Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

My Whole Soul

Leviticus 19:5 - Leviticus 23:12

When I started this journey my goal was to find something every day that would apply to my life.  One verse or subject that would change me in some way.  Lift my heart.  Strengthen my belief.

...because I need the changing, the lifting, the strengthening.

But more than anything, I just wanted to come to know the Lord a little better than I know Him now.

So every day as I read the verses I look for Him there.

I try to be humble as I search for the lesson within the reading …willing to change, to give my heart, to find strength therein.

My learning today came from Leviticus 22, “Speak unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel…that will offer his oblations…unto the Lord, ye shall offer at your own will.”

And I wonder, what is my offering to the Lord?

I do not have a lamb without a blemish, or a bullock that I might bring.

I look back to the verses, to try to discover the learning…and I am led.

“In me is the law of Moses fulfilled.  Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away.  And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  Behold, for such I have laid down my life.”  (3 Nephi 9:19-22)

My heart knows what it is to be broken.

The aching.  The tearstains.  The down on my knees waiting for healing to come.

My Spirit knows what it is to be contrite.

The regret.  The wearing down. The longing to be made whole.

Does He really want this broken heart?  This Spirit worn down?

I search to understand more of this offering and I am led to the exhortation of Amaleki, “And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel…Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him.”  (Omni 1:26)

And I realize He wants more than just my heart to mend and my spirit to heal, He wants my whole soul.  All of me.

That offering is going to require trust.  And sacrifice.

My whole soul.

My heart.  My might.  My mind.  My strength.

My Trust.

And I wonder if that is what Israel felt in this moment of the journey.  This learning how to trust.  To really give their heart.  Their soul.

Had they experienced enough of the aching, the tearstains, the down on their knees, the spirit worn down, the regret?

Were they finally humble enough to trust the Lord, who had brought them out of Egypt?

Because now the offering He asks of Israel is that they become holy, live righteously, love thy neighbor, and keep the commandments.  My heart recognizes these as offerings of the soul.

The whole soul.

And I notice, after each verse of asking one phrase is found at the bottom of each request.  The repition becomes constant.  Familiar.

I am the Lord your God.

I am the Lord.

Trust me.

Once again I find myself considering my offering to the Lord.

To become.  To live.  To love.  To keep.

With my heart.  My mind.  My might.  My strength.

 Am I offering my very best?

Do I give my ‘first’ fruits?

My whole soul?

I feel the invitation to change.  To give my whole heart.

And within the trusting

I find new strength.

Emily Freeman