The Titanic and Darkness

Der Untergang der Titanic
Der Untergang der Titanic

I have been down on myself a lot lately, because I have been feeling like I am weighed down with the problems of the world, and yet I have a lot of good going on!

I think the problem is both exhaustion and the way I see life. I have always pushed myself to be the best that I can be. I love to stay busy and can’t stand having nothing to do. I want my life to make a big difference for the people I know.

Lately, I have felt a bit like the Titanic. I feel like I’m supposed to be unsinkable, and that nothing should ever get me down. From what I understand of the Titanic, it could have sustained a pretty big hit that left a large hole in the hull, and it still could have gotten back to port safely. Instead, what brought it down was brushing alongside an iceberg that left hundreds of tiny holes along the entire length of the ship. It’s the pinpricks that I’m fighting.

I don’t have a lot of answers for when life gets like this, but I do know that God still cares and that He will always answer anyone who turns to Him for answers. Here’s what I do know

  1. Sometimes, the lessons we need to learn require a long time to teach. I found this out when I sought a blessing of counsel and comfort from my husband, who holds the priesthood of God. As he was pronouncing the words of the blessing, I learned that God isn’t stepping in to make things better or easier because He has something important for me to learn.
  2. Everyone goes through periods like this. In speaking about listening to the Holy Ghost and receiving personal revelation, Elder Bednar talks about having the faith to just keep taking the next step when we seem surrounded by fog. Maybe faith is having the humility to not always know where everything is headed!
  3. Choosing to have faith is the strongest position to take. I was reading a blog post a couple of days ago about why people choose to embrace and wallow in pain. The two reasons that stuck out the most to me were that pain feels normal and that people get a lot of attention when they are in pain. Both of these positions are weak, and are in opposition to what the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches life should be. Having faith that things all happen for a reason, that everything can work together for the good of anyone who loves and follows God, and that there are better days ahead end the crippling effect of wallowing.

So, I have no real answers, other than to always turn to Christ in faith. Perhaps the best way to close is with the words to one of my favorite LDS hymns:

1. Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene–one step enough for me.

2. I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.

3. So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Text: John Henry Newman, 1801-1890
Music: John B. Dykes, 1823-187