Some days it just feels hard to breathe. Every minuscule attempt to move my weighed down lethargic body to action takes enormous effort. My thoughts are either driven by a deep desire to climb back into bed and shut out the world, or I can’t seem to formulate any at all. It takes all of my strength just to keep breathing, moving, not giving in completely to the darkness that is trying so hard to engulf me. I feel weak. I am so tired of fighting this battle. I sit in this chair hour after hour…it’s become my place of comfort. I love it and yet I despise it. The contentment it offers is deceiving. The initial warmth I feel now seems to hold me hostage; smothering me, as numbness begins to creep in and overtake my every sense. This is nothing new; I have fought this battle before and emerged conqueror…today I just don’t have the strength to fight it…so I sit here and feel its binding tentacles engulf me body and soul.
I am not alone in my struggles; it seems more and more I am finding out about others like me. The reasons behind the feelings may be different, but ultimately we are all fighting the same war…to keep breathing…to find purpose in our life…to hold on to hope for a better tomorrow. Even the Book of Mormon prophet, Nephi, spoke of his emotional battles.
“…notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. …O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul?”
Nephi is right! Why should I give in to this struggle? Why should I let the adversary have power over my heart? I may feel alone…I might even want to be alone, but I am not, nor will I ever be forgotten by God. So I will hold on. I will fight a little bit harder. I will follow Nephi’s example and attempt to implant his words of encouragement deep in my soul!
“…Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. …Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? …O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh… Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God.” 2 Nephi 4:17-35