Am I a coward?
I feel like a coward. I feel ashamed. I feel ridiculous and embarrassed.
Did I not have enough faith? Did I not trust in You enough?
A few Sundays ago it was my opportunity to speak to the church congregation. In the weeks' time I had to prepare, I felt that I had done everything right. I pondered, I prayed, and I fasted. I spent all week organizing my thoughts and putting them into words. I really did do all I could do.
The subject matter of my sermon was very personal. It was a condensed and vailed story about my dealings with my sexual orientation and how I had lost my testimony and then found it again. It was emotionally draining to recall what I had been through.
Aside from preparing a sermon that week, I felt an immense amount of stress from other areas of my life, particularly work.
Saturday I finished everything up, and, realizing I needed to do some relaxing, I went kayaking out on the lake. It felt good.
That night though, things took a turn for the worst. I went to visit a family friend in the hospital. She has the same terminal cancer my mom did. It was the first time I saw this friend since her operation. She was in good spirits but not very functional. It was heartbreaking to see her this way. All the emotions from my mom's experience and following death came rushing back.
Between the stress, and seeing another loved one going through what my mom went through, I couldn't handle it anymore. My mind and body started to shut down. I was hoping to sleep well that Saturday night but I couldn't. My heart kept racing, my subconscious was unsettled. By morning light I was a wreck. I hadn't really slept in 24 hours.
How was I to speak in church that day? I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. I was at the very end of my rope. I sent the bishop a text. I went down to the river in hopes of finding solace. I still felt awful. I could feel my mind being tormented by unseen spirits. There was no deliverance when I needed it.
I don't understand what happened that week. And I don't understand what I did wrong so as to shield me from Thy redeeming grace.
"O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed...?" (Doctrine & Covenants 121:1-2)
Father in Heaven, have mercy on me.