You’re Not Going to Feel Like This Forever

A couple weeks ago I took Milo to the aquarium with some family. I dare say it was the happiest day of his life (he is only two, after all). He was fascinated and thrilled by everything he saw, especially the penguins. I forgot how adorable those chubby little birds are.

0bfa9822-3e32-4663-8c7d-38cf429517b0

“I so excited! I so excited!” He squealed from one exhibit to the next. When you experience something through your child’s eyes, it becomes that much more magical.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

It was the perfect day.

Until it wasn’t.

All at once on the drive home, and for no apparent reason, all the happiness and gratitude I felt that day was swallowed up by this tsunami of sadness. It hit so unexpectedly and with such force that I literally felt sick to my stomach. My head started to spin and darkness consumed me. I was completely blindsided by these feelings of despair and discouragement that weren’t there just seconds before. It didn’t make any sense.

Oh no, I thought. I’m spiraling into a depression. I can’t do this again.

Once we got home, I still couldn’t shake the feelings. I felt anxious and paranoid and fearful all night. After I got Milo to bed, I paced around the house, dwelling on my thoughts, sending silent please heavenward for relief and the ability to calm down.

I fell asleep feeling like the world—my world—was ending…..and nothing had even happened!

The very second I gained consciousness the next morning, I remembered my wave-of-sadness-for-no-apparent-reason incident from the day before, and it felt like all of those emotions were hovering over me, just waiting to taunt me.

Again, I prayed for some relief and for the blanket of sadness to just lift. Later in the day while folding laundry, I had the thought, You’re not going to feel like this forever.

I believe that was Heavenly Father’s answer to my prayers. He was reminding me that the darkness and unexplainable sorrow (the beginnings of another bout of depression) WOULD pass and that everything would be okay. Even though that thought didn’t necessarily change how I felt in that moment, it did give me something I hadn’t had the night before. It gave me HOPE.

It has been almost fourteen days since the onset of that all-consuming darkness. My brain has felt foggy yet my heart has felt poignantly sad and discouraged. But I keep telling myself that I won’t feel like this forever, and clinging to that thought has truly been an act of faith.

There’s a poem by Nayyirah Waheed that I love:

i don’t pay attention to the
world ending.
it has ended for me
many times
and began again in the morning.

That is exactly how I’ve felt over the past two weeks—that my world is ending. Is this irrational? Of course. Depression is illogical. But is it real and terrifying in my mind? Absolutely. I love Waheed’s poem though. While “the morning” might not literally mean tomorrow morning, because of the Gospel and because of Jesus Christ, we can someday have that bright new beginning free of darkness that we so long for. The Savior is our metaphorical sunrise; He disperses the darkness in our lives with His infinite light.

Sister Sharon Eubank gave an amazing talk about Christ’s light last weekend. She quoted the Savior Himself, who said, “I am the light [that] shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” And then she added, “That means no matter how hard it tries, the darkness cannot put out that light. Ever. You can trust that His light will be there for you.”

A full standing portrait of Christ in white robes, seen from the side, gesturing to the left in front of a wash of orange and yellow colors.

When it comes to depression, I believe that every time someone who suffers is willing to share about it, someone else feels a little less lonely. My goal with this blog has always been to be completely candid about my struggles, but to simultaneously offer hope to anyone who might feel like I do. I was worried when I started writing this particular post that I wouldn’t have anything comforting to say. But even as I type this, I can truly feel Christ’s light enter my life, easing, ever so slightly, the burden I’ve carried this month. Those words I felt from on high—You’re not going to feel like this forever—ring true in this very moment. I can feel the darkness starting to lift.

May this be a message of hope for anyone who wonders if they are doomed to forever feel what they are feeling right now. I can say with all of the energy of my heart that I know I’m not going to feel like this forever…..and neither are you!

 

A Soul’s Supernova

Last year, a friend I hadn’t seen in a while lost her child in a tragic, unexpected way. She demonstrated this amazing strength and inspiring faith as she posted about what happened.

