Let me share with you all something that is very personal to me: lately I've really been struggling with faith.
Lest you misunderstand, let me first say that my testimony is strong and secure. That will never change. But lately I've been consumed with fear about my own personal progress.
Many years ago I made the decision to live my life by the Spirit. I know not all the answers will be given to us and we need to figure out a lot on our own, but I always try to remain worthy of the Spirit so I will be ready to receive guidance and direction when it is available. This has been a wonderful decision and it has greatly enhanced the quality of my life. But the thing is, when you prove to God that He can trust you, He'll begin to ask you to do more things that require YOU to trust HIM. And that can be a major test of your faith.
Over the last several months God had asked me to do some really scary things, like remaining at my part-time job even though I have bills to pay and putting unimaginable amounts of time and effort into projects that I'm not even sure will ever succeed. It's scary. I'm about to turn 26 and will soon need my own health insurance, which adds even more bills to the pile. I honestly don't know how I'm going to make it--except on faith, which, as I mentioned before, I'm struggling with.
The day I received those promptings and I began this current course, I felt that it was right - so much so that I immediately quit my nearly $1000/week job to go back to working part-time for the Church. And every time I've felt afraid and desperately pleaded to God for guidance, His response has been the same: "Just trust me. I know what I'm doing. Follow my direction with exactness, and when the time is right, I will show you the way."
But last night as I opened my evening prayer, the first thing I said was this: "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of what you're asking me to do. I'm honestly afraid that the sea will not part and I'll end up underwater."
Even though I felt it was right, even though I have had countless witnesses telling me it will be okay, I still have this overwhelming fear. Satan knows that good things are in store for me if I continue on this path, and so he is doing everything he can to get me to quit. He almost succeed a couple times. But despite my fears, I've come too far to turn back now; I'm past the point of no return. I'm either going to end up a broke, miserable, failure, or an incredibly grateful (and humbled) man. The closer I get to God's deadline, the tighter I brace for impact, and the more I hope that it will be a smooth landing.
And it is that hope that I'm holding on to.
This morning I had the most incredible privilege of singing in the choir at a meeting at which Elder M. Russell Ballard presided and spoke (a miracle in and of itself, but a story for another time). After closing his remarks, the choir sang "Redeemer of Israel" - my favorite hymn. As we triumphantly came to the final verse, I openly wept. I just couldn't hold back what I was feeling.
"As children of Zion,
Good tidings for us.
The tokens already appear.
Fear not, and be just,
For the kingdom is ours.
The hour of redemption is near."
Even though I have fears. Even though I have doubts. Even though I am sometimes utterly terrified of what lies ahead, I know that God loves me. I don't know HOW He loves me, but I know that He does. And that is ultimately what gets me through to another day.
My name is Jordan Michael Anderson. My life's mission is to do as much good as possible.