Over the last three days, I have really put some effort into reading my Scriptures. My goal is to read all of the Standard Works in one year. I'm focusing especially on the verses in the Joseph Smith Translation. Last night, three-fourths of the way through the Book of Numbers, I realized something. In less than one week, I have read the equivalent of half the Book of Mormon.
Little alarm bells started going off in my head.
It would be completely different if I read the Book of Mormon to savor each verse and look up each notation. Then, I could understand if it took me six months. Lately, however, I start reading, get to about the middle of Alma, and set the book aside. Indefinitely.
The war chapters have always made me uncomfortable. Fourth Nephi has always made me cry. But in the past, I have always been able to slog through them. I like to think that I know the Book of Mormon well, and it upsets me that the last time I tried to read it, I was unable to finish, especially since I should be able to read the entire book (and read it well!) in under a week!
Last weekend, I went back to the Ohio Valley for an interview. I had to go by myself; Chris was at work. It's a six hour drive, and once I had gotten into Ohio, I decided to stop and get something to drink. The moment I walked into the rest stop, I was overtaken by anxiety, the likes of which I have not felt in years. Quickly, I got a drink, got into my car, and drove until I reached my mother's. Since then, I have been plagued by unease that crops up in the strangest of places. After my interview, I was so tightly wound up that I left Mom's and traveled to Alliance so that I could, in theory, be closer to my husband if I decided at any point in the night to drive home. On Monday, I attended a counseling group through LDS Family Services. I knew that I was safe. I knew I had nothing to fear, and yet there I sat, hugging myself and refusing to look anyone in the eye. I wanted to disappear.
It is frightening to me that there are so few places in which I feel comfortable, and that in places where I should feel comfortable, I'm not. I'm not sure what it is that has made my anxiety worse, but I have a feeling that the answer to overcoming it lies within the pages I have been neglecting.
Tonight, Chris and I are going to the temple. If I can't relax there, I will know that I am dealing with a problem that is much bigger than myself and much worse than I thought.