Person after person wrote a message of love and sympathy, including me. And while I was typing and wondering what I could possibly say to be of any comfort whatsoever, it occurred to me in that very moment that someday too soon the notes of sympathy, the flowers, the tight hugs when words just weren’t enough—they would come to an end.

I can’t pretend for a moment to know what it’s like to lose a child, but I hate to think about how this friend of mine must have felt when the sympathy texts faded out and people no longer checked in with her to see how she was coping. It must have been soul-crushing for her as everyone else snapped back into their regular routines when her world would never be the same again.

I hope no one reading this right now has had to bury a child. It’s in the realm of unimaginable trials. But no matter what it is you have faced before, or currently face, or will face in the future, at one time or another we will encounter that one trial that divides our lives in two:  life before it happened and life after.

I know there are many out there who are, right now in this exact moment, treading the waters of unspeakable grief.

Perhaps for you the grief is so poignant you wonder if any other emotions even exist—and if you’ll ever feel any of them again.

Perhaps you feel frustrated as you watch the rest of the world just move on and keep living when it feels your universe has literally stopped.

Perhaps if feels impossible to exist and simply be when you figuratively see the life you once loved in broken pieces on the floor.  

Occasionally, a star will end its life in a massive explosion called a supernova. This occurs when there is so much pressure on the core of the star that it literally collapses, sending debris and creating an incomparable explosion. In some cases, a once brilliantly bright star becomes but a black hole.

Sometimes the trials we face feel like a “soul’s supernova”—when, in a moment it seems, life as we know it crumbles, when there is so much pressure and shock and grief pressing against your heart that you feel it might literally burst, sending the pieces of your soul into the vast abyss of time and space.

And so, like a star that becomes a black hole, you’re left with the tragic remains of a would-be fairytale.

About a year ago, I had my own soul’s supernova. I’m not ready to blast the details of it into cyberspace just yet, but I will say this:  I never thought I’d bounce back from it. My soul, for a time, became a black hole of hopelessness.

It went on for months, this trial I couldn’t really talk about, this sadness so deep it was nearly impossible to even try to explain to anyone else. There were days and moments when it felt the world was mocking me with the happiness everyone else seemed to claim. Everyone else was still moving forward with life when I felt so stuck.

One night, during the worst of it all, I felt the comforting truth that when my universe stops, so does Christ’s.

That’s true for you too.

When we feel engulfed in our own sorrow, the Savior spends time with us there, in that dark place. He’ll come to us when it seems no one else can. He mourns with us. He sends peace. He offers reassurance that some way, somehow, the pieces of our broken hearts can be put back together.

And since this post is kind of about stars, let me draw attention to one of the many titles given to Christ:

The Bright and Morning Star

The Savior is a star that will never stop emitting the light we so desperately need, a star that shines in darkness.

I look at my life now compared to what it was a year ago and everything has changed. That soul-crushing trial is over. It didn’t just magically disappear overnight and it still affects my spirit in some ways, but I’m able to see just how much the Bright and Morning Star has healed me since then.  

It’s as if, in His infinite goodness, Christ reversed this supernova of my soul. He restored happiness and purpose where there was darkness and pain. He undid my heart’s explosion with healing only He can offer.

Elder L. Whitney Clayton said, “All of us will, at some time or another, have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own emotional journeys. In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief. That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the Light of the World.”

Jesus Christ really is the Light of the World. He is the Bright and Morning Star. He is the glorious Savior sent by a loving Father, and He shines unceasingly for us.

10 Scriptures that have brought me Closer to Christ

img_1530

#1.  John 14:18

I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you.

I love verses when Christ speaks directly to us, and I love this promise. When I am grieving, when I am wracked with sorrow, when I feel like my world and my happiness are shattered, it’s as if I can hear the Savior speak these very words directly to me.

 

#2.  Alma 7:11

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

This verse highlights the all-encompassing nature of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. To think His atonement is infinite in its depth and coverage leaves me speechless and bursting with gratitude. We can tell Christ nothing of pain and suffering—He knows it all. He walked every lonely, painful path. He understands every trial perfectly. He suffered everything—literally everything—for you and me.

