Friday, 5 July 2013

Tender Mercies

Recently I had my heart broken by a situation among friends.  Old feelings of just wanting to be liked and accepted by your peers came rushing in.  Those raw emotions so prevalent in the teenage years still surface every now and then, even through the tempering of adulthood.  My heart hurt for me, for my family, and most of all for my children.

My heart was in turmoil.  As I typically do in unsettling situations, I start rehearsing conversations in my head.  I imagined a confrontation, how I would frame my feelings, carefully crafting my words.  I longed to make myself understood, clear up confusion, and reverse the situation for the future.

During these times, I find it hard to sleep.  Over and over and over in my head I ran through those conversations.  Tears welled and dissipated, hurt gave way to sadness which ebbed out to reveal the pain again.  I felt that if I could only write the perfect script, I could talk with those involved and heal.

But then I read a challenge from a Women's Conference (Time Out For Women) I love to attend.  It recommended re-reading the messages from April's General Conference.  So I picked up the magazine that contains all the talks and opened up to the middle.  My eyes fell on a talk titled "Personal Peace."  As I read through, the words became a healing balm to my soul.  It wasn't the obvious lessons of the talk that I saw, but three small sentences that tied together a principle so profound I wondered how it had never occurred to me before.

"At the birth of the Savior, a multitude of the heavenly host praised God and proclaimed, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

"His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness."

"The Savior's peace can blot out our hates.  Judgment is the Lord's."

In these passages, personal peace is directly tied to feeling love toward our fellowmen.  While I did not feel hate toward those who had mistreated me, I didn't feel good will toward them, I didn't have a love for them in me, and I certainly was making some judgment of them.  No wonder my heart was in turmoil.  I needed to call on God's peace to fill me with love toward those who had wronged me so that I could once again feel an abiding deep contentment.

The healing came in an instant, washing over me completely.  And while, in and of itself, this story has a perfect ending there, God's tender mercy did not just want to help me heal, he wanted to bring even greater blessings.  The very next morning a set of many incredible circumstances aligned so that I could meet a new woman moving to our town next month.  We spoke as though we had known each other for years, we had so much in common.  Amazingly, just as she was an answer to my own hurts, my friends and I were an answer to her pain of feeling alone after a move across the country.

It's amazing how God will not only heal our broken hearts but endow us with additional blessings as well.  He doesn't just want to wipe away a tear, he wants to see our hearts filled with joy.  These are two very different and separate actions, but God's love for his children is never more evident than when they are tied together, as they were in this experience.

No comments: