With the grueling schedule of the past six weeks in preparation and execution of my role at the Hill Cumorah Pageant, my resources have worn down a little at a time. Each day would end with physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion. I was being constantly rewarded and uplifted during the days, so the good and the difficult were doing a fairly decent job of evening each other out. To be honest though, the exhaustion started to wear on me, and I found my resilience waning. Issues that wouldn’t normally be hard to deal with (as well as some that normally WOULD be) left me feeling discouraged and disheartened. I asked my Heavenly Father for help, and I found some things that answered my plea and gave me the motivation I needed to finish out the week strong!
First, I found this quote in an article by Elder Jeffery R. Holland: “My appeal to you is that you nurture your own physical and spiritual strength so that you have a deep reservoir of faith to call upon when tasks or challenges or demands of one kind or another come. Pray a little more, study a little more, shut out the noise and shut down the clamor, enjoy nature, call down personal revelation, search your soul, and search the heavens for the testimony that led our pioneer parents. Then, when you need to reach down inside a little deeper and a little farther to face life and do your work, you will be sure there is something down there to call upon.”
His words of encouragement reminded me that when it doesn’t feel like we have much to give, just placing one foot in front of the other is all it takes to move forward. The important part is that we continue to build up that reservoir so we never find it completely empty, even if it doesn’t feel very full sometimes. After reading this, I started thinking, “Okay, I can do this, I can do what Heavenly Father is asking of me!” until I found another article, by Camille Fronk Olson, in which she helped me to adjust my perspective:
“It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” We mistakenly deduce that we must first prove our worth and righteousness before the Lord’s sacrifice will cover us or His grace enable us. We may come to believe that we should trust in our own efforts rather than humbly acknowledge God… If we can just get control over our world– Our addictions in all their varieties… our insistence that our house always be immaculate, our fascination with outward evidence of education and success– then we can finally be cheerful. Christ declared, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
This helped me to shift the burden from my own shoulders to share it with the Savior. It’s not that I must fill my reservoir so that I can do hard things. I must fill my reservoir so that I can allow my Savior to carry me through them.