Well. Better late to a rehearsal than not showing up, correct? And seeing as I'd already knowingly made a mistake by going to a movie I was pretty sure I shouldn't see, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to make a second by not being where I'd said I would be.
The rehearsal was, for me, incredible. Being with such wonderful people and singing music that is centered on the Savior was a huge help to getting the images and memories out of my mind. When we went outside to the parking garage and sang one of our numbers (a Puritan hymn that's sung right in the mask of your face, or in your nose while still keeping the sound rounded instead of wide and nasal) I wanted to jump up and down because of the lightness I felt inside.
After that it just got better. Paul Cardall, a famous LDS pianist and speaker, spoke at the Institute devotional. Listening to the music he played and the words that he shared brought me such peace. Near the end of his presentation he played a medley of hymns, starting with "I Stand All Amazed". It then segued into "Come, Thou Fount". I couldn't hold back the tears as I listened to the music and read the scriptures about the Savior that scrolled across the projector above my head. I felt an overflow of peace and love.
Then...it got better. My younger sisters have had the opportunity to perform in their high school's fall musical, Children of Eden. Dallyn Bayles, a famed Broadway performer (has played roles such as Jean Val Jean in Les Miserables and Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera) was featured as Father, or in other words God. He was, as always, fantastic. So were the others.
It wasn't merely the talent of the students and Dallyn that made the show wonderful--it was the Spirit that they brought to their performances. Each performance had a power behind it, one that conveyed the testimonies of each individual in the cast. As the students sang and spoke their parts, you KNEW truth. You FELT truth. For the second time that day I couldn't hold back tears, and this time it wasn't just two or three. It was just short of a cloudburst. The Spirit was so strong, and I felt what I can only call love.
Somehow I feel like I failed a test yesterday. I didn't stand up for my beliefs, for what I know to be true. I was afraid of opinions, of others' thoughts, of others' actions. I let my fear of what people can do get in the way of what I know to be true and right and good. I put my faith not in the Lord, but in what I can do by myself. And what I can do by myself is nothing compared to what I can do when I put the Lord first.
Today I have seen that the Lord is absolutely involved in my life, down to the very tiniest detail. He knows that I messed up. He knows that I am sorry for the mistake I made, for willingly putting myself into a situation that I shouldn't have been found in. He also knows that I want to do better, but I was struggling to remove the guilt and memories from my mind. I am so, so grateful that he cares enough to bring me the peace and calm I needed today. How wonderful it is that instead of getting angry at you for making a mistake he puts his arms around you and helps you to get yourself out again. That's why he's called the Savior. He doesn't condemn or destroy. That's not why he came. He came to help and heal and save. And he does. Every day.
"All praise to the name
of the Father of light,
one who listens and hears
when I call.
Every step He ordains
I shall walk without fear.
In His light I'll not stumble or fall.
In His light I'll not stumble or fall."