 

# 3.  Mosiah 8:20

O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his people.

This scripture really resonated with me the last time I read through the book of Mosiah. Not only did Christ suffer for us, He suffers with us. His is the ultimate example of compassion and empathy.

 

#4.  Alma 5:60

And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep

Everyone yearns to belong, to be part of something, to feel accepted and loved. Christ welcomes all with open arms and He seeks after the one. I matter to Him, and so do you.

 

#5.  2 Nephi 9:21

And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.

This scripture really hit me the other day. One of the most heart-wrenching things to me is knowing that innocent children suffer, whether it’s abuse, neglect, loneliness, bullying, illness…..I’m grateful for this verse that emphasizes how infinite Christ’s suffering was. He literally suffered for “every living creature,” and that includes children. He can empathize with these perfect little souls when no one else can. As a parent, this is so comforting to me.

 

#6.  Isaiah 49:16

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

I remember reading this scripture as a high schooler, just after my family moved to a new state. Even though the students in my new high school were friendly and welcoming, I felt very alone. This was a powerful reminder that Christ understood that loneliness and that I wasn’t forgotten, for He had literally graven me upon the palms of His hands. There have been many times since high school that I found comfort in this same scripture.

 

#7.  Mosiah 16:9

He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

Ever feel like the world is just so dark—like your world is just so dark? Jesus Christ truly is the light of my life, a light that will never ever burn out.

 

#8.  Alma 5:33

Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.

When I think of Christ, I think of unbounded mercy. He doesn’t forgive reluctantly. He doesn’t rub our noses in our failures and mistakes. No, He stands ready to “receive” us with open arms the very moment we repent. And He forgives completely.

 

#9.  John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I have these ah-ha moments occasionally where I realize that worldly solutions will not work for the pain I feel or the grief I experience. When it seems peace eludes me entirely, this promise from the Savior Himself calms my troubled heart. He is the only true source of peace.

 

#10.  3 Nephi 11:14

14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

This is where Christ appeared to the Nephites in the Americas. I get a lump in my throat when I envision this scene and what it must have been like for these people to come forth, one by one, to feel the prints of the nails in the Savior’s hands and feet. We will each get that opportunity one day, the opportunity to be in the presence of the man who died for us and to feel the scars He bears in our name.

I love this quote by Elder Holland:

“In a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, our Lord of this sacrament table has chosen to retain for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in his hands and his feet and his side–signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect. Signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you. It is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul–he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness. Those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel.”

I’ll never have the right words to convey my gratitude for the Savior. I’m thankful for the trials in this life that have urged me to embrace Him and His healing balm. I can honestly say He has never let me down. I’m grateful for His mercy, His grace, His healing, and His infinite love.

 

Dear Reader

 

D78CC530-46E3-4CB3-9E77-B7AE7856D470

Dear Reader,

I can’t pretend to know what you are going through. I don’t know the details of your life, the silent pleadings of your heart, or the shattered dreams of your past. I don’t know what it is like to to face the things you face, to carry your daily load. I may not understand your grief or your heartache.

But I know someone who does.

As Elder Bednar so eloquently put it, “There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”

If you’re feeling alone in your suffering, may this be a reminder that you are not alone or abandoned. Christ is aware of you because He died for you. Whatever battle you are fighting in this very moment, He fought it first and He won! With His help and His grace and His love, you can too.

I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ. He is the answer to every problem and the prescription for any affliction. I love Him more than I can say. I know He loves YOU, dear reader.

Go forth and trust the Savior of the world.

Call upon Him.

Embrace Him.

Serve Him.

Remember Him.

 

Praying for you always,

Jessica

The Case of the Lost Wallet (Alternate Title: God Always Keeps His Promises)

 

I looked everywhere for it—under the couch cushions, in the refrigerator, the mailbox, the car, the hamper, the garbage cans—but my wallet was most certainly MIA.

And so too were my debit card, driver’s license, Temple recommend, and Chugz punch card.

I prayed mightily that I’d find my wallet because I dreaded waiting in line forever at the DMV for a new license, plus I was only one punch away from a free Chugz drink.

