Category Archives: Jesus chirst

This Is Me

I always seem to get asked why are you not married? My favorite: Whats is wrong with you that others seem to see? Why can’t you keep a girl longer than a month?

I usually shrug and go on with my life like there is not a issue. I just go about my life and don’t give those questions much thought after. The truth is though, I do know the answers to all of those questions. In fact there has always been a reason for my madness.

I am a very simple person. So simple that I am very predictable. I find it funny because lots of people think I’m very complex. They think there is a lot to me but really, I am a very simple man. I do things because I want to and I do the same things in patterns. A, then B, then C. That is who I am. I never let people in and keep my life private. I let people have the illusion that I am open person because I talk and relate with others but I only give people a surface level.

Relationships end for me when girls want a deep level with me. I understand that opening up and discussing things is vital for trust and love to grow. Being honest is very important but there are aspects that I can’t and won’t talk about. So when girls start asking and wondering, I get distant and then eventually end things. All of my relationships, with the exception of two, have a very similar pattern:

  1. Start dating
  2. Things are good and fun
  3. Girl shares personal things about life
  4. I listen
  5. Girl asks questions and wants to really know me
  6. I get distant and standoffish
  7. End of Relationship

Its been my safety net and I am ok with it. My thoughts are, someone else will come along. There will always be another girl. However, thats very unhealthy and I’ve been wanting to change that about myself.

I watched a show that completely changed my life (so weird to admit) and that has opened up many things for me. This show brought up all my insecurities, fears, and doubts in regards to marriage and being a father. This show made me think and cry. It made me angry and happy. It made ponder on many things. The last episode had a line that really taught me and changed my outlook of my relationships. As Jack is speaking to his wife about his children, he says:

“Sometimes they’ll make good decisions. Sometimes bad decisions. And every once in a while, they’re gonna do something that’s gonna knock us off our feet. Something that exceeds even our wildest dreams. Our kids are gonna be fine.”

It hit me, instantly, that I can do things completely different than the example that I was showed. I can exceed the expectations that is bound in me.  I can be the father that I never had. I can completely do something that will exceed my upbringing. I know for a fact that I will never beat my children or wife. I will never leave my children and not take care of their wellbeing. I will never, ever, make my children scared of me. I can choose the outcome of my relationships and I’m not be bound by the ways of the past. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and I realized all of this.

I move forward, ready to being a different person in regards to dating. I’m excited to change the pattern to being a person that is willing to take risks. I am ready to begin letting my guard down and to actually purse a relationship thanks to my Heavenly Father. I’m ready to trust myself because I realize that I won’t be alone. I know that I can do this! I am Riley James, a very simple man.

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Worthy Not Perfect

The need to be perfect in all aspects of my life is a major problem that I have. My competitive nature doesn’t help either but instead adds to having to be perfect and better than those around me. On my mission, I came to realize that this was a bad thing, especially when comparing to myself. My mission president, President Paul Craig, use to always tell me to stop beating myself up for falling short from being perfect. We spent a large amount of time over coming my perfection and realizing that I am going to fall short from the grace of God. He taught me that the Savior Jesus Christ would be the one to help make up the difference of my imperfection. Though it makes sense and something I always want to do, it is the hardest thing for me to do. It’s hard for me not to beat myself daily or weekly for not being perfect. There is always something that I should have done better and something that keeps me from being perfect.

Lately, I’ve been taking an institute class at UVU in which Brother Longmoore teaches us daily to give it all to Christ. Last week he taught us ways to allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us and to trust in the Lord’s grace. Brother Longmoore has been truly inspired as a teacher because I’ve realized that it’s a terrible thing to beat ourselves up for living the gospel. He tells us that the good news should be enjoyable and we should get credit for the great things we do. Last week, he taught us that sin is not sin. Sin is just a mistake and a chance to learn, grow, and become a better person. It’s an opportunity to come closer to our Savior and Father in Heaven.

Going into General Conference this past weekend, I wanted to know how to not beat myself up daily anymore. I wanted to know how I could trust in the Lord more and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ more in my life. (Side note, this conference was a special one for me as I got to attend it in the flesh for the first time!) However, conference taught me that it is ok not to be perfect. God still loves us for not being perfect. He is proud of the progress we make daily and he is there at all times. He is grateful that we want to be better and have him in our lives.

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Elder Gong of the seventy taught that being worthy is not perfect. Rather being worthy is striving daily to keep the covenants we made with the Lord. Being worthy is willing to change and allow the Savior to be apart of our change. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make like I do. So the past few week have been eye-opening to me. Its going to be hard but rather than tearing myself apart each night and Sunday, I’m going to work on forgiving myself and letting the Savior take over my insecurities. I’m going to work on my problems and let others help me more. I have a strong desire to be better person to myself and those around me. I might not be perfect but thats ok. I have a God who knows and loves me. I have a Savior who died for my sins and is there to hold me up and wrap his arms around me. I have an amazing family who loves me and looks past my faults. I have so many amazing leaders that teach me ways to be better. I have the best roommates who help me laugh at life’s ups and downs. I have so many great friends who teach me through their examples of what it is like to be disciples of Christ. Moving forward, life is going to be good and in time, I will overcome my shortcommings. Yoked with the Savior, I will be perfect one day.

For Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s full talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/media/session_5_talk_4/4829550348001?lang=eng

 

 

 


A Year Of Progress: I love tough things

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A year ago today, March 6, 2015, I left the land of Chomping Gators, Screaming Indians, sweet potato eating, southern people of Jacksonville Florida and Southern Georgia. A year ago, I took of my name badge and became a “return missionary”. Going on my mission, I was told that it would be the hardest thing of my whole life however, this past year has taught me that going home has been the hardest thing I have ever done. This weekend, I have taken the time to reflect on all things that has happened to me in just 365 and the person that I have become. The past year has taught and brought me closer to my savior then ever before and I’d like to write about a few ways how.

Coming home with a torn achilles tendon was one of the hardest things ever as I have had to learn how to re-walk and eventually learn how to run again. In a slow progression, I learned how to become whole again. Physically, I got to be healed and restored new. I’ll never forget the look of my mother’s face when I walked out of the doctor’s office in a giant boot. She was so shocked. Months of physical therapy where at times I was discouraged and left thinking I would never get to run again. The atonement of Jesus Christ was there in every aspect and helped me get rid of the fears that lingered in the back of my mind.

Coming home was a mental challenge. All return missionaries experience heart break as they leave the one place that their true love is. Words can’t express how challenging it is to mentally pick up life in a new world after your heart has been shattered. My mission motto was “I love tough things, I am the first to do tough things, I do tough things first.” I can remembering the plane taking off and my heart felt like it was being ripped out and then a familiar voice telling me that I love tough things. Coming home, that has been my motivator to do things that I don’t mental think I can do. Mentally, the Savior has helped me over come the struggles in my mind of insecurities, regret, and fears. The Savior is there to remind me that I can do the tough things that I don’t feel that I can do.

Moving to Provo, UT has been greatest blessing and I never thought I would say that. I live with three amazing men of God that teach me daily what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I can see through their examples how to Love God and Jesus Christ so much more. They have looked past my faults and challenge me to be a better person. They have helped me over come my addiction to the word hell and all the bad days that have come from heart break, bad break ups, terrible test days, and to not getting an internship of a life time. They continue to pick me up and help me be a better man.

Provo has given the Provo City Center Temple. This temple, though not dedicated, has been the biggest blessing me. I live five blocks away and makes me so happy every day. It has given me a deeper prospective of an eternal life and its where my soul feels the happiest. Its where I escape the world and remember the importance of all things in life. This temple has helped me to think of Jesus on such a different level that I can’t help but thank him for all that he has done.

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The past year has been a rollercoaster but as I continue to move forward I know that my Savior will be there for all aspects. I am so grateful for the amazing people that I have met this year to help me on this path of coming to the world and moving forward. At first, I was very hesitant on adapting but as I sit here in my Gator hat, I am very glad that I have. I am glad that I have had the experiences that I have had this past year from the heart aches, to the new loves, to new adventures, to the many new mountains that I climb daily. Though I miss Florida and Georgia deeply, I am glad for this new phase in my life and the person that I continue to grow to be. I love the Tough Things that I have overcame and face head one with my Savior there to help me.

 


This Slope is Treacherous

Throughout life, I’ve come to learn that God just doesn’t want you to be comfortable. This seems to be a reoccurring theme of life it seems. They say that there is absolutely no growth in the comfortable zone, though at times it would be nice to have just a moment of comfort. It seems that the moment one becomes comfortable, then we have to get ready because another twist is brought into the equation and once again we find ourselves climbing another mountain.

One of the things that I love about the gospel of Jesus Christ is the aspect of keeping an eternal progression. As we strive for perfection and for eternal progression, we have to grow to be there. That is one of the reasons why we are placed on this earth, to grow. Growth always seems daunting. In the beginning of the growth stage, its rather challenging. We look at the mountain and wonder, are we ever going to make it up? Is the top really a tangible object? However, as we put our chin up and charge the mountain we receive the greatest reward.

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Currently, my life has entered into yet another growing stage. About a week ago, I was sitting across the table at red robin with my friend Evan and I finally felt for the first time in two months that I was ok with being home. With the help of Evan, I was able to climb one of the hardest mountains I’ve ever climbed: Adjusting to Real Life. This montain is one that I feel that I’m still climbing but I was able to make it to a check point the other day. So like all great mountains, I said goodbye to my friend as he returned to serve the Lord for two years. My amazing friend who was there to hear me out. Who was there when I needed him the most. I truly believe that he was home these past few months to help me grow. God knew that I needed his help. Now, I’ve come to a point where sadly, I need to climb the mountain without his help as he has own new mountain to climb.

Like all mountains, the slopes are never the best part. They’re rough, tough, and treacherous. All mountains are placed for the greater good and while we are getting to those slopes, we just have to hold on to hope and love of God. We have to trust him that they are for the greater good.

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