I can't help myself. I have to go here...
I've long since learned that the only thing I have control over in this life is my response to events, decisions or other happenings. Because I only have control over my response, I've learned to rely on a power greater than my own. I am not perfect. I need all the help I can get.
Throughout my life, I have often turned to my father for advice and comfort. I viewed him as a great and wise powerful person with tremendous love, self-control, wisdom, and as a great teacher. Dad generally had the perfect responses and reactions to a wide variety of situations.
Then there were times in my life when my Dad wasn't present, be it physically or distracted by one of seven other kids in the house. I can't blame him really; that's a lot of kids! However, I always knew he was there or would be there when he was really needed.
There was one particular night I drove the eighty plus miles home from college while in a state of worry and fretting over so many things; a relationship I was in at the time, academics, personal issues, spirituality, finances, life direction, etcetera. I just didn't know what to do.
My Dad was still awake at two in the morning. Just sitting in the living room reading his scriptures. Pondering over something that was keeping him awake. Later I found out he was worried about me and didn't know why.
So this is the circumstance when I walked in to the house. I was just hoping I could slip in unnoticed and go down to my old room, where I could be in the comfort of "away-ness" from the environment I had just fled.
It's a blur as to how that conversation started or went, but what I do recall is my Dad saying that I can't always run. Sometimes I have to stand and face the issues. I am responsible and I have power over my reactions. I have power over my behavior. Now these aren't the words he used, but these are the words that I'm using to describe my take home message.
Dad was there at a critical time for me. The impact is still profound. However, like I said before, there have been many times when my Dad couldn't be there for me.
At this point in time, I would like to let you know that it was at a fairly young age that I learned about God, but it wasn't until much later in life that I really learned how to spiritually rely on this unseen presence.
On the night I drove home from college and spent several hours talking with my Dad, I was in a state of mind wherein I couldn't have heard God talking to me if He were yelling; so He frustrated my father into alertness and preparation for my benefit.
There have been other times when presence from the Divine has carried and taught me and I have been able to recognize it. Such was the case on a particularly dark day several years ago.
On this day the Holy Spirit whispered to my soul that I really don't have to carry a particular emotional burden if I don't want to. If I'm willing to surrender, I can let my Savior release me from the tethers of fear, the unknown - of agony.
My response to this Divine teaching moment was one of relief, because this time I could actually understand and comprehend what it meant to let go of the burden and release it to my Savior.
I'm of the mind that because I am so imperfect, I need to rely on the saving grace and comfort of my Savior more often. The more I realize that my responses are all I really can control, the more I realize just how blessed I am to not only have a "present" father here on earth, but also an ever-present father with me, no matter where I am.
Today, I feel that comfort so sincerely that I couldn't help but share it in this manner. The magnitude of my thankfulness is beyond description.
Despite your individual circumstances, please know that all, even you, are indeed entitled to the loving kindness of Our Father in heaven.