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tallulahmarie

single by choice?

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I really like what you have said in this post.

I am concerned though...and would like your input/feelings on my concern.

So many times in life I have experienced a great deal of heartache/opposition in the process of trying to do "God's will." So, at times, I totally want to run away from Him and trying to do His will. How can I be true to Him and myself at times like this? It seems like this quandary is still occurring in my life. Right now it's the ward I'm in. I have had such a difficult time in this ward. I want to move; yet, I feel the Spirit telling me to stay, which is what my husband wants as well. I will probably stay; but, with some foreboding. It's just going to continue to be hard.

This is just an example. Care to share your thoughts?

Thanks

Dove

This is a very good question! I will do my best to answer it, according to my (limited!) knowledge and experiences.

I know what you mean by the will of God being difficult, often very hard to follow. The conflict and difficulty arises when in our hearts we know the will of God (through the Spirit), yet we desire something else. This is our "inner house" divided against itself - this division is what creates the feelings of heartache, disappointment, frustration, etc - they all stem from this fundamental division within us.

The only way to absolve this division is a deep surrender to the will of God. And by will of God, I mean very specifically the guidance of the Holy Spirit within us - the prayer of our hearts. This is how we know the will of God, we must be very in-tune with the Spirit within us. The will of God (as some mistakenly think) does not mean conforming your life to some external standard - it means following the Spirit within you.

Back to surrendering to the will of God (again, assuming it truly is God's will for you - which is known through the peaceable Spirit). It is a lack of complete surrender to this Spirit that causes all of the pain and hardship in our lives. I know this sounds like a blanket/absolute statement, yet it is true. Example: when I was about to graduate from college, I personally wanted to chose one career path, yet felt the Spirit guiding me another way. For months before graduation I was in a lot of stress - the stress was caused by my attachment to my own way. When at long last (after much "banging the head against the wall") surrendered to God's will in my heart, the stress and conflict disappeared - I was completely at peace in this matter.

Eastern philosophy teaches that it is our desires that cause us pain/heartache/disillusionment/etc. What they mean is those desires not in alignment with the Spirit within us cause these negative states. When we become as a child, and have no desires save it be the Spirit within us, life is experienced as peaceful and without conflict. This is what the scriptures term "entering into the rest of the Lord" - at this point life ceases to be a struggle, in a sense, the war is over, we are one with God's will and conflict has ended.

For better or worse, to get to this point of deep surrender in all things to God, it often requires that a person must suffer significantly through their own experiences before they finally realize the futility of "going their own way" and turn all over to God. This has been my experience - only when you finally get fed up of the frustration/disappointment/heartache/conflict/etc are you finally ready to drop it all, to lay it all at the altar. And if you do indeed turn it all over to God completely, it really is like a re-birth, you are never the same, it is like becoming a child again, they live completely and without conflict.

I hope this helps! I know it's hard to surrender one's desires to follow God's will. Yet in my experience, the conflict and hardships in our life arise from this fundamental conflict - us vs. God - and deep humility and surrender is what brings lasting peace.

P.S. One other point I will mention is, in order to be fully at peace, we must surrender to the peaceful promptings of the Holy Spirit within us. This is following God's will in the truest sense. If, however, in our efforts to follow God's will we are not seeking the guidance of the Spirit, but are simply conforming to some outward standard or "shouldism" (I should do this, I should do that) this will not bring peace. Indeed, such an approach of trying to live up to external standard may very well bring about more conflict, because it did not originate from our own hearts! Peace comes from following the peaceful guidance within you - seek that and follow it, and as sure as day follows night, you will be at peace. When you do this, you are true to God AND yourself, because in reality God speaks to us through our own spirit. The will of God must be sought within - this is how we know the will of God.