When I prayed about it, I had this overwhelming feeling that it would turn up, but after a few days of searching and backtracking with no success, I started to doubt.

At the time we lived near the county fair grounds and people usually parked on our street when parking at the grounds was full. I figured my wallet must have fallen out of my bag on my way in or out of the house, and that perhaps some fair-going passerby noticed it in the driveway.

So despite the feeling of hope I’d received when I prayed, I accepted that it was stolen and took necessary action to notify my bank and so on.

A few more days went by, and then weeks, until three weeks later I received a letter from the police department.

Great news:  Someone turned in my lost wallet!

I couldn’t believe it!

Waiting on this blessing that I originally felt God had promised me, and even giving up on it, taught me something grand about God and His goodness, and it is this:

God ALWAYS keeps His promises.

That’s hard to remember when you pray and plead for a certain blessing—a certain miracle—and heaven seems passive.

That’s hard to remember when your fragile emotions dim your eternal perspective.

That’s hard to remember when doubts cloud the answer you once received.

That’s hard to remember when God seems awfully generous toward everyone but you.

That’s hard to remember when you’re just so sick of waiting and waiting and waiting for a blessing you once felt God had promised you.

But this I have learned:

Delayed blessings are the best kind.

These are the kinds of blessings preceded by our personal growth, our refinement, the lessons we need in order to someday reach our potential. These are the kinds of blessings that will become the most cherished to us, the kind we will thank Father in Heaven for every day of our mortal lives and most definitely every day of our eternity.

If I had found my wallet right away, it wouldn’t have felt like such a miracle. I wouldn’t have appreciated the blessing nearly as much. The fact that I had to wait for it made it even more profound, and it made me vastly more grateful. I wouldn’t be here now writing about it and proclaiming that I KNOW God hears us and cares about our happiness even more than we do.

It would have merely been an experience appreciated in the moment but now long forgotten.

But because I did have to wait for it and because God did come through for me, I can declare yet again that God ALWAYS keeps His promises.

That knowledge encourages me to keep hoping and praying for the same miracle I’ve been praying for for years now. Trust me—it’s much more important to my life and my happiness than a missing wallet, and I’ve waited much longer than three weeks for it.

So to anyone out there waiting on a miracle, wait with faith.

If you’re single and you long to find your person, keep trying.

If you are heartbroken because of infertility, don’t lose hope.

If you’ve spent three decades praying for your spouse to come back to church, don’t stop.

If you’re pleading for your financial crisis to end, keep pleading.

If you’re wondering what you’re supposed to learn from your illness, keep trusting.

If you want to believe this Gospel is true, but the confirmation hasn’t come yet, keep embracing it with all your heart.

Remember what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland proclaimed, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”

That blessing I’m currently praying for feels out of reach right now, but I don’t plan to stop asking. Just because it hasn’t happened yet does not mean heaven has not intervened. The Lord has provided many tender mercies, reminders, and little bonus blessings along the way. I’ve been blessed with hope, patience, a renewed sense of faith and perseverance, more trust in Him, more compassion for others, and I know that one day when the miracle for which I plead comes I will fall to my knees, overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. The waiting will be worth it.

And until then, Christ will empathize with me. He won’t downplay the longings of my heart simply because He knows that one day my righteous desires will come to pass. 

So don’t give up! If you’ll just give God a chance, He’ll fulfill your every righteous dream.

 

Discipleship can be your Talent

203019/BLIND MAN/6964/LIGHT2

I’ve been thinking about talents lately, mostly about how too often I circle back to the conclusion that maybe I don’t have any. I am not musically-inclined. My athleticism is sub-par. When it comes to my dancing, the only person who thinks I’m good is my one-year-old. Public speaking? Woof.

To add to that, I don’t even feel very interesting. I’m not wealthy or intelligent. I am not well-travelled, bilingual, or particularly funny. I have a very modest Instagram following.

It’s really easy to feel inferior to what the world deems successful and worthy of attention.

