Saturday, December 21, 2013

Late Night Thoughts on Trials, Pain, Christmas, and Hope.

I don't exactly know where to start, so I'm just going to write, because I know I need to say it. I don't often talk about my faith or beliefs, mostly because I just wasn't really raised in my family to talk about them with others, so its not something I'm naturally inclined to do. But tonight there are some things I'd just really like to say----

Tonight I'm so grateful for that hand to hold as we go through the trials we face.

For the past few weeks I have been overwhelmed with the trials we are facing, our family and friends are facing, and people around the world are facing, and today it has all come to an emotional, almost paralyzing head. 

Prototype has been more challenging for Joey than we expected. I am facing physical trials during this pregnancy for which there's not really a cure that is safe while I carry this baby. We are reminded of the loss of our first babe as his December due date gets closer and closer. Today we are mourning the loss of a close friend to suicide. Our friends are struggling with trials of their own, from cancer to miscarriage and everything in between. And every day there are stories around the internet of suffering and tragedy, the pain of which is only magnified by the holiday season and the desire for peace, love, happiness, and family. There are problems in the world that there just aren't solutions for. And I find it all utterly heartbreaking. 

When I was struggling heavily with depression and anxiety, I would read about these kinds of problems and I would feel immense, personal sorrow and guilt. Sorrow that such terrible things could happen in the world, and guilt that I couldn't fix them. I distinctly remember a time during my freshman year of college when I sat at my desk, sobbing, because I had read an article about animals that were becoming extinct, and I felt like it was my fault because their was nothing I could do about it. 

And today, I have felt similar sorrow and an urge so great to fix those pains for people that my legs and arms physically ache, wishing there was something I could do to make everything better or to at the very least ease in any way the suffering, pain, and sadness.

Yes, in my story from college I needed to learn that I needed professional help to combat and eventually overcome my depression and anxiety and the feelings that came with it. But more importantly, and most significantly to how I'm experiencing things today, I needed to learn that I can't be the savior for everyone. I can't take away people's pain. I can't make people make certain choices that would bring them more relief and happiness. I can't fix the world. 

And today, as I think about all of the trials facing our family, those we care about, and man kind in general, I have to force myself to remember that lesson--and further, that there is a savior that can heal these pains. 

I know i don't always handle trials gracefully. I've had my fair share of moments during which I've been angry, hurt, and confused. I, like every other human being at some point during their existence have asked 'why me?'. But for some reason, the last few weeks it has really clicked, and I cling to the knowledge that eventually, everything will be made right. I cling to the knowledge that Christ really is a Savior for the world and that He will come again, and when He does, every injustice, every pain, every tragedy, every loss, every sorrow we've ever experienced will be remedied, and we will find such great relief and peace. I cling to the knowledge that in the meantime, the Atonement can also bring us peace and help us get through trials and give us perspective until that time when everything is made perfect and whole again. I cling to what Joseph B. Wirthlin calls the principle of compensation--- that "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which has been taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude". 

I've always felt that Christmas is multifaceted. There is a Christ part, and there is a Santa/presents/silly traditions part, and both are valuable. I think its ok that Christmas has both religious and secular components. I don't think the holiday should be solely one or the other (not that there's anything wrong with that if that's how you choose to celebrate Christmas), but this year I've never been so glad to focus more on the Christ part of Christmas. I find myself so overwhelmed with simultaneous sadness for the pains of the world and joy in my faith in Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation, and it just brings me back to how desperately I need Christ in my life and in our family, because we simply can't get through it all on our own. I cannot wait until that day when every trial is righted and our tears of sorrow are replaced with tears of joy. Sometimes I think that truth is the only way I can get through all of that hurt every single one of us goes through. I can get through things (though it may take some time) because of a hope for perfect and complete relief.

Thank you for letting me share this with you. My heart is full of many emotions tonight and I can barely contain it. My thoughts are with friends, family, and strangers alike who are struggling in their own ways, and I hope so desperately that you can find the relief and peace that we all greatly desire. 

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