It's hard for me to believe that I can have any type of relationship with Them when I don't feel anything coming from Them. Logically, I know I had a relationship with Jesus and my Heavenly Parents in the premortal life, that most likely we were very close. My brain knows it, but my heart doesn't.
In an attempt to get my heart in line with my brain, I've started to imagine and write down what my interactions could have been like with my Heavenly Family, usually but not always in the premortal life. My goal is to get my heart to feel so I can believe.
When my family went through a horrific trial, I prayed for comfort and to feel peace and felt nothing. I felt abandoned and alone. I wondered where God was during this difficult time in my life. Recently I felt like exploring what Jesus had actually been doing during those days I had been begging for comfort. This is what I came up with.
Jesus and I were walking side by side on a path that wound through a lush green park.
“Where were You after <horrific event>?” I asked Him, staring at the ground. “I felt like You’d abandoned our family.”
“Abandon you? Never!” He responded.
He stopped walking, put His hands on my shoulders and forced me to look at Him. “I have never abandoned you. You just couldn’t tell I was there.”
“Were you there at the temple the day after <horrific event>?” I asked, pulling away and starting to walk down the path again.
“Of course,” He said, falling into step with me. “I sat next to you as you waited for your turn to do initiatories. You were crying. You felt like your heart was breaking. You were embarrassed about crying so much. I wanted to hug you and console you but you couldn’t perceive it.
“When it was your turn, you cried through the entire ordinance. I followed you from booth to booth. I couldn’t leave you alone through this. You just couldn’t tell I was there.
“After your second name was finished, you left and asked the woman at the desk if you could go to the celestial room. I walked next to you up the stairs and into the celestial room. You sat under the big stained glass window on the couch. I sat next to you. I put my arm around you but you couldn’t sense it. You cried and cried and wondered why your family was having to go through this. You felt abandoned. But you weren’t. I cried with you the whole time on that couch in the celestial room. I wanted to comfort you but you couldn’t feel it. I wanted you to know I was there but you couldn’t sense it.
“You kept thinking that We had abandoned you. That was the furthest thing from the truth. I was there with you, crying with you. I felt every feeling you felt. I know you thought I’d abandoned you.”
He stopped walking and paused for a second.
“It hurt to know that you didn’t trust that I would always be there with you.”
His eyes were teary as He spoke those words. That made me feel awful. I looked away, my own eyes starting to water.
“I could never abandon you, <my name here>,” He told me. “Not for a single second.
“I tried to talk to you, to tell you everything would be okay, to tell you I was with you, but you couldn’t hear it. You weren’t spiritually sensitive enough to pick up on any of that.”
Shame and guilt welled up in me. I stared at the ground.
“But now you are,” He told me. He lifted my chin to make me look at Him. “And even when you can’t feel Me near, I’m always there.”
The shame and guilt were swept away and replaced by love and gratitude. All I could do was throw my arms around Him and sob into His chest.
“I’m sorry I didn’t trust You.”
He hugged me back and whispered, “You do now, and that’s all that matters to Me.”
Writing it was really cathartic. It seems hard to believe, but I actually don’t feel alone when I think about that experience anymore. I’m starting to believe that I hadn’t been abandoned at that point in my life; I just wasn’t spiritually sensitive enough to feel any heavenly help.
I don’t believe any of my stories are real or that I’m picking up on things from the other side of the veil. But they’re helpful to me because they help me feel and believe I had a connection with Them, and that I can have a connection with Them again in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future.