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Just before 9am one bright Sunday morning a number of years ago, I flew out of my house in a frenzied flury of flustration and frustration. I would be lucky to arrive at the church building and get seated the stand before sacrament meeting began.

Between being up all night with a newborn, trying to look like I hadn't been, finalizing my 20-minute talk, preparing for a big stake meeting I was in charge of later that day, and wrangling my {highly uncooperative} children into proper church attire, I was cutting it way too close for comfort. My panic level matched the clock's minute hand, ever ticking upward. Unfortunately, my temper did, too. By the end I was blowing up at everyone over everything.

In my current state--and as a visiting speaker in a congregation I was relatively unfamiliar with--I reeeeeeally didn't want to have to make the late-walk-of-shame that day: down the row, up the stairs at the front, and across to the empty chair between the stake president and high councilor, all while several hundred unfamiliar faces gawked at me. In that moment just wanted to draw as little attention to myself as possible.

Fortunately, I sat down just as the clock struck the hour. Phew!

But as you know, once your adrenaline has kicked in, it doesn't just go away. So there I sat facing an entire ward as I tried to hold myself together and bring my heartbeat and breathing to human levels.

I'd like to say this morning had been an anomaly. But that'd be far from the truth. And I really hated it.

During the passing of the sacrament, I had a very real wrestle with myself. It reminded me of the stereotypical cartoon shoulder angel/devil arguments, except this wasn't funny. At all. One side of me silently screamed, "You're such a failure! You'll never get this figured out. And if you do, you'll have already ruined your children, anyway. You can't do this! You're nothing but a hot mess!!" The other side quietly pleaded, "But I'm trying. Isn't that worth something?"

"But you're failing!!"

"But I'm trying."

For literally fifteen minutes, those two short phrases repeated themselves over and over and over. "But you're failing!!" "But I'm tying." Which was gonna win out? I couldn't seem to settle on either one of them, so the cycle just kept repeating. I guess the decision was made for me when the bishop stood to announce my name as the first speaker--it had to stop so I could focus on the message I was there to deliver.

Where did it end?

Where it should always end.

"But I'm trying."

Read the images from Doctrine & Covenants 124. The Lord agrees:

The outcome is far less important to Him than the effort.


So hang in there. You've got this.

And He's got you.

Click on images to expand.

(First posted on Facebook and Instagram on October 26, 2021.)


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