Opposition Isn't Pretty

When I first began this website I struggled against great opposition. When I told God that I wished I could look pretty when I struggle, and get through opposition with beauty and grace, He assured that me that opposition isn’t pretty for anyone.


Video transcript (edited):

Today I have a convoluted story to tell you.

Months ago I recorded a video with this same title, “Opposition Isn't Pretty.” But in that video I chickened out! Usually I make these videos because I feel prompted by the Holy Ghost to share a thought on my website. I try to do it only when I feel prompted to, so that I'm not using this site to serve the God I love and not as a soapbox to celebrate me.

When I made the video that day, I left out the heart of what I felt prompted to share because I believed lies! I thought, "Sarah, you can't say this! You don't have authority to say this. That’s preaching and you can't preach doctrine. People might react!"

So I hid the heart of the matter. I made the video without the piece I felt prompted to share. Ever since I have felt guilty. Today I am remaking that video to set things right. Here is the story I needed to share, months ago.

When I was first preparing this web site and I was getting ready to release it, I experienced great opposition. I had been working on it slowly, and experiencing light opposition, and I was able to work through it okay. But just as I got ready to publish and share it with the world, opposition erupted! It was intense. I cried a lot and I struggled and I did not like it.

I made it through. I published the videos and opened up my website to the public. But the process was not pretty. At the time, I prayed, "God, this is not pretty and I want my life to be pretty. I want it to be beautiful and elegant and graceful. I want to go through these challenges with grace and beauty and ease.”

You know, maybe not even ease, but at least grace and beauty, as opposed to crying and misery and looking weak. Responses that, in my mind, I often judge as “failing.”

So I prayed, "Please. My life isn't pretty. I want it to be pretty.” And God said, "Oh Sarah. Opposition isn't pretty. The atonement wasn't pretty.”

I hesitate to say anything about the atonement because I don't understand or comprehend it. Yet those words I heard from God stop me in my tracks. I think God is telling me that these times when I wrestle with the adversary, — with evil and the enemy of my soul — they aren’t going to look pretty. They might look like getting by, like just barely making it, and not even through my own strength nor my own courage. They will look more like barely getting by through the grace of God. They won’t look “pretty.”

Later His words reminded me, oddly enough, of Harry Potter. I can't remember which book it’s in, but when Harry and Hermione are creating Dumbledore's Army, they meet at a pub to sign up fellow students. The students are in awe of Harry and the incredible heroics he’s accomplished in years past. But Harry can’t stand it. Finally he exclaims (I’m paraphrasing), "No! It's not like you think! It's not like I'm sitting here doing all these courageous, amazing things! I'm afraid I'm going to die and I'm surviving because miraculous magical help arrives last minute. I don't even know what I'm doing half the time."

I feel like Harry describes when I'm struggling. I get through,
and I'm thrilled with the results afterwards, but it didn’t look heroic. It looked scary.

So my thought for you today is that opposition isn't pretty.

And I want to ask, do you struggle like I do with being critical of yourself when things are hard, and especially a critical of yourself because you struggle so much? I don't know, do all people struggle? I'm going to assume that they do, it's just that we're really good at hiding it from each other. So, are you hard on yourself when you struggle?

If so, can you be a little kinder, a little more gentle? And know that opposition isn't pretty. It isn't pretty for all of us, and it was challenging enough even for the Savior of the world. In fact, I'm remembering now how he asked his apostles, "Can't you please watch with me?” and an angel came to strengthen him. I believe it was incredibly overwhelming and hard and challenging.

That is my thought for you today.

Keep shining!


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