Usually we don’t write in our diaries one day and then read what we wrote the next. Some time usually elapses between when we record and when we look back. But we should evaluate our lives regularly and be performing spiritual background checks on ourselves.
Spiritual background checks can give us a wealth of information. And unlike the world’s background check, this history shows so much more. It shows change, growth, where we have gone off the beaten path, how we got where we are today, and even how we can get where we need to be tomorrow. More importantly, it shows us how the Lord has been working in our lives and what He is trying to teach us.
In real life, nobody has a clean record. We all have made mistakes, we all have struggles in our lives, but like they say, “The struggles make us stronger, but changes make us wiser.” God puts things in our path not just to strengthen us but to help us learn from them and choose to change to become more like our Savior.
Some of us may have an aversion to running a background check on ourselves. Shoot, it’s daunting enough when the world runs one on us. Believe us, we have wondered why anybody needs to know all our business like that. Bosses are so nosey! Our spiritual history shows us the blemishes on our records so that we can have the opportunity to clean them up. With the world’s background check, our errors are there, usually forever. Even when we change, they are still available for viewing. But because of a loving Savior, we can change direction and be forgiven. Our history will now record our good.
In life we should look for the lessons and acknowledge the blessings. There are times when our actions force us to repeat a lesson, but we have the ability to look back, jog our memory, and brush up on the course. When we don’t learn from our experiences, we keep repeating the negative.
We often acknowledge the good things, but then we carry the negative in a more prominent place in our life. We must be willing to look at our lives and be honest about what we find there. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6).
As we’ve looked back in our diaries, we’ve encountered the hopelessness and the fear that we recorded while going through our dark moments, and we were able to realize that where we are now is so different from where we were then. In times when we didn’t think we could go on, suddenly there we were living, breathing, and experiencing moments of joy. What had changed? What was different in our lives? What did we know now that we didn’t know then? Who had delivered us?
As we recognized the lessons, the triumphs, the changes of heart, and God’s hands in our lives, we realized that our diaries weren’t just a record of trials and tribulations. They were books of blessings. Today we can see how the Lord was with us in times when we didn’t even think He was there. Like they say where we’re from, “Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.”
Hallelujah Holla Back,
Sista Beehive and Sista Laurel
For more stories like this, check out Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons: Finding the Lord's Lessons in Everyday Life by Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith. Available now at Deseret Book or deseretbook.com. Zandra and Tamu are also presenters at TOFW: Time Out for Women events. You can see them in Orlando Florida, on April 15-16 and other TOFW events this fall.