I didn't have a chance to sit down all day, and when I finally DID sit down at 9 pm, it was only to activate online banking for my new account. I was so tired, I couldn't enter the right information in the right places. After taking a step back and letting my mind relax on facebook and recovery blogs, I went back to the banking site and worked it all out.
And then I curled up with my scriptures. I haven't been reading them as much lately. I still read, but lately I've been delving into conference talks and BYU addresses. Last night I felt strongly prompted to open my scriptures... not my Gospel Library app, but my actual, physical, real-life, pages-turn, SCRIPTURES. I didn't know why. My brain was fairly fried. What could the Lord possibly have to show my in this state? Maybe He wanted me to fall asleep quickly and He knows reading will do it?
I've never had a "and then I opened my scriptures and THERE was my answer" moment.
But last night.
I used the last ounce of energy I had to pull my Book of Mormon out, and I let it fall open on my lap. It opened to the Book of Helaman. I looked down and began reading Chapter 1. As I read, my heart beat faster, the words spoke peace to my soul. Answers to questions I didn't know I had bounced up from the words and presented themselves to me.
Recently, I opened up to someone. I told them my story. They were sweet and supportive and also... critical. The Lord has let me know that TALKING is what He would have me do. I can tell you right now... talking is NOT what I WANT to do because I'm scared of what others will think, but I feel the power of the Lord. I've never felt this way before. I've never felt the fearlessness of the Lord permeating my soul... it overpowers my mortal fear. There's no shame. There's clarity, calm, concern, love... and I KNOW this is what I must do.
And as I opened up, I was warned against it. It might do more harm than good.
The source of this advice is what made it so hard to hear -I trust this person, look up to them, value them, and have looked to them often as a source worthy of emulating in many ways. I was shook. I drove home with a black pit in my stomach, wondering if perhaps I had misunderstood the Lord, if I had talked too much, if I had ruined something.
The experience was a great marker tool for me -it really helped me understand where I really am when it comes to my great fear of the Natural Man. I can see I have work to do, and honestly? I think I ALWAYS will have work to do there. It's one aspect of my life I really struggle with. I see improvement, but this will be a life-long journey for Alicia.
As I read the story of the Nephites and their wars, I SAW myself. I saw my small town. I saw the familiarity between the wars fought in and around Zarahemla and the war waging in this corner of the Internet.
We're used to hearing the name "Coriantumr."
But what about the name, "Tubaloth." Do you recall that name? I didn't.
Tubaloth was the King of the Lamanites. He employed Coriantumr to fight his battles against the Nephites... indeed, he engaged Coriantumr in fighting a war for him. He supplied him with an army.
He stirred his people up to anger against the Nephites.
In the meantime, the Nephites were doing a smash bang up job of stirring themselves up to anger (just typing that out makes me want to quote, "If we were your kids, we'd punish ourselves!")... there had been murders and secrets and contentions and divisions among the people.
In other words, the Nephites in Zarahemla were RIPE.
The Lamanites were CUNNING.
And then verse 18:
And it came to pass that because of so much contention and so much difficulty in the government, that they had not kept sufficient guards in the land of Zarahemla; for they had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great city Zarahemla.
That last sentence... did you SEE it?!
"They had supposed that the Lamanites durst not come into the heart of their lands to attack that great city Zarahemla."
I've HEARD THIS BEFORE!!! I mean, it's been worded a little different but it sounds something like, "It will never happen to me." or "my kids would never" or "the youth HERE would never" or "My husband would never" or "I love living here... it's so pure."
Whether you define "great city" as a single person or an actual city or family... you cannot let your guard down.
Tubaloth is akin to Satan.
Coriantumr is akin to Pornography and Lust.
They don't attack from the outskirts of our beings... they attack at the heart, from the inside. It's a secretive attack that stems from our defenseless center and billows out into an explosive, destructive genocide.
And my talking will do more good than harm. What stronger reassurance could I have? Could the Lord be more plain?
The Source is always the best source.
And we -my precious brothers and solid sisters -ARE SOLDIERS. We are warriors in this battle of souls.
We are Teancums and Moronihahs and Esthers. We are busting down doors. We are standing in lion's dens. There is fire at our feet and demons at our back.
We will fight on.
We will fight together.
And we will fight out loud, in the name of Liberty, in the name of Love, in the name of God.