When the future starts to look bleak, how easy it is to succumb to feelings of anxiety so present in moments of hopelessness. When I was pregnant and my husband was about to end his work contract, so many questions in my mind were left unanswered.
“Will he be able to find work?”
“What about me and baby?”
“Are there truly blessings meant for us?”
But we had no answers then, and slowly, I began to feel sad and hopeless. Within my heart, I hoped that Heavenly Father would give me an answer. But despite my prayers, Father didn’t provide one immediately, but instead gave me an impression. During those stressful, anxiety-filled days, my mind drifted to Nephi’s wife and Emma Smith.
Both women were strong, and a source of strength to their husbands. I can imagine Nephi’s wife, having to leave her luxurious life to travel with him in the wilderness. Perhaps the sudden change in her life also caused her to feel overwhelmed. Even without murmuring from all the exhaustion and the extreme changes in her life, she may have also wondered if there was really a land of promise for them.
Emma Smith was also subject to moments of hopelessness in her life, especially with her husband always hunted by oppressors. Despite being a strong wife, I’m sure she also felt at times that the suffering would never end. But like the wife of Nephi, she stood by the Prophet.
Like me, these women were able to face anxiety, wonder, endurance, and most importantly, hopelessness.
After this impression, I realized that experiencing moments of hopelessness can actually bring blessings into our lives.
Being hopeless allows us to see more miracles in our lives.
All of us have had moments when we feel completely hopeless and unsure of what’s ahead of us. Sometimes, the pain and mental effects can drive us to our knees to pray. But when prayer is the only remedy, we begin to see the miracles happening in our life. We begin to acknowledge the tender mercies, the promise of angels in the form of people around us. We begin to fully appreciate the small, but great blessings in our lives.
Being hopeless helps us feel God’s love more.
I can’t count all the times when my hopelessness has helped me recognize that I am “encircled in the arms of His love.” Anxiety for the future has made me turn to the Lord and ask Him what He thinks about my life. Time and time again, I have gotten the assurance that all will be well, and that I am not alone in this mortal journey. I have more fully cherished the knowledge of the atonement and His love for me during times when I was about to give up.
Being hopeless makes us appreciate blessings more.
I have come to realize that when we feel that we have nothing, that’s when we are prompted by the Spirit to “count our blessings.” No matter how small the gift, or how simple the service rendered by the people around me, hopelessness helps me begin to associate them with Heavenly Father’s tender mercies.
Being hopeless brings us renewed strength.
As Nephi and his family were travelling in the wilderness, the conditions for the women were probably pretty bleak, and totally different from what they had been accustomed to. However, the women were strong.
“ And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.”
When the only means for me to overcome my anxiety for the future was prayer, I poured out my soul to the Lord and confided to Him of the desires of my heart. It was then that I realized that being hopeless can drive us to ask for help and eventually be blessed by the Lord’s tender mercies of strength and blessings.
Looking back, I am grateful for those moments of hopelessness. I know I am not alone in this journey. When tears filled my pillow, I felt “encircled in the arms of his love.” When I thought I couldn’t make it, He gave me strength to carry on. Yes, something good can be brought about by our hopelessness and I am grateful to have learned that lesson.