Life brings trials to each of us. This last year, my much-loved mother-in-law dealt with the trial of cancer and chemotherapy. She is cancer-free now, yet it will still be awhile before she regains her full physical strength. My girlfriend’s husband lost his job, another girlfriend is undergoing cancer treatments herself, and a neighbor has a daughter struggling with drug use and suicidal tendencies.
Compared to each of these individuals, my life is blessed and peaceful.
Yet, I have been struggling within. Struggling to find the desire to go to church. Struggling to find the desire to even pray. I feel forgotten by God. In all of the grand cosmos and wondrous creations, I feel lost and alone.
I know He is there. However, recently, I have been struggling to feel known by God.
I pray, but often the prayers would trail off unfinished … I felt hollowed out, empty, void of any emotion other than apathy. If God wasn’t paying attention to my pleas, then why bother?
I fasted, but would eat earlier and earlier as I felt the press of hunger and no answering fire of faith in response.
I went to the temple to plead for any kind of insight or understanding into why, with all that was so good in my life, was I feeling so desperately alone and unloved by God?
As I sat in the temple, alone with my thoughts, tears trickled down my face. I just wanted to know that God knew ME. That, in all of the commotion of this chaotic world, there was a place for imperfectly flawed me.
You need to make space for God in your life.
I beg your pardon? We read scriptures as a family, we watch all sessions of General Conference, we hold Family Home Evenings, my kids do not even play sports on the Sabbath! HOW can I possibly make more “space for God”?
You need to make space for God in your life.
Okay, fine. What exactly does “space for God” even mean? (I know, I am snarky in my inner conversations with the Lord. I’m surprised He still communicates with me.)
Make small spaces in your life for God to communicate with you.
Alrighty then … I need to make small spaces for God in my life … “God spaces” if you will. I contemplated this as I drove home from the temple, wondering idly what, exactly, it meant.
Making Space for God
Suddenly, I reached out to turn off the radio. THIS. This was what I needed to do more of—turn off the noise of my environment so that I could hear God speaking to me.
Into the silence, I poured out my heart. I cried. I raged. WHY was I feeling so alone? Why was I feeling so very worthless? As my tears slowed and my thoughts calmed, I realized that I felt heard. There, in the heart of traffic, I felt God hear ME—His daughter. He was listening to my pain. I wasn’t alone.
I would love to say that after this experience, everything was just peachy-keen again. Only, it wasn’t. Going to church a few days later still involved me praying alone in my bathroom, sobbing that I felt so very alone—how can I stand to go one more week? By serving and loving others who are feeling just as alone.
So I went. I served. I loved with everything in me. And that Sunday passed.
I have not reached a completely peaceful acceptance within. I am still in the midst of this trial. But, I am learning to make my small spaces for God. Each time I do, another trickle of understanding comes.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
This gem of learning happened early this morning. It happened because I remembered the strength and peace I felt years ago when I would wake up early every single day and study my scriptures in the quiet before the rest of the family awoke.
So, in my attempt to further create “God spaces” in my life, I woke at 5 a.m. to study and as I read this verse, my heart was filled with peace. Line upon line, God is teaching me, His daughter, to hear Him; to hear His counsel, despite the hustle-bustle of competing demands on my attention.
Each time I make a small space for God to speak to my heart, I allow Him to let me know of His love. He has always been there, but I couldn’t hear His voice in all the turmoil within and the noise without.
I need to be still. I need to make space for God.
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years.