By Claire S
I’ve got this terrible weakness: I love to sleep in—and I’m really good at it. It’s an ability I’ve been cultivating since I was little. In my last semester of sixth grade I had 54 “tardies” on my report card from waking up after the carpool came. By ninth grade, I could set three different alarm clocks and sleep through all of them.
And then there was high school. In addition to my talent for sleep, I have a talent for music. I’ve taken violin lessons since I was a little girl, and in high school, I learned how much I really loved it. In fact, I couldn’t get enough of it. I practiced scales with pleasure and got lost in pages of Mozart and Mendelssohn. I joined the high school orchestra and the pit orchestra and reveled in sight-reading six flats. I was thrilled when the orchestra teacher invited me to play with the school chamber orchestra. The only problem was that the chamber orchestra met before school—at 6:30 in the morning.
Initially, the pleasure of playing got me out of bed on time. After about two weeks, however, old habits kicked in and my battle to get out of bed resumed. The first couple of times that I walked in late, the orchestra teacher cracked a joke and shrugged it off. Pretty soon, though, I was late to almost every rehearsal—and the problem just got worse. Before long I was completely sleeping through rehearsals more often than not.
I knew I should be able to get up on time. I wanted to be able to get up on time. Every night, I would go to bed determined to make it to rehearsal in the morning. But it didn’t matter how determined I felt when I fell asleep; I’d wake up the next morning already a failure. The alarms had already rung for an hour and shut themselves off, and I had missed rehearsal once again.
This went on for the next few years. And then, after a high school career of struggling to make it to school before second period, I found an answer to my problem in a scripture, the Book of Mormon. In this other “Testament of Jesus Christ,” the Lord says,
“… If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
I knew my weakness well, and I knew I couldn’t get over it by myself. I had tried and failed too many times. But if anyone had the power to help me, it was God. I decided to make Him a more critical part of the struggle. Before going to bed, I would pray earnestly and specifically for help to hear my alarm clock, for strength to get up, for a reminder of where I wanted to be that morning.
Changes happened. Before long, I felt the satisfaction of getting up on time every day for a week. Then that week became two. And then—I slipped up and slept in again. But He had helped me before, and I knew now that if I relied on God—had “faith” in him, as the scripture said—his strength would compensate for my weakness.
It’s true, sleeping may seem a minor weakness to some people, but to me it was the major thing that hampered my participation in life itself. Many individual have more serious weaknesses than mine but the help is the same. If we ask the Lord for His assistance, it will be forthcoming.
I have truly felt God’s love as He’s answered my prayers. I know He is my Heavenly Father, and I love him for it. He cares enough to help me get up in the morning, and He cared enough to send His son, Jesus Christ, to redeem me from my sins. The power of His life has changed who I am, and for that I will forever be grateful.”