The Addresses:

Sister Cassidy Cheyenne Steele
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission
12025 Justice Ave
Baton Rouge, LA 80816

My email is

Saturday, April 6, 2013

An Uphill Battle

My last post was a post of how peace can come even in the hardest of times, and not to be a Debbie Downer, this may have the opposite message.

Satan knows us far better than we know ourselves. He knows just how to make us hurt, either through sin or heartbreak or affliction. He knows precisely what makes us tick. He also knows that he has to amp his game up when we are striving to do what the Lord wants us to.

Take this semester, for example. It has been one of the most spiritually rewarding times of my life, but it has also been one of the absolute most difficult. Satan is throwing everything he can at me. I broke my wrist and have an ugly scar, my voice seems to be getting worse instead of improving, I'm stressed at school and have in a few occasions lacked even the money to buy food, and I've been feeling a lot of very, very discouraging thoughts about myself, which is pretty normal in my case, but this semester has been amplified by external situations.

The highs are great. Today, at general conference, I received some of the most direct and exact answers to prayers I have ever received in my life. It was like the general authorities were speaking directly to me, and I'm sure others can relate with that. I was crying tears of joy by the time President Eyring finished his talk.

The lows? Not so great. I found out one of my very good friends who I happened to have a very large crush on had started going out with one of my other really good friend. My voice recital was rough. I just was getting pounded on by Satan--"you're not good enough." "Of course this happened again, it always happens (literally, every guy I've liked since seventh grade on up has started going out with one of my other good friends.) because who would ever want to date you?" "You're always going to get passed over." "No one would ever look twice at you." The thoughts keep coming, and I'll be honest. It's really hard to stem the tide because I already think those things about myself without being emotionally unstable. Add to it sobbing in the middle of your room because you hate the way you look and you feel ugly and worthless and heartbroken over something that could have never happened only further strengthens those thoughts.

All of this (well, not the dating part--that just kind of sunk in today) happened within a day. I went from crying tears of joy to sobbing on my bed. Yeah, I cry a lot. (Side note--I don't cry when I'm in pain, for some reason. Just when I'm feeling the Spirit or really sad. I didn't cry a drop when I broke my wrist and could feel every minute of the hour before they got me to the ER and doped up.)

Yeah. It's a stupid reason to be really, really upset. I know and you don't need to tell me that. That is just one of my particular weaknesses that Satan knows very well. Here's a secret that since this is now on the internet, is no longer a secret: I have been asked out twice. Ever. The first one I had to turn down because I had a Madrigals gig, and the second one only happened because it was a Madrigals thing. It has been really, really hard for me to be best friends with two of the most popular girls in my social circle, girls who were prom royalty and constantly dating, girls who were absolutely beautiful and fantastic in every way. While they went out with all of my guy friends, I sat at home, miserable. It's been that way literally since the seventh grade. I can't tell you how many times I have cried myself to sleep. Why am I telling you this? So you understand that this is one of my most painful weaknesses. Feeling unloved and unwanted is one of Satan's best tools against me. It's very effective and very painful.

Everyone has their Achilles heel. For some it's an addiction. For some it's sleep or distractions or just doing too much. For some, it's like me, a mind full of hate towards yourself. Whatever it is, I know it's hard. I know what it feels like to be attacked at the very point when you are the most vulnerable.

We've just got to pick up the pieces and keep going. If life is a journey, these times are when we are crawling on the ground through a muddy forest underbrush. We can't see the sun and we don't see an end, but we know it has to end eventually. There is no such thing as an eternal underbrush.

It's not always easy. Frankly, as I saw on a commercial for President Eyring's book, "the path of righteousness will always be uphill." And right now I know in my heart that everything will work out, but I am still in a low right now. I'm still in the underbrush--it doesn't go away as fast as you want it to. I want everything to happen on my timing, and not on the Lord's. But in theory, I know that the Lord's timing is as inspired as the events that occur. Maybe right now I just have to tell myself that until I get out of this mud. Once I can see the sky, once the rain clears I know I will see a purpose for my trials. Until then? I'll do what I'm supposed to, relying on past faith and experiences to help me make it through this. The darkness is only the night, it's not permanent and the sun will rise again.

Keep calm and carry on.

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