and strength daily.  We are the ones that decide and choose if we are strong and then once that decision and attitude is put out there, then we are given that heavenly help and boost of physical and emotional stability and strength.  I believe that once we out loud recognize these things and we create how we feel and who we are, then we are empowered and then we can do great things and have uplifting and positive experiences.  What good examples of these positive attitudes do we have in the scriptures!  I really don't think that we are afraid that we are not strong and we are not great but the exact opposite.  I think we are afraid of discovering the power we actually have and what we can do and become in our lives with that divine gift.  Why do we fear our own greatness?  Why do we hesitate to tap into our Godlike selves and continuously look up and progress with every day that comes to us?

Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

(it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

Embrace the light and do not run from it.  Grab a hold of your strength inside of you are use it to your benefit.  Achieve greatness in all you do and when it does seem like all has failed, remember that you are the one letting yourself and your strength fail and just change your attitude and thoughts and you will be given that strength and power back to continue to press forward with faith and go about doing good.

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