I feel we all have a few people in our lives that we feel this ridiculous sense of responsibility for, and I have noticed often times we can let those acquired cares and burdens overwhelm us. I was once having a moment like that about two years ago when my cares and worries and fears about others and the circumstances of life that were swirling around us might as well have been nuclear missiles sent straight from Satan to destory us. It was ridiculous… It was not a pleasant time to say the least, but one of my most favorite people, who I respect very much (my High School English teacher, Mr. Becker), once told me that I reminded him of an air craft carrier: I had all these people in my life that I was supporting and carrying along at this current point in time. I don’t remember the rest of what he said, but since that experience and that analogy, I’ve come to a few conclusions….
Being an “aircraft carrier” for other people who “didn’t even ask for your help” is exhausting. However, I believe before we came to earth, these people did ask for our help. I think a major part of our pre earth life was making promises to people that we would cross paths with them in this life to help them, in either a slight or significant way, back to Heavenly Father. Sometimes these experiences are manifested in a parent-child relationship, or a romantic relationship, or just friend to friend. Since I’ve come on a mission, I’ve noticed several times now that there is a very special connection between missionaries and their “people”; that one (or more) investigator or Less Active that you just click with and you just know you were sent here for them…
At another break down moment in my life, when I knew I was supposed to come and serve, but totally absolutely did NOT want to, I was bemoaning this same conundrum to my mother, about feeling responsible for people I didn’t even know and she said to me, “If you don’t go, the Lord will send someone who will take care of them” and that was alarming because I felt accountable for these people who I knew in my heart were waiting for me, not for some replacement. I have a STRONG opinion and testimony that we each have unique gifts, talents and abilities that only we can share with the world and specific people who need us to bring those talents and gifts into their lives. That’s a major reason why I chose to serve. I knew I had a few people that I needed to carry for a bit so they could get safely back to base (aka Eternal Life with God).
I have noticed a common theme among the strong men and women I have met. They all tend to have a tendancy to care for more than what seems reasonable. Their “burdens” in life are not really things of material proportions, but have to do with human relationships, and therefore the things of Eternity. I’ve also noticed, and experienced for myself that we eventually realize we really can’t do this ourselves. It’s usually at this point that true conversion and understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ takes place, and a mighty change of heart and perspective is wrought in us. It’s the accumulation of a much needed piece in our quest to become like our Savior; we have diligence, we have obedience, we have charity, hope and faith… and now (at least for a moment) we have humility. Gaining a testimony of the savior and truly recognizing your own weaknesses, which is hard for a strong person to do, and allowing Christ to be the one who helps you patch the holes of your sinking ship is the best thing you’ll ever do! I find great comfort in knowing perfection as the world requires it is not a requiste of God. We are to be perfect, even as He is, which means we strive to acquire His attributes, walk in His ways, and endure to the end. We strive to help and lift others as best as we can, but ultimately we know He is the one who does all the heavy lifting. We sometimes are allowed to “help” which is a gift to us that we might learn and grow in the process.
In conclusion, I just want to say don’t let yourself get to the point where you feel you are a “sinking ship”. Don’t forget the Master of All can calm the stormy seas of life, and block those pointed missiles from the Advesary. He will keep your ship, and everyone elses afloat. Trust in Him to do so! He always comes through. I can testify that all our experiences, no matter how downright hard and miserable they can get, are truly for our benefit. It’s all necessary for adequate progression so we can truly be prepared to stand before the Lord again someday. Don’t give up. Keep running your “mile”! You have angels from both sides of the veil to help and lift you! And most importantly, you have the Savior to help you… What more do you really need anyways?
Have a blessed day and stay strong!
Love, Sister Yates