Edited by jb789

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Well, to be honest, you are still young. Maybe you just need a few more years. Plenty of people get married and have kids in their 30's and 40's. Here is Utah (where everyone is young and married including me. I'm 22 and have an almost 4 year old!) I have a neighbor who is the same age as my mom (45-46 ish) and started having kids when she was 38 or 39. She has 4 now. She got married later in life after schooling and everything. In our family it's all about getting married and having kids young (Grandma's were 17 and 20, mom was 19 or 20, sister was 19, I was 21, etc.). In my husband's family they are all older (Husband was 28 when I married him, brother and sister were both in their mid 30's and they don't have kids yet either).

Don't rush. Right now, the time may not be right. But in a few years? Maybe it will be. Or not. The Lord has a plan for you even if it's different from the mainstream. Keep praying, do what is right, and the answers will come in the Lord's own time. I can't say what's right for you. But I can say, that if you are content doing what you are doing, then don't worry too much. As long as you are trying to keep the commandments as best you can, everything will fall into place.

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This is a very good question! I will do my best to answer it, according to my (limited!) knowledge and experiences.

I know what you mean by the will of God being difficult, often very hard to follow. The conflict and difficulty arises when in our hearts we know the will of God (through the Spirit), yet we desire something else. This is our "inner house" divided against itself - this division is what creates the feelings of heartache, disappointment, frustration, etc - they all stem from this fundamental division within us.

The only way to absolve this division is a deep surrender to the will of God. And by will of God, I mean very specifically the guidance of the Holy Spirit within us - the prayer of our hearts. This is how we know the will of God, we must be very in-tune with the Spirit within us. The will of God (as some mistakenly think) does not mean conforming your life to some external standard - it means following the Spirit within you.

Back to surrendering to the will of God (again, assuming it truly is God's will for you - which is known through the peaceable Spirit). It is a lack of complete surrender to this Spirit that causes all of the pain and hardship in our lives. I know this sounds like a blanket/absolute statement, yet it is true. Example: when I was about to graduate from college, I personally wanted to chose one career path, yet felt the Spirit guiding me another way. For months before graduation I was in a lot of stress - the stress was caused by my attachment to my own way. When at long last (after much "banging the head against the wall") surrendered to God's will in my heart, the stress and conflict disappeared - I was completely at peace in this matter.

Eastern philosophy teaches that it is our desires that cause us pain/heartache/disillusionment/etc. What they mean is those desires not in alignment with the Spirit within us cause these negative states. When we become as a child, and have no desires save it be the Spirit within us, life is experienced as peaceful and without conflict. This is what the scriptures term "entering into the rest of the Lord" - at this point life ceases to be a struggle, in a sense, the war is over, we are one with God's will and conflict has ended.

For better or worse, to get to this point of deep surrender in all things to God, it often requires that a person must suffer significantly through their own experiences before they finally realize the futility of "going their own way" and turn all over to God. This has been my experience - only when you finally get fed up of the frustration/disappointment/heartache/conflict/etc are you finally ready to drop it all, to lay it all at the altar. And if you do indeed turn it all over to God completely, it really is like a re-birth, you are never the same, it is like becoming a child again, they live completely and without conflict.

I hope this helps! I know it's hard to surrender one's desires to follow God's will. Yet in my experience, the conflict and hardships in our life arise from this fundamental conflict - us vs. God - and deep humility and surrender is what brings lasting peace.

P.S. One other point I will mention is, in order to be fully at peace, we must surrender to the peaceful promptings of the Holy Spirit within us. This is following God's will in the truest sense. If, however, in our efforts to follow God's will we are not seeking the guidance of the Spirit, but are simply conforming to some outward standard or "shouldism" (I should do this, I should do that) this will not bring peace. Indeed, such an approach of trying to live up to external standard may very well bring about more conflict, because it did not originate from our own hearts! Peace comes from following the peaceful guidance within you - seek that and follow it, and as sure as day follows night, you will be at peace. When you do this, you are true to God AND yourself, because in reality God speaks to us through our own spirit. The will of God must be sought within - this is how we know the will of God.

What a wonderful answer! Thank you.....