My mom has been instrumental in helping me see that the word “talent” is so much bigger than all of that. That’s saying something too, because she’s insanely talented herself—in obvious ways. My mom is a very gifted calligrapher, teacher,  cook, artist, and interior designer. The woman can transform a space into something Pinterest-worthy on a very slim budget. It’s remarkable. These talents of hers have blessed me immensely, but as I examine my life, it is my mother’s more ambiguous talents and gifts that have meant the most.

Here are just a few examples:

She is more in-tune with the Spirit than anyone I know. We’re taught recognizing the Spirit is like learning a language, and I dare say my mom is fluent.

She is the best listener, an excellent advice-giver, and has been my personal therapist for over two decades (and she’s never charged me a dime).

She is thee most thoughtful and charitable person I know. She can make anyone feel special and valued. She always gives unpleasant people the benefit of the doubt and doesn’t hesitate to do good to those who have wronged her.

She is supportive and encouraging. She pushes me to pursue my dreams despite the setbacks, despite my failures. She is the reason for stacks of uplifting hand-written notes—notes I’ve revisited in times of discouragement and hopelessness.

My mother is an amazing gospel teacher even though she’d never admit it.

Her tenderness and compassion have calmed my depressive storms.

When I became a mother, she was there by my side instructing, encouraging, and carrying the load with me.

Most importantly, she introduced me to a perfect Savior she has spent her life following.

Obviously these things mean infinitely more to my life than that acoustic guitar solo I heard last week or the Olympic figure skating routine I just watched. When it comes to my mom, who she is has blessed my life more than what she can do. The best way to sum up her strengths? DISCIPLESHIP.

My mother is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ. She strives to do as He would, and it’s just an added bonus that I can talk to her face-to-face and hug her and sometimes even convince her to scratch my back. She is a piece of Him here on this crazy, chaotic earth, and her discipleship is blessing my life—and the lives of so many others—every single day.

God has thoughtfully placed other Christlike people like my mama in my life, people who make their life mission about others.

I was deeply impressed by one of my seventh grade students several years ago. This bubbly student of mine had many friends in the class, but one afternoon, while we were working on a project in the library, she subtly left her group of friends to go sit by and talk with a painfully shy student who was sitting alone. She did it so graciously, so sincerely, without making a scene of it. I guarantee my shy student will remember this act of love more than she will remember any of the performances at the school talent show that year.

I think anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an act of kindness can testify of that. Sure, an episode of Dancing with the Stars can be super entertaining, and watching NBA all-stars do what they do best is freaking jaw-dropping sometimes, but those are not the kind of things that reach deep into our souls and impact us in such a way that we feel truly valued, truly loved, truly worth someone else’s time.

Now, I hope it doesn’t seem like I am somehow discrediting athletes and dancers and all those with very apparent talents. I’m not. Those are valuable attributes. But my point is that the less conspicuous gifts matter too.  Said Elder John C. Pingree, “While some spiritual gifts may not be prominent by the world’s standards, they are essential to God and His work.”

Too often we shrug off our various spiritual gifts as talents, when really these are the abilities and strengths that matter most. Discipleship encompasses spiritual gifts in action.

Another person who comes to mind when I hear the word “discipleship” is President Monson (oh, how I miss him). He was a humble man who devoted every waking breath to addressing the needs of others. His talents included noticing the unnoticed, heeding the promptings of the Spirit, and extending love and tenderness to EVERYONE. Always, he put people before tasks. He was a peacemaker, an optimist, a gold-medalist do-gooder. I love what was said of him at his funeral:  In a world now saturated with ‘selfies,’ [President Monson] modeled selflessness.”

People like my mom, my former student, and President Monson inspire me to think less about how good (or bad) I am at something and more about what I can do for someone else. People like my mom, my former student, and President Monson inspire me to be more like the Savior.

As I study the life of Jesus Christ, I see a constant stream of goodness. Sometimes His goodness meant performing a life-altering miracle, like raising someone from the dead or granting sight to the blind. Sometimes it meant extending forgiveness to the anguished. Sometimes it simply meant washing feet. He loved, healed, forgave, taught, and served. He was loyal, charitable, selfless, kind, sensitive, merciful, compassionate, understanding, and gracious. His life has taught me that sometimes our influence isn’t meant to be seen, but felt.

