Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

In the Midst

2 Nephi 18:21 - 2 Nephi 23:20

It has been a remarkable month.

What started as an invitation to reach higher caused me to stretch in ways that were unexpected.

Did that happen to you?

I remember the first day of this challenge ...as I looked at the beautiful scrolling letters that spelled out Month of Many Mercies I envisioned a month that would be sweet and filled to overflowing with happy days.

Within three days I realized that wasn't going to be the case.

This month has been filled with ambulance rides and hospital visits.  Days when what seemed like a clear path suddenly turned into a detour.  Moments that were unsettled.

And yet, when my heart would normally cry out, "why is this happening?" I found myself trying to discern the tender there.

I learned from Nephi, who knew what it was to face the unexpected and still find the tender within.

I have carried my Book of Mormon everywhere, and my heart has found peace as verse after verse has become underlined in soft pink.

I stretched, and I reached, and I felt myself growing.

This month allowed me to experience what it means to believe higher and I think my life will forever be changed because of it.

I have learned what it is to recognize and remember the tender mercy moments ––the times when I see the hand of the Lord in my life.  Although it hasn't been what I expected, looking back I realize this month has been filled with blessings...our family has been highly favored of the Lord.

I can hardly wait to see what lessons July will bring, and August, and September.

A Summer of Many Mercies.

Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned this far can be summed up with a verse found in the second book of Nephi...

"Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."  (2 Nephi 22:6)

Watching for the tender mercy moments has helped me to realize that the Lord, the holy One of Israel, really is in our midst.

He is aware of the tiny details of our day.

He knows our needs.

He hears our prayers.

And because He is tender

And merciful

He blesses us.

This month has been sweet and overflowing with blessings I could not have anticipated...

tender mercies for which I am humbly grateful.