Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Things as they may seem...

If you have been any part of my life recently, well really - in the last couple of years - you know that things haven't gone as one might have hoped for Matt and me.  After a major (self-created) trial and quite literally a nervous breakdown on my end  I left my full-time job which meant we had to leave our home and move in with family and then with friends - where we stayed for about 8 months.  It was really hard being a fairly new married couple and sharing our everyday lives with other adults.  Really hard.  Our marriage however was blessed for it.  We learned patience and compassion for each other that we hadn't yet developed.  We also learned how to stick together during tough times.  I personally grew as well - learning how to play nice (well I am at least better at it), increasing my compassion and desire to serve others, and developing a greater understanding and love for the Lord's hand in my life.

The following May we were prompted to take the leap and move from everyone we knew and loved and head to Ashland, Ohio.  We were excited as it meant Matt would no longer have a lengthy commute to work, and our good friends the Perdue's moved down there a few months prior.  What we didn't know is how the overall animosity towards the Church in the area would greatly impact our lives.  We really didn't have too many day-to-day struggles in this aspect, however we did lose both places we were renting in the area because of our faith.  When we left the first place after only 6 months it was hard, but I quickly could see the Lord's plan for us.  However, the second time, we were only in our place for 2-1/2 months and it was a major blow for me.  I quickly found deepening cracks in what I thought was a sure foundation.  Why did the Lord tell us to go there only to lose 2 homes?  Didn't He know how hard that was for me to deal with?  Then I received the gentle nudge from the Spirit, a sweet reminder of a Priesthood blessing I had received months ago...

Let's back up a moment:  On top of all of the moving pains, expenses, and overall drama that comes with it, I was having some major health problems.  I won't go into details but in the matter of weeks I had to have an iron transfusion, a D&C, and was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, although the exact diagnosis isn't known yet.  I was also having some mental health issues that led me to fear I inherited the schizophrenia my biological mother suffered from.  One particular weekend I remember really feeling like I was losing grip on reality and on Sunday I asked my husband and our home teacher to give me a blessing.  I was pretty sure that my HT didn't really know what was going on with my physical health and I was sure he didn't know about the mental health problems so asked him to give the blessing so I wouldn't allow myself to doubt the words were coming from the Spirit of the Lord.  The part of the blessing that stuck with me the most was a promise that the trials I was about to endure would be difficult, but in the end the blessings would be so sweet as to make the trials seem trivial.  At the specific time I was feeling so much fear that I didn't allow this sweet promise to comfort me, and it was placed in the back of my mind.  All I really processed at the time was that I was going to have some rough roads ahead.

Now fast forward - to just a couple of weeks ago when we lost yet another home and my foundation was starting to crumble.  That moment I felt the Spirit remind me of the sweet promise I had received months before.  As the Spirit over-whelmed me with comfort a verse from the Doctrine & Covenants came to mind.

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.  Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."    (D&C 121:7-9)

Now in no way do I compare my trials with those that the early saints endured, and definitely not those that the Prophet Joseph Smith endured, but at that moment I could see the big picture.  I could expand my focus and realize that as tough as things seem now, they really are nothing compared to the eternities of joy I will experience if I endure the trials now.  This truth has helped me change my perspective on our situations.  It has helped me to focus on the blessings which have made the trials so much easier to endure.  I'm not really ready to say "bring it on" but I know that all things are possible when I trust in the Lord.

I'm once again humbled, and grateful for the blessing of trials in my life.

1 comment:

  1. The stretching machine is the Lord's favorite tool for growth. :)

    I am so glad that we met, and sad that you are moving away. I hope you land in a wonderful place. (Don't kill any witches on the way down.)