Trust God No Matter What! Now Available as an e-book

Dear Friends,

I’m so happy to announce that my well-received book Trust God No Matter What! has now been released as a very affordable e-book on Amazon.com. I have received amazing feedback on this book telling me how much it is replacing confusion with hope because it gives answers to hard questions and offers spiritual uplift. I trust that e-book availability will make it possible for more of my reader friends to take advantage of the inspiring messages this book contains. If you would like to know more about my book before you order it, check out the reviews, excerpts from the book which includes the table of contents and introduction, on this site as well as my interview with Steven Kapp Perry. May the Lord be with you and bless and guide you!

Darla

After my Son’s Suicide, Now Available In E-Book Formats

After my Son’s SuicideDear Friends,

I wanted you to know that, After my Son’s Suicide, my book of comfort for those who have lost a loved one to suicide is now available in every e-book format. You can find it an Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook Books, and everywhere that SmashWords sends it. I’m so hoping those who are hurting will find it. And that you will pass the word along. Thanks so much!

Darla Isackson

The Connection Between Forgiveness and Freedom

Any of you that haven’t yet read my latest Meridian article, The Connection between Forgiveness and Freedom,” might want to check it out on ldsmag.com.

I believe that Stan Winchester’s story is a powerful lesson in the need to forgive and the freedom and peace that comes no other way.

The more I think about this subject the more important it seems!

Darla

Does God Need to Hear from Me?

Does God Need to Hear from Me, to Be with Me?

I wish I heard from my children more often. They are all grown and gone and I miss them! I love the stage of life I’m in, and I’ve grown to appreciate the empty nest, but I still miss them. I can do so many personal projects I didn’t have time for when all my children were home, but today I’m wishing for my children’s presence—to hear their voices, to laugh with them, to hear a word of appreciation, to spend time with them.

Suddenly, in the midst of my wishing I thought, “Have I spent time with my Heavenly Parents today or expressed my appreciation to them? Isn’t it possible that just as I yearn for my children that God yearns to hear my voice in prayer, to be invited into my presence, to spend time?

I remember a quote that impressed me in a book called A New Song, by Jan Karon. The main character, Father Tim, was giving a sermon, and his words really called to my heart. He said, “In the storms of your life, do you long for the consolation of His nearness and His friendship? You can’t imagine how He longs for the consolation of yours. It is unimaginable, isn’t it, that He would want to be near us—frail as we are, weak as we are, and hopeless as we so often feel. God wants to be with us. That, in fact, is His name; Immanuel, God with us. . .”

I realize that His presence is the only presence that truly fills the hole in my soul. This same character, Father Tim, says that each of us have a God-shaped hole in our soul that nothing and no-one but Him can fill. He says that we yearn to have Him with us, yet we are inclined to spend all our time trying to fill the hole with other things that never satisfy.

Father Tim suggests that our unfilled craving inside is “to be with Him day after day, telling him everything, letting it all hang out, just thankful to have such a blessing in your life as a friend who will never, under any circumstances leave you, and never remove His love from you. Amazing? Yes, it is. It is amazing.” (Jan Karon A New Song, p. 394)

 Today I’m going to spend time with the Lord, my dearest friend. Are you?

God Is At the Helm

God Is at the Helm

 An article by early Christian writer Hannah Whitall called “God is in Control,” offers some food for thought on the subject of seeing the Lord’s hand in all things and trusting Him implicitly. Hannah told of how she first recognized this principle in a meeting where a woman told of her difficulty in accepting the idea that God was in everything and we should thank him in all things. After praying for some time about this, she envisioned the presence of God like a light enveloping her in the darkness and she saw that nothing could reach her or affect her unless God’s encircling presence moved out of the way to let it. (And he would let it only when it was for her ultimate good.) Never again did she find any difficulty in abiding consent to His will and an unwavering trust in His care. Hannah concludes, “This does not mean that we must like or enjoy the trial itself, but that we must see God’s will in the trial. It is not hard to do this when we have learned to know that his will is the will of love. Seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving and gives a rest of heart. More than that, it gives a joyfulness that cannot be described.”

Hannah continue, “I am afraid some of God’s own children scarcely think He is equal to themselves in tenderness, and love, and thoughtful care. In their secret thoughts they charge Him with a neglect and indifference of which they feel themselves incapable.

“The truth is that His care is infinitely superior to any human care. He who counts the very hairs of our heads and suffers not a sparrow to fall without Him, takes note of the minutest matters that can affect the lives of His children. He regulates them all according to His own perfect will.” She gave examples, such as Joseph of Egypt. She said, “Joseph’s brothers undoubtedly sinned, but by the time it had reached Joseph it had become God’s will for him, and was in truth, though he did not see it then, the greatest blessing of his whole life. And thus we see how God can make . . . All things, even the sins of others, work together for good to those who love God. (See Rom. 8:28)”

Hannah says that when we abandon ourselves to Him in perfect trust that he will lead us into wonderful green pastures of inward rest and beside blessedly still waters of inward refreshment.

I wept when I first read the article several years ago. I saw that these principles, internalized, would wipe away my worries and give me the inner strength and peace I sought. “When the learner is ready, the teacher appears.” In this case, my teacher was a Christian woman who died in 1911–her words of wisdom reached across all those years and touched my heart when I was ready to hear and understand.

