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April 9, 2012

Studying and Writing

About a month ago my Bishop asked to meet with me. I went in to meet with him, fully knowing I had been struggling. I present quite well on the outside as doing well and staying put together. He knew better. He didn't even need to ask. We had an hour long conversation about many things. It was an emotional conversation on my part. He was patient and loving. Not sure if I deserved his love and patience. I was quite discouraged and shutdown when I left his office. The key part was the last 5 minutes of our conversation.
He firmly testified to me of his belief in the Atonement and the power it can have in our lives if we allow. Also of his belief in me. He stated, I know this is a challenge for you and you are making progress and I firmly believe you will overcome and gain control and experience the peace and love our Savior has to offer you when you are ready to accept. Then he gave me an assignment. I have been given many assignments by Bishops in the past and have done some, but many have been left with nothing done on them.  

His assignment for me was to daily invite the Savior to be with me, ponder my state of spirituality and to study the words from our prophets on Faith, Sincere Intent and Desire. Really........I didn't want to study or read anything. I was so upset that the thought of studying was the last thing I wanted to do.

I left and was determined to stay angry......angry at my Bishop because he had put me in my place, but really I was angry at myself and my actions. As soon as I sat in my car, I had an overwhelming feeling of peace and love, just as my Bishop described I would and I knew things would turn out alright. I emailed my Bishop as soon as I got home to express my gratitude for his love, patience and council.

Back to my assignment. I hadn't given it much thought until my foster child and I had had such a hard night the day after meeting with my Bishop. His behavior was off and I was off. I was stressed from work and dealing with him. My usual way of dealing with stress is watching tv, playing computer games, surfing facebook or the internet in general, which all are unproductive and often lead to engaging in p*ornography and m*sturbation.

Before I turned the TV on or wasted hours on the computer and set myself up for failure, I saw my scriptures sitting there and my thoughts went back to the assignment my Bishop gave me. So I went to LDS.org and typed in faith and the rest is history.

This assignment has literally saved me this month. It has been one of the most stressful and challenging, yet rewarding months I have had in a long time. I really didn't think reading and writing about three words would make such a great impact on my life.

Each morning I would take 15 minutes before anyone else got up and ponder the words of our prophets. It was the best way to start my day. It helped me have a different perspective as I went throughout my day. I found myself looking forward to the evening when I would have time to study and write.

Instead of wasting my evenings after work with TV and useless computer time, I engaged with my scriptures and the words of our prophets and I have become changed. My heart has been touched in a way like never before. I have a renewed sense of hope and belief in myself that I can do this.

I also recognize I only have two months of current sobriety, but it's the longest time period I have had in the past 18 months. I need to be keenly aware of the adversary and his attempts to get a hold of me can happen subtly and before I know it I am caught. What has been different this month is I am armed and prepared. I am doing the dailies, that I once mocked. I get now how important they are to recovery and spirituality in general.

I am in such a better place today than I was a month ago. Instead of turning to old behaviors when I have been stressed and giving in to the adversary, I have engaged in studying and writing. I have discovered writing is very calming and therapeutic for me. I am gaining a better understanding of faith and desire and the roles they play in recovery .

I am grateful for a Bishop who loves and cares for me and was inspired to give me an assignment to help keep me focused during a very difficult month.