Thursday, March 12, 2009

Let-down Theory

After an intense emotional, physical, or spiritual experience, there tends to be a let-down.  I experienced this when I gave birth without an epidural.  Immediately after and for a few sustained hours, I felt amazing, powerful, and strong.  I was excited for my accomplishment and felt so good.  After a while, though, I become depressed, dejected, and disgusted at myself.  I felt weak and stupid and felt that everyone else saw me in that same way.  Unfortunately, it is the latter that has stuck in my brain.

Recently I had an experience that was so coincidental and such an answer to my prayers that I couldn't help but believe that it really was the work of the Lord in my life and others.  I felt happy to have been of service and grateful to be so trusted.  Only hours later, doubts crept in and I began to wonder if I had actually caused the incident instead of happening to be there at the right time.  I felt that I had compounded the problems more than eased them and once again felt helpless, sad, and disappointed.  

Why does this happen?  I know such is the case with new converts.  They have powerful experiences that testify to them of the truth and they follow that path.  Then suddenly, or slowly, the same wonderful experience begins to turn sour.  Questions and doubts fill their minds.  They begin to feel lonely and rejected.  Instead of strong they feel weak.  Suddenly all their flaws and mistakes are brought to the surface and they begin to view themselves in their carnal state.  

I can see from my own experiences how easy it is to succumb to those feelings in negative ways.  I am beginning to see the great humility and spiritual strength that the people of King Benjamin must have had to be able to turn to the Savior immediately.  Perhaps this is how Peter felt as he was walking on the water and why he began to sink.  But he did not hesitate to plead for help and reach out his hand. And we see that the Lord did not hesitate to lift him up.  Alma 34:31 says: 

 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and aharden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the bday of your csalvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and dharden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.

The let-down appears to be an essential part of conversion and coming to Christ.  The question may not be if it will happen, but rather how we will respond.  Will we harden our hearts and turn away from the only source that can bring comfort?  Or will we be as Peter and reach out our hand and our voices in pleading for the Lord to lift us up again?  

Perhaps this is what is meant in the Relief Society Declaration when it says we "seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost."

1 comment:

Coach Ann said...

I know how you feel This brings up some very good points. Satan loves to plant doubts of all kinds in our hearts.