I should be oil painting right now.
Church today brought about a lot of impressions and insight that I think would be beneficial to write about. Writing, I've found, is a good way for me to organize my thoughts and teach to myself what I already know. Just because I am praying for clarity, doesn't mean it will all of the sudden come to me. So I am working for it...by writing.
Sacrament brought a lot of comfort to me. I was able to feel that God knows me and what I'm experiencing right now. Of course I already knew all of that, but the reassurance doesn't hurt. In fact, it helps. Go figure. Why does it help to know that someone knows me and what I'm going through? The only answer I can really think of: it gives me the comfort of knowing I am not alone in this world. I have free agency, but I don't have to make my decisions on my own. God knows me. He knows everything.
I think its amazing that God knows everything. There's this quote I found in the book The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle--a quote that actually influenced me to purchase the book--and ever since I've read it, I haven't thought of anything the same. "Words, no matter whether they are vocalized and made into sounds or remain unspoken as thoughts, can cast an almost hypnotic spell upon you. You easily lose yourself in them, become hypnotized into implicitly believing that when you have attached a word to something, you know what it is. The fact is: You don't know what it is. You have only covered up the mystery with a label. Everything, a bird, a tree, even a simple stone, and certainly a human being, is ultimately unknowable. This is because it has unfathomable depth. All we can perceive, experience, think about, is the surface layer of reality, less than the tip of an iceberg." God understands the mysteries. He understands--what is for us--unfathomable depth. God understands the whole iceberg. God understands the unfathomable depth of my soul, being, thoughts, purpose, hopes, fears, feelings, everything. What better being is there to turn to when I can't understand my own self or my own life?
The whole point of agency is to "become," or grow into the person I need to be in this life, learn the things I need to. God knows the choices I will make, because, like I said earlier, he knows all things. The choices I make and the process I go through in my life to make them, help me to "become" who I need to. Like Elder Hugh B. Brown said about Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Isaac, "Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham." God knew what Abraham would do. But Abraham had to figure that out for himself. Right now, Aly needs to learn something about Aly.
In Sunday school I learned, through reading the experiences of Joseph Smith and through the configuration of the class discussion, that I have so many tender mercies in my life. I have noticed them, more frequently, this past week. Last night, for example, I talked to my mom on the phone (which can always bring me comfort in times of trial) and moments later, my brother Nathan called me (which doesn't usually happen, but turned out to be such a blessing), and while I was on the phone with him, Kimaree called and my niece Alainna sent me a text message just letting me know she loves me. I hadn't told anyone I was having a rough night, but I feel like they were all inspired of God to think of me at the exact same time. Another tender mercy of the Lord is my living situation--I am so blessed to have Victoria in my apartment and as a friend. Without her, I'd have no one here to eat lunch at the Nordic with. I am blessed to know Jordan, to experience love through him, and to have his great example in my life.
I learned in Relief Society that change is one of the only things that is constant in this life. Like Dan in Real Life says, "Instead of asking our young people 'What are your plans?', 'What do you plan to do with your life?' maybe we should tell them this: Plan to be surprised." If I just know that God is at the head of everything, that I have the spirit with me and I'm on the path I need to be on personally, I can have faith and really believe that everything will work out how it should. That gives me a sure confidence that I can get through my challenges.
I know God lives. I know he loves me and it it evidenced through his tender mercies. I know that I will be delivered. Yeah, church was good today.
Now I will oil paint.