Back in October, I started working out. Not long after, Jonathan and I were asked to go on a Pioneer Trek with the youth in our ward. I did a trek when I was about 14 and I almost didn't finish it. The final climb was just too much for me. I had to take a break and slowly finish it. (My bishop was nice enough to stay back with me to make sure I was okay and finished with me.) While I'm excited to go on another trek, I was naturally uneasy about my fitness level.
Sorry it's blurry, but I was running when I took the picture.
I started working out back in October and quickly improved almost every work out. After a few weeks, I decided to use that time to do more than just work my body. I started listening to the General Conference session that was already on my old iPod. Back when I regularly used my iPod, I would listen to a conference talk before doing my homework.
The last time I updated it, it was with the 2010 October General Conference. Even though it was more than seven years ago, I started listening to them. I am hearing messages that apply to what I personally need to do or understand today. One talk that really grabbed my attention is "O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One" by President M. Russell Ballard. He focuses on the subtle, but effective ways Satan devices us and we fall into the trap of addiction.
"Remember, brothers and sisters, any kind of addiction is to surrender to something, thus relinquishing agency and becoming dependent."
As I listened, I realized I fell in that trap. Now I'm not having any substance abuse issues or anything we typically think of as addictive, but I had a negative train of thought that I felt trapped by. I surrendered myself and felt like there was no way out. President Ballard teaches that the way out of bondage from an addiction begins with real, heartfelt prayer. Now, for most addictions it won't end there, but overcoming addiction is the same as repenting from any kind of sin. I can honestly say that I am doing better than I was even a few months ago. I feel empowered through Jesus Christ and know that while the situation that caused those thoughts has not gone away, I don't have to be held back by them anymore. I'm not perfect in letting it all go, but I am much further along than I was over the past few years. I know that Jesus is ready to help us and we can depend on Him. He truly suffered for His people so that He can succor us. Jesus loves each and every one of us and wants us to be truly, deeply happy. He is ready to help you right now.