He was the most powerful man to ever walk the earth, yet He never flaunted His abilities. He never did something good only to glance  look over His shoulder to seek validation from Peter or John. He suffered and died for all of humanity and never even took the credit. His life was always about you and me.

Christ has just always been there for me. Recently, He has helped me cope with a medical diagnosis and all its repercussions. He has lifted me. He has helped me see myself with a little more kindness. He has grieved with me. He has extended forgiveness when I couldn’t forgive myself. He has lightened my load and given me the courage to push through some pretty dark days. He has made all the difference.

Christ urges us to follow His lead, to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5). Said Sister Barbara Thompson, “He taught that no one is too important to serve others.” He invites each of us to be His disciples.

So, if ever you feel gypped in the talent department, remember that DISCIPLESHIP can be your talent, and that it’s the most noble thing you could ever pursue. It is not self-indulgent or competitive. It does not require a well-edited picture, clever post, or audience. It demands a willing heart in lieu of hours of perfect practice. And it is the path—the only path—to true, lasting, and fulfilling JOY.

 

Today Begins at 3 PM

B3225FEC-99DC-4AAA-868E-F121CA8628C1.jpegI am a sucker for young adult fiction novels. I read one recently where the main character said something totally thoughtless and stupid to this girl he loved.

He was kicking himself for the hurtful comment and wished desperately he had fallen out of heaven with some sort of “do-over card” that he could use in that very moment. He’d rewind those 30 seconds, obviously say the right thing, and their relationship would continue moving upward.  But no.

As I read that, I was screaming in my mind, “That is exactly what the Atonement of Jesus Christ is all about!!!” Except, because of the Savior, we fall from heaven with infinite do-over cards.

The reason I am thinking about the do-over card right now is because, well, I need one for this day. I woke up this morning from a few hours of low quality sleep. My head was pounding. My baby was screaming. The thought of facing the day just felt so impossible, so I pulled the covers over my head and told my husband I needed to be unconscious for a few hours before I could even bring myself to try.

By the time I finally forced myself to get out of bed, I felt I had wasted the entire morning. I went downstairs to an Everest of dishes in the sink, unsorted piles of laundry, an overflowing trash can, and an obstacle course of toys.

The overwhelming tasks before me triggered frustration. I neglected to thank my husband for feeding and bathing our son while I slept, and saw him off to work with hard feelings between us. I impatiently addressed my son’s fussiness, ate everything in my sight, and mostly just wasted a few more hours being mad at myself (and the world).

I sometimes tell myself on those crappy days that I just need a new day. I need a fresh start. I need the sun to set on this one horrible day,

and for the sunrise to usher in a new, hopefully better one. I’m so grateful that Heavenly Father has divided time into night and day, darkness and light. I love the symbolism behind that.

I had somewhat of an epiphany though: I don’t have to wait for tomorrow to come! I can have my do-over right this very second.

My favorite German man of all time (I.e. Elder Uchtdorf) said:

“God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord.”

I choose to embrace these words. It is about 14 minutes to 3 PM, and I have every intention of wrapping this up before then, getting off the couch, finally brushing my teeth, and saying a meaningful prayer. Then I’ll take my son to do something extraordinarily fun. I’ll send my husband a text of gratitude for putting up with me today. I’ll finally deliver that baby gift to my neighbor. I’ll brave the aisles of Walmart so that we no longer have to eat cereal for every meal. And heck, I might even exercise for the first time in forever. Most importantly, I’ll make Christ the center of my life for the rest of the day even though, so far, I’ve made myself the center of my life.

Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, here I am at 2:57 redeeming yet another one of my do-over cards. I don’t have to wait for a literal sunrise to start over. “Today” begins at 3 PM.

So, if you’re having a day like mine, or if one comes in the near future, remember that you can start over RIGHT NOW by hitting that metaphorical reset button. Even if your bedtime is 60 minutes away, make that last waking hour of yours something stellar.