For several years, I've been attending Time Out for Women events. I frequently run into friends there. I feel the Spirit there. I sit with my mother, sister-in-law, aunt and cousins and feel loved, accepted and strengthened.
Friday night opened with Sister Virginia Pearce, a former member of the Young Women general president,explaining how the Lord puts topics in our path over and over when we need to learn something. I knew this would be true for me as the event continued. Her topic was forgiveness. She spoke of how the Atonement can fix the things we can't heal on our own.
On Saturday, Chris Williams spoke of having enough faith in Jesus Christ to believe that everything would be OK someday. The Savior has already born our burdens, sorrow, grief and pain. He left us with the question, "What burden would you lay at the foot of the Lord today?"
Sara Wells and Kate Jones from the food blog Our Best Bites reminded us that sometimes things aren't as they seem. People tend to put forward their very best selves. Sometimes what you see on the outside is just a mask covering what is really going on within.
John Bytheway mentioned that it is not just having faith. We need faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over and over while I listened to the speakers, an image of my 6-year-olds kept coming to my mind. Every time they are hurt, regardless of where or how, they want a bandage. As soon as they have covered up the injury and gotten a kiss from Mom, the tears stop and off they run to play.
Soon they will learn that some hurts can't be healed with a bandage and a kiss. There are times when your heart aches. When the wound isn't deep, sometimes it will heal on its own. You move on with your life and forget what was done or said. Then there are the times when if you leave the wound alone it will fester and infect other aspects of your life, but you don't have the power to fix it yourself.
It is in these moments that you need to use the Atonement. All hurts, all wounds, all sorrow, grief and pain can be healed through the Atonement. Christ can carry the burden with you and eventually, if you let him, take it from you. He alone has the power to heal that hurt in your heart, the one you let no one see.
After I had this inspiration, Emily Freeman took the stage to discuss how to get through those middle moments. Even if you have knowledge that everything will work out all right in the end, sometimes you have to get to the end before everything is all right. We can do this by following five steps.
1. Trust that the Lord is aware of us and knows how to get us through. We need to remember that there is a plan for us. The Lord knows the end of the story, even if we can't see it yet.
2. Trust in his word. If we are not regularly receiving answers through our prayers and scripture study, we need to change how we are doing those activities.
3. Trust his timing. In his way and his own time, the Lord will provide.
4. Trust in his example. Remember to stop to help with compassion while you are on the way to something else.
5. Sacrifice will lead to miracles. What is it that I need to learn and what am I willing to sacrifice to learn that lesson?
This year at Time Out for Women, I was reminded that the Lord is aware of each of the women in attendance. He is aware of those who should have been sitting in the two empty chairs next to me. He is aware of me and knows not only how my story ends, but how to help me get there.
Liz Stone used to try to be a perfect mother, but she found much more happiness in learning a lesson from each mistake. She blogs weekly about her misadventures with motherhood at lizhallstone.blogspot.com.