My Personal Parable for Peace


I had always fretted about “what if?” As a child, I worried, “What if I don’t get picked?” As a young adult, I agonized, “What if I don’t get asked?” As an adult, I panicked, “What if I’m not good enough?” No matter how much success I had enjoyed earlier in my life, each time I faced a new challenge, my head would ache, my stomach would twist into knots, and I couldn’t eat. I knew it had gotten out of hand when I started having anxiety attacks. I never knew when the attacks would come. As a result I didn’t want to be alone, leave home, or drive the car—not exactly reasonable expectations for a mother of four young children. What could I do? Where could I find relief?

One hot summer Sunday afternoon, these questions were weighing heavily on my mind. It was fast Sunday, and our Church meetings were over. My two sons, aged five and seven, raced to see who could get inside the house and out of the heat first. They stood on the step next to the door, jostling each other for position, each grabbing the door handle and trying to turn the knob and push the door open. The door was locked. I caught up with them, slid my key into the lock, and tried to turn the handle, but the boys were each holding it so tightly that I could not turn the key.

The words “If you would just let go for a minute, I could turn the key and let you in” tumbled out of my mouth. Almost immediately, my sons relaxed their grip. I turned the key, and we were inside the house.

As I said those words, an image popped into my mind. I imagined the Savior standing next to me, repeating my own words back to me: “If you would just let go for a minute, I could turn the key for you. Let go. Let me help.”

I had my answer. I realized that by letting go of the fear and worry, I could open myself up to the love of the Savior. My fears may or may not materialize, but when I trust in the Lord, somehow things work out for the best.

As I let go of my worries and put my trust in the Savior, I have gained a testimony that through the Atonement, our most difficult burdens can be lifted.

[photo] Photograph by John Luke

[illustration] Inset: Jesus Christ Knocking at the Door, by Del Parson, © 1983