It is good to be seen. It's no wonder one of the greatest tools of the adversary is also one of our core human needs—a sense of belonging. Because if he can make us feel un-welcome or un-wanted, he can prevent us from real connection to those who can lift us up, from self-esteem and self-respect, and from ever reaching our God-given potential. Overcoming a sense of feeling like you do not belong somewhere is not easily done alone. But the antidote for many to break free of that looming, lonely place is simple. As Elder Holland demonstrated, a warm, welcoming act can be all one needs to feel like they belong—therefore unlocking so much more inside them than just a sense of belonging. It helped Elder Dube focus on the sacred work ahead, and encouraged him to press toward the mark.
It is not up to us, or anyone else. We may pray for the loneliness to end, or the pain to ease, or the fog of discouragement to lift, but in the end, it is not up to us. What might change if instead, we prayed for the patience to trust His timing, the strength to endure sore trials, the willingness to let God prevail? If it were in our best interest to take it all the hard, He would. But often, it isn't. Because within the hard lies the refining and the becoming.
Let go, leave it behind, and look ahead. How often are we the ones holding ourselves back? Refusing to forgive, convincing ourselves we cannot change, fearing the same mistake will rear it's ugly head again and again and again. And it might. But we forgo any forward momentum any time we let our focus remain in our past or in our fears. This is cause for anyone to feel exhaustion or defeat. Straighten up, square your shoulders, check-in with the Lord, and pray for eyes to see yourself as He does. You are worth it. Your potential is worth the daily fight. Never give up, and look unto Jesus “the author and finisher of our faith”.
"Elder Holland, through his kind, natural actions, helped me to overcome my self-centeredness and my feelings of inadequacy. He helped me to focus on the sacred and joyful work to which I had been called—to bring souls to Christ. He, like Paul of old, pointed me to press toward the mark."
"It is not so much about what we are going through in life but what we are becoming. There is joy in pressing toward the mark."
I am pressing ON toward the mark as I leave behind past fears, doubts, and temptations. I will never give up while I find joy in the process of my becoming.