Sunday, February 19

...Strengthen Thy Brethren

I had a dream years ago that has stayed with me ever since.

I was sitting in my bedroom, and my mom came in. She said, "I know what you're going through... and I know what you've done. But I need to tell you that if you don't change you'll lose your ability to help your little brothers."

Or something like that.

The dream was pretty straightforward - God knew me, knew what I had done (both good and bad), and was warning me that if I didn't shape up I would lose my ability to help other people in the world.

At first I wondered how that would happen. Was God going to spiritually smite me, or take away a talent, or invoke divine punishment on my soul to keep me from being around His children?

No. It was much simpler than that.

If I, myself, was not in tune with God, I would slowly lose my ability to see the needs that others have, lose my ability to see their feelings, and lose my ability to inspire them to come unto Christ.

And when someone really needed help, God would send them to someone else.

Not to me.

My own soul hasn't mattered much to me in the course of my life. Whether it's the feeling of, "I'm broken and halfway-damned already" or a piece of bipolar worthlessness speaking, telling me that *my* soul is in danger of hell isn't new news.

But the souls of others...

Other people matter. And the greatest meaning I have in life is helping other people save their souls.

The thought that I needed to repent so that I could be there for others shook me.

And beginning with the dream years ago and stretching through to now, that's one of the things that has the ability to help me fix my life - to pull out of sin and focus on God - realizing that I need to be better if I want to be able to be there for others.

I've seen both sides of the line. Times when I've made epic mistakes, and both felt unworthy to reach out to others and unable to help anyway. Times when I was able to be there for people and touch their hearts in miraculous ways.

I just want to testify that it's worth it.

Staying true to the gospel - by repenting and coming back - is worth it.

Taking the time to read and study the scriptures is worth it.

Praying to God and trusting Him, even and especially when I don't know what tomorrow and life will bring, is worth it.

It's worth it for me.

But, even more in my book, it's worth it for everyone else.

Perhaps before this life God told me what He could give me to help me help others. Depression so I could understand sadness and sorrow. Loneliness to help me reach out to others. A broken heart to push me to heal those around me. Temptation and darkness to help me share light. It would put me in danger, but if I made it out alive, I'd also be able to help others.

I'm sure I would have said yes in a heartbeat.

Now I just need to make good on the promise I made to Him and to myself.