A situation involving a family member, required me to face a hard and challenging task. Although I knew that I was following a prompting and that it was the right thing for me to do, I also knew that I clearly had a choice in this matter. I knew that if I helped, it would be very hard, but that I would learn some very essential things that would help me personally later in my life. I felt that if I chose not to help, that choice would be a source of great sorrow and regret to me.
I have learned that sometimes God asks us to do very hard things in order to learn very important lessons.
I needed to call several other people involved so that we would all be on the same page. I was afraid of a lot of conflict in the conversations. I was worried and nervous that I wouldn’t know what to say. I prayed for help and guidance. I asked my children and a few friends to pray for me, and as a result I felt a lifting. I felt added strength and confidence come into me. I felt peace. The conversations consumed over eight hours of my day. I had to set aside everything else I was doing and it was exhausting. As we discussed the issues, I was enabled with patience. I was given the things to say and I remained calm. Crisis was averted and we were to able to discuss some very serious and important matters. I was able to show caring for each of the people I talked to. I watched as their hearts were softened and began to open and change.
If I had gone into the conversations with guns blazing and accusations, defensive walls would’ve been thrown up and no good would have been done.
So often in situations of conflict we feel the need to be justified. We need to have the last word; we need to say our peace. Those feelings are not from God. The purpose of those feelings is to thwart the communication progress and to thwart change. In situations of conflict we often forget the Savior’s admonishment to turn the other cheek. When we have been hurt, our natural reaction is to lash out in order to hurt the other person in return.
What we actually do when we lash out is impede that person’s progress. We damage their self-worth and close their heart to the ability to change. In all actuality, we create more of the problem we may have been trying to change. You can never influence someone to change with angry or unkind words. Negative words become a self-filling prophecy. People become who they are told they are. If you want someone to be different, see them as different, tell them they are different, and pray to see them the way that God sees them. When we love people like that, we can encourage them to be better… and eventually they will be.
Helping others doesn’t just help them; it teaches me. It teaches me about how the Savior loves. It teaches me about his atonement. When we are His hands, we will come to know Him in ways we never thought possible. As we give our will over to Him and covenant to do His work, we will watch the grace flow into us, and that flow is so wonderful!