Faith Is an Inside Job

I was reflecting recently on insights I gleaned from the The Work and the Glory series by Gerald N. Lund. During the horrendous persecutions in Missouri, the character Benjamin Steed asks Joseph Smith, “Why are all these things happening to us?”

The messages I gleaned from Joseph’s reply are these:

•        The Lord said He would have a pure people and that the Church must be sanctified.

•        Church membership is not for those looking just for the benefits, or for an easy way of life.

•        Trials of faith are a weeding out process; the Kingdom of God on earth must be comprised only of the pure in heart who have sufficient faith to sacrifice all without losing heart.

Joseph said that the Saints would need an “iron faith” to make it through all that was coming (and the persecutions in Far West were only a type of what was to come).

I believe we are in that same weeding out process; I believe we too will need an iron faith to make it through the Last Days’ tribulations. Trials of our faith, when we turn to the Lord, help us develop that kind of faith as we dig our roots deep in gospel soil, clear down to the Rock of our Redeemer.

Faith Is an Inside Job

I’ve concluded that faith cannot depend on outside circumstances at all; it is instead an inner choice based on belief in eternal promises and trust in God and His plan. Faith must be based on His truth. It’s a myth that if I follow Christ and keep my covenants then all will work out as I plan or wish – that I can receive some guarantee through good behavior. Look at the life of the prophets!

Faith grows only as I make His will my will and trust God with whatever comes in the meantime. Dante, in The Divine Comedy, wrote: “In His will is our peace.” Any time I come to a place where I feel I’m in harmony with His will, even if many of the circumstances of my life are difficult and not what I would choose, I can find peace. I can trust that He knows the outcome when I don’t and that our redemption is His work and glory. He does nothing that is not for the long-term best good of all His children. I can cling to that knowledge when the storms rage. I can choose faith inside my heart regardless of what is happening in the outside world!

Promise of Redemption

I’ve been thinking a lot about the promise of redemption offered to the whole human race. So many of us have loved one who have died without apparent acceptance of this promise. The book, Odds Are You Are Going to be Exalted gives us great hope. Brother Gaskill said,

“The vast majority of all people who hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ (and its essential ordinances) will do so as residents of the spirit world, not as residents of this earth.  [Yet] it has become somewhat colloquial to say, “It is ten times harder to accept the gospel in the spirit world than it is to accept it here on earth.”  It is unclear where this popular saying has its origins.  In actuality, there is evidence that the statement is simply untrue. Continue reading

O Remember, Remember

The last few months have been one of the most challenging, but most incredible I’ve ever lived. I’ve been devoting every moment possible to finishing a book of comfort for those who have lost a loved to one to suicide. I’ve decided to call it After My Son’s Suicide: An LDS Mother Finds Comfort in Christ and Strength to Go on.

Looking back over the past six years has been an exercise of remembering the Lord’s tender mercies and kind tutoring. The thing that has impressed me the most is how much I’d forgotten until I went back and read entries in my journal and other things I’d written over that period of time. Even startling, important things I had forgotten! Like the day I wrote the following entry about my son in the Spirit World, who I had wept and prayed for since his suicide:

June 5, 2005: “Had a special study time with conference talks and scriptures in the morning and was left with a burning desire to know if Brian is accepting the gospel and feeling what I am feeling, is knowing the truth of God and Christ and the Atonement and the Restoration. Went into the kitchen to get a drink of water and the Spirit washed over me and I KNEW, I KNEW Brian has chosen Christ, is repenting and making great progress. I can’t begin to express the joy this brings me. There is absolutely nothing I have desired more than to know that.” Continue reading

Easter’s Promise and the Atonement

Every day I’m watching for signs of spring–symbols of Easter’s promises. Easter’s first promise—of the resurrection means so much more to me now that I have so many loved ones already awaiting it. However, the promise I’m thinking of today is the one that depends on our choice to accept the Savior’s atoning gifts of forgiveness, renewal, and the cleanliness of a new heart.

A few springs ago Doug and I worked in the yard pruning roses, raking leaves, digging out from winter. We hadn’t thoroughly cleaned out the rose hedge for several years (I’ll use my auto accident and injury as an excuse) and it turned into a major project. The pungent smell of dead leaves contrasted with the fragrance of spring blossoms; I kept thinking of symbolisms–how the project resembled cleaning out my heart after the long winter of my soul–getting out all the debris, the dead leaves and dry twigs of old patterns, false beliefs, and traditions. I removed clipped branches from previous prunings that had fallen into the hedge; they were dry, withered, brittle, and I thought of John 15:5 “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire.” Because I hadn’t finished the cleanup job when I originally clipped them, but had left to be gathered up later, I thought of half-finished repentance and how much harder the job can be when I’ve neglected it for a time. Continue reading

Winter Solstice and the Light Within

As days grow ever shorter I welcome Christmas light displays as neighbors brave the chilly outside air to decorate. Without the lights and the celebration they symbolize, December could be a dreary month indeed.

Christmas lights brighten dark December because we still follow the tradition of commemorating Jesus’ birth at the time of the European celebration of the winter solstice. If I paid attention, could winter solstice be a heart-stopping moment? Could I feel the significance of that point in time when the darkness begins to recede? Instead, I will only notice that sunset comes a little later each day, sunrise a bit earlier. But the evidence that follows winter solstice keeps me believing in the yearly triumph of sunlight over frozen earth—the promise that spring’s new life will return, eventually bouncing us into sunny summer.

Continue reading