I guess I feel/believe, wrongfully or not, that it is when I am trying to follow His will for me that everything becomes so difficult and trial ridden. Maybe this is all necessary for my eternal growth and development. After all, if I'm not willing to give all that I am and all that I have to God, then I am not worthy of all that He has to give me in the eternities. So, I believe much of my suffering is as a result of attempting to draw closer to Him and being put through a "refiner's fire" in order to truly attain that goal.

On the other hand, I am quite vulnerable and overly reliant on the arm of flesh. This has given me quite a bit of heartache too......Perhaps God is working to excise this weakness from me to more fully come to Him.....

Regardless, your usage of the word "peace" is certainly worth noting to me and the context in which you used it.......You certainly did not say "fun and games," or "no opposition." You simply said "Peace," which I have long searched for.

Thanks again

Dove

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What a wonderful answer! Thank you.....

I guess I feel/believe, wrongfully or not, that it is when I am trying to follow His will for me that everything becomes so difficult and trial ridden. Maybe this is all necessary for my eternal growth and development. After all, if I'm not willing to give all that I am and all that I have to God, then I am not worthy of all that He has to give me in the eternities. So, I believe much of my suffering is as a result of attempting to draw closer to Him and being put through a "refiner's fire" in order to truly attain that goal.

On the other hand, I am quite vulnerable and overly reliant on the arm of flesh. This has given me quite a bit of heartache too......Perhaps God is working to excise this weakness from me to more fully come to Him.....

Regardless, your usage of the word "peace" is certainly worth noting to me and the context in which you used it.......You certainly did not say "fun and games," or "no opposition." You simply said "Peace," which I have long searched for.

Thanks again

Dove

Sure, I hope that helps! One thing I've found for myself, that was fairly startling when I realized it, was that I was the cause of all my "trials". Meaning, my impatience, my wanting to go my own way, etc, was the cause of the difficulty - not the external situation.

I see what you mean by the "refiner's fire". Years ago I experienced such a thing rather intensely, and then suddenly and unexpectedly it ended - I can see for the past few years I have felt very at peace, I almost don't make the distinction between "trials" and "blessings" anymore, they are almost one and the same.

The Lord speaks of His yoke easy and burden light. I don't think we were meant to go through life suffering - I think God wants us to be at peace, our souls to be at rest.

This has been my experience - no matter what happens I can have peace. As I mentioned, there might be a critical time in one's life where they have to pass the "refiner's fire" before the natural self/ego/etc is dropped, after which long-term peace ensues. I'm still not sure 100% about this, but in my experience it has been the case, I can honestly say I've felt at peace with myself and God for many years, perhaps it will never end.

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Sure, I hope that helps! One thing I've found for myself, that was fairly startling when I realized it, was that I was the cause of all my "trials". Meaning, my impatience, my wanting to go my own way, etc, was the cause of the difficulty - not the external situation.

I see what you mean by the "refiner's fire". Years ago I experienced such a thing rather intensely, and then suddenly and unexpectedly it ended - I can see for the past few years I have felt very at peace, I almost don't make the distinction between "trials" and "blessings" anymore, they are almost one and the same.

The Lord speaks of His yoke easy and burden light. I don't think we were meant to go through life suffering - I think God wants us to be at peace, our souls to be at rest.

This has been my experience - no matter what happens I can have peace. As I mentioned, there might be a critical time in one's life where they have to pass the "refiner's fire" before the natural self/ego/etc is dropped, after which long-term peace ensues. I'm still not sure 100% about this, but in my experience it has been the case, I can honestly say I've felt at peace with myself and God for many years, perhaps it will never end.

What an interesting perspective~I like your reference to eastern thought. The insights that philosophy gives me is very comforting....

Also, it makes sense that I am the cause of my own trials because of how I choose to perceive and deal with any given situation. I have often wondered if the reason I keep having trials in life is because my heart is soo hard. From what you have said, this seems to be true. I often struggle with external things. Mostly from other people. I certainly want to learn different coping patterns so that I can stop being hurt and offended so often.

