When I took this photo I shared on Instagram, "As I stare at the screen today trying to listen to know where to go next, what to say and do, I think of my grandmothers and how much they would have loved what I was doing. I feel them close, lending strength. I am the sum of strong, courageous people who loved the Lord. Their sacrifice is not lost on me. I hope they will be proud of the woman I am becoming and the way in which I am trying to honor them."
I just finished a wrestle.
I’ve been working on a project that is bigger than me. It pushed my knowledge. It required sacrifice not only from me but my family (who have been so supportive). At times it has required great faith as things have gone wrong and opposition has been strong. But the thing that surprised me about this project was how much God wanted me to wrestle and in the process how much I learned and grew.
As I reflect on all that happened with this project, (which I am excited to share with you soon, I hope and why I haven't posted much here lately), I once again find that the Lord prepared me for what was to come. Over and over again I see a pattern in how the Lord teaches me, always here a little, there a little in ways I don't always anticipate.
One of those ways was this talk by Sheri Dew titled "Will You Engage in the Wrestle?"
I don't remember how I found it, I rarely listen to things when they first come out usually because I'm studying something else, but I know the Lord's hand brought it to me that day. As I look back over my notes what Sheri taught was not new, they were principles I already knew, but for some reason, I was prepared to understand and learn her message in a way that penetrated my heart.
Now if you are one of my children reading this, yes I used the word penetrate and I know how much you dislike that word, but none of the other words in the thesaurus seemed quite right. I did try, just for you.
As I started to read and record the thoughts and feeling of my heart in my scripture journal I found that I had too many many quotes from the talk I wanted to include and reference as I studied. So I printed it off and added it to my journal as I studied. I also ran out of room so post it notes and other small pieces of paper were added. I did not know that this would be the beginning of a beautiful journey for study time. (I did write a little bit about my process here: scripture journal: today)
I'm not sure why I have felt strongly to share this today, perhaps there is someone who will be inspired by the scripture journal process, which I give all credit to the Lord. Or perhaps there is someone who is ready to learn from words in Sheri's talk or it might all just be that I need to acknowledge God's hand in my learning process. Whatever the reason, I love the spiritual wrestle and this past year has given me plenty of opportunities to understand more acutely what Enos was referring to in Enos 1:2.
I have a new appreciation for wrestling since Rock started the sport this year. As I watch him and his teammates learn techniques, become stronger through conditioning, and overcome the mental obstacles in their matches I also learned that limits are pushed, endurance is taxed, and just when you can't give anything else you must dig deep into your reservoir and wrestle a little longer.
The same is true with spiritual wrestling. Sometimes God gives us the easy answer, right? Sometimes it is almost effortless, but often we must learn new principles, build endurance as we practice what we have learned, and then there is the anguish that often comes through trials or questions that are not yet answered. Our limits are reached and yet we still have to find a little more faith to wrestle a little longer.
Sheri said, "Champion wrestlers tell me that it isn't necessarily the strongest wrestler who wins. It is the wrestler who knows how to leverage his strength to overpower his opponent. Spiritual wrestling leverages the strength of true doctrine to overpower our weaknesses, our wavering faith, and our lack of knowledge. Spiritual wrestlers are seekers. They are men and women of faith who want to understand more than they presently do and who are serious about increasing the light and knowledge in their lives."
I have loved studying this talk. I love studying the words of wise people and their testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel like Sheri's words have become part of me as this is what my recent wrestle as done for me. It changed me physically and spiritually. My love for the Savior increased and my understanding of the gospel grew in ways that will bless lives. I am so profoundly thankful for the reminder of God's love for me, for all of us. How I love the gospel of Christ!
There is so much in life that I have no control over, so much heartache, loss, a pain that I wish I could ease. There are so many with questions and struggles that I can't solve, but perhaps I might help brighten someone with a small give away.
I loved Sheri's words and have shared her talk in book form with several of my friends. I would like to also share 3 copies with you. So if you would like to receive a copy of "Worth the Wrestle" please leave a comment below sharing one way you feel God's love for you.
The winners will be chosen and announced next week on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.
On a side note, I do not personally know Sheri and I should probably address her more formally by "Sister Dew", but after my study and wrestle this past year I feel like we are friends and I always call my friends by their first name.