My Journey: Part II

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Power of Love

"We should not expect peace, or freedom, of faith or any other such gift from our divine head if our acceptance of His leadership is lukewarm, or grudging. If it is ritual rather than real righteousness we should not expect a reward. A detached, aloof allegiance is for him no allegiance at all. Our submission must be full, wholehearted and unstinting." 
Elder Christopherson, (You are Free)

Adding Eliza to our family was such a joy. She brought a balanced, happy, presence with her that all could feel immediately after her birth. Her birth was a wonderful, deeply surrendering experience that taught me the incredible power of Love. Deep inside me I was terrified for her birth. I had felt an abandonment by God during the pregnancy, so how was I to rely on Him to help me through her birth experience? Yet I knew I could not do it on my own. But I held onto the illusion that I could. I wanted so dearly to solve my internal struggles before she was born. But it did not happen. Labor came and it shocked me with the intensity that only a mother knows. I fell to my knees  and did my best to just "ride the wave" as I so often heard from other mothers.  My head kept telling me, "This is much harder than Sam's birth. I don't remember it being this difficult. I can't do this."

 Each wave left me awestruck and speechless, until I was deeply lost beneath the pain. In my moment of greatest struggle something instinctively whispered to me to "connect with  Love".  I began expressing love. I told the midwife I loved her. I told my husband I loved him. I called out that I loved everyone, and I meant it. And something amazing happened, in my complete surrender to love, the pain began to subside. A miraculous peace and calm slowly flowed within me. I  focused on what needed to be done, and I was willing to do anything to birth this baby.  I began to breath and silently express love.  Love for my baby. Love for those helping me.  It was the only thing I held on to, the only thing I could hold onto. Everything else had failed me. Within minutes Eliza was born.

I was lost in this world of endorphin's and relief as I held her close to me. Not only had I just given birth to a beautiful soul, but I felt something shift in me. In my surrender I had found something that never will fail. Something strong enough to overcome all things. Something that healed me. It was Love.

With the weeks that followed Eliza's birth I lived off of Love.  In joking Zach said during a 2 am feed that I might have to start using energy drinks to keep up with a toddler and a new baby. I smiled from my rocking chair and said, "No Zach, Love is my stimulant." We laughed, but I was serious inside. I was witnessing, living, experiencing how Love overcomes all things. A phrase came to mind, "Let go of your expectations and Love." I used this as a mantra all day. When my toddler would not go to bed and was wild and restless, or when I had a fussy new baby that just could not be consoled, or when my very tired, hungry husband came home needing my support, I would let go of my expectation that everyone should console and love and help me first. I would let go of my expectation that I wanted my toddler to sleep now so I could do what I wanted. I let go of my expectation that my husband should only help me because 'I am the one so tired and exhausted from taking care of the kids'. You see? I was letting go of my selfishness. I was letting go of the belief that somehow people and circumstances controlled my peace and happiness. When I let the expectation of how I expected people to be, or how I expected my life to be, Love began to flow within me. And this Love was powerful. It sustained, it overcame raw emotion, it gave me energy when I thought I was going to flop on the floor, it gave me clarity of mind, it gave me a gentle demeanor, it gave me a stamina to deal with every emotionally charged situation.
Here I am up late at night with a sad baby (with the bathroom fan on) but full of love. I seriously could have gone on for hours.  I wanted to take a picture for myself to remind myself how God's love sustains us. Nerdy, I know.

I noted that in every difficult situation that arose there was this gentle voice in my heart that was telling me what I "should" be doing to help me through the crazy moments.  And this voice was always a voice of Love. I found that listening and following this voice was not always convenient, comfortable, easy, or enjoyable but, when I listened and followed it I was led to this mighty Love. And I craved this love, because I saw and felt what it could do. So I listened and followed.

In my scripture study I came across a verse that explained this process in which I had found all that I needed from moment to moment to have joy.

John 15:10
 If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This was it! This was the answer to my struggle. To my pain.  God had not abandoned me. God is and always was there and He is love.  He  sustains our very lives with His love. I had shut Him out with my struggle. I had let it make me bitter, not better.

From this process I internalized some very important truths.


1. Love heals, and strengthens all people, and circumstances. Moroni 7:45-48

2. God is Love. 1 John 4:8

3. This Love is found by obeying the commandments given personally to you. These commandments tell you "all things that ye should do" as discussed in 2 Nephi 32:3.

4. Regardless of outward circumstances, the result of obedience to His personal commandments is love and inner peace. John 16:33

5. Love never fails. In every situation and condition Love will not fail you, but will give you exactly what you need. Moroni 7:45-47

6. Nothing can separate you from this Love. It is always accessible. Romans 8:35-39


I believe that Christ overcame all things through Love. And he gained this Love through ultimate submission to the will of the Father IN ALL THINGS. He obeyed, and Love carried him through and healed him of our broken-ness. Just as Christ made the atonement possible through complete submission, so we gain access to that same atonement through our submission to God.  God is not hostile. He is Love. And when we surrender to that Love that He offers us, our wills become one, full of love for ourselves, and other people. This power heals and sustains and satisfies even the most broken soul, and it never fails. Give it a try.

"Of all that can be said of Our Lord, it is His love which distinguishes Him most. He is the greatest because He loves more than any of us. He is the greatest, but He acts as the least. His message is delivered by entreaty. When we finally see Him as He is, we will recognize Him as the very definition of love; for God is love. (1John 4:8) In turn, His followers will learn to love. " (Come Let us Adore Him)

I sincerely would love to hear your experiences with how Love has healed you, or the story of your beautiful surrender.  This is overcoming all things through Christ. You may email me or post in the comments.

Much love,


to read Part I of my journey see this post.

to read Part III of my journey see this post.

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