The Spirit has often pointed out to me that my own lack of self esteem leaves me particularly vulnerable to the unkindness I seem to often experience from others. I get hurt easily because I am so willing to believe the negativity coming towards me. It's as much about forgiving myself for "causing" the unkindness as it is forgiving the person showing it.

The Spirit is always soo loving towards me..and gives me healing and comfort when I deal with the heartache I experience so readily.

Thanks Again

Dove

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PS. I certainly have believed that "true" suffering is very deeply part of the process of coming to Christ. I look at how so many saints in the Bible suffered and died for their testimony of Christ. Maybe they went through these things in a peaceful frame of mind. Very important for me to contemplate.

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PS. I certainly have believed that "true" suffering is very deeply part of the process of coming to Christ. I look at how so many saints in the Bible suffered and died for their testimony of Christ. Maybe they went through these things in a peaceful frame of mind. Very important for me to contemplate.

Yes, good point - I would think this is the case (saints suffering externally - physical pain/persecution/etc, but inwardly they have the Spirit to comfort them in mind and spirit). It's like being in the eye of the storm - outward life may be very chaotic, any number of things may happen, etc, but inwardly we remain undisturbed and at peace. A very telling instance of this was Stephen the prophet - while he was being stoned to death he had a vision of God and Jesus! So this might be a key to understanding how inward peace is always possible.

Edited by jb789

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very telling instance of this was Stephen the prophet - while he was being stoned to death he had a vision of God and Jesus!

Actually, it was his vision (and his telling of the vision) that resulted in his stoning.

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Actually, it was his vision (and his telling of the vision) that resulted in his stoning.

Right, yet in all likelihood he passed on (died) in a very peaceful state - during the stoning his vision might have well continued - his final words for the Lord to receive his spirit indicate this. The principle being that while the external world (body, actions of others, etc) can be in total chaos, total disarray, yet at the same time the spirit can be at peace. And this can be known through experience, proof of it doesn't necessarily need to be found in any scripture (as scriptures are essentially the experiences of others, such as prophets, etc)

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Hello, JB789;

I'm sorry not to write this sooner. Are there any books you could suggest I read about this line of thinking? I believe you tied it to Buddhism? I'm really interested in learning all that I can to remain at peace in difficult circumstances.

Thanks

Dove

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Hello, JB789;

I'm sorry not to write this sooner. Are there any books you could suggest I read about this line of thinking? I believe you tied it to Buddhism? I'm really interested in learning all that I can to remain at peace in difficult circumstances.

Thanks

Dove

Hi Dove,

Sure! For Buddhism books that have really helped me, a great one is "The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness", by Pema Chodron. You can find it on amazon, etc. For me this book was really transformational - it was so powerful to realize that we can find peace among any circumstance. Pema is actually a woman Buddhist monk - you can also watch videos of her speaking on Youtube - I always feel very at peace when I read her words or watch her, I think she is a wonderful person and full of light.

I think that reading this book would be a great start. I've read other books by Pema as well.

Anthony de Mello is also a wonderful person with great insights - he was a bit different, as he was actually a Jesuit priest, a psychologist, and he taught much from the Eastern traditions of Buddhism etc! He has several books - mainly I've watched many of his talks, you can find many of them here: awareness

A third person I'd recommend is Jiddu Krishnamurti - he was not of any particular religion/philosophy, but his words are so powerful and profound. His book "Total Freedom" was great - it doesn't touch so much upon suffering/hardship per se, but was an amazing read - he was such an illuminated person.

For starters I'd really recommend reading the Pema Chodron book I mentioned above. The wonderful thing about Buddhism is that it centers so much on finding peace in suffering/hardship. The others are great to check out as well - Anthony de Mello is often very amusing/fun to listen to, and he is such a happy guy. And Krishnamurti is very profound, almost amazing at times.

I hope these help you! I know they and others have been of great help to me.

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