How Firm a Foundation

It can't always be sunshine and roses. Sometimes the clouds roll in and the darkness comes after us. As hard as we try to outrun its shadow, we occasionally get caught in a storm. We fight and argue over trivial things, trying to ignore the pain in our hearts. And when we can't run any faster, we fall under the cloud's downpour. Our emotions pour out, we fall down, hold each other so tight and cry until the world gets blurry as the pain overtakes us.

For some reason, this weekend was hard for us. It was, figuratively, stormy. We really struggled with feelings of hurt and anger. We feel the 2 year mark fast approaching, and we sometimes sit back in disbelief that we still don't have a baby. This weekend our infertility was just so painfully real to us, and we had to just take a moment to sit on the kitchen floor and cry together.

But the sun does rise when the storm passes. We dry our tears, we smile again, and we continue in hope.

Since I was 17 years old, and my wonderful mother posted the words to my bedroom mirror, How Firm A Foundation has been my favorite hymn. I especially love the words of promise in the 3rd and 7th verses:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

We need not fear or be dismayed. God comforts us and stands by us, and sometimes HE even carries us until we can walk on our own again. He never deserts Tyler and I through our struggle. He holds us tightly and keeps us together, even when we feel like we are falling apart. He puts his arms around us when the storm hits and holds up an umbrella.

Besides the hymn, How Firm a Foundation is also the title of a beautiful talk by Thomas S. Monson. I have been studying it yesterday and today, and have been taught so much by his wise words. I just have to share this. I hope that it might help any of you with whatever struggle or trial you may be enduring right now.

"At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel’s end, no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” (Jeremiah 8:22). We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone."

He offers some helpful guidelines to gain and maintain the foundation needed to survive spiritually in the world in which we live:

1. First, fortify your foundation through prayer. As we pray, let us really communicate with our Father in Heaven. It is easy to let our prayers become repetitious, expressing words with little or no thought behind them. When we remember that each of us is literally a spirit son or daughter of God, we will not find it difficult to approach Him in prayer. He knows us; He loves us; He wants what is best for us. Let us pray with sincerity and meaning, offering our thanks and asking for those things we feel we need. Let us listen for His answers, that we may recognize them when they come. As we do, we will be strengthened and blessed.
2. The Second guideline: Let us study the scriptures and “meditate therein day and night,” as counseled by the Lord in the book of Joshua (1:8). Spending time each day in scripture study will, without doubt, strengthen our foundations of faith and our testimonies of truth.
3. The third guideline involves service. The service that counts, the service to which all of us have been called: the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.

As put these guides to use in my life I know I will be blessed to feel the comfort of my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. My hope revives as I study my scriptures, pray faithfully, and serve others. 

We take each day as it comes; sunny or stormy, the days are what we make them. We can choose to wallow in the shadow or dance in the rain.