Finding Joy in Times of Trial
Last September we were in Bear Lake and I needed to find a receipt of a purchase that was going to determine which way we went home. If I didn't find the receipt we would go through Wyoming and if I found it we would go back up through Logan and stop at the store to exchange a birthday gift that had been purchased for my son and didn't work.
It wasn't a huge deal, but with getting in and out with luggage, pillows, blankets, wet sand, seashells, etc. I was thinking it could have easily been lost in the shuffle. I had the thought to look in a very specific place that seemed weird and totally didn't make sense, but there it was. We didn't have to waste much time looking for it which I was glad. I get a little impatient when things are missing and can quickly change the mood of our family.
At that moment I had the thought very clearly that if I listened more closely and acted and didn't question I would recognize many more promptings that came into my life daily. I definitely receive promptings and can think of many over the years, but since that time I have strived to live closer to the spirit. Not only when it pertains to the gospel or church callings or my children, but in my daily life. In my daily interactions. How I treat people, how can I help someone, the thought to visit with someone or just send a simple text, tell someone I love them, give a simple compliment, leave a thank you card or a treat, etc. Before this experience I did think about these things and acted on some of them, but I knew that day that if I acted on each prompting that it would make a greater difference in my life. I would find the time to do these things - it didn't need to be hard or time consuming.
11 Short Days Ago the New Year rang in. I found myself feeling so blessed for the amazing December we had as a family, with our friends, extended family and thousands of those we didn't know. I thought through the month and could think of many miracles that had happened throughout the month. The joy, peace and happiness that I found throughout the month.
Last Sunday we went to Church with my heart feeling so full. I was excited for a new year, but just had this feeling that there was something coming in my life that would teach me more - you know those growing pains. As we sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" as the closing hymn the following lines REALLY jumped out at me - love this song, but these lines spoke to me deeper and stronger than ever before:
"He lives to comfort me when faint
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
I am not one that cries very often, but this week brought some challenges that brought me to my knees to take a deeper look at how I am as a parent. I felt a heartbreak pain that I hadn't ever felt before. I honestly hadn't shed more tears in a long time. I had much to learn and felt the atonement acting in my life. The love I feel for my children and the desire I have in my heart for the very best for them weighed very heavy on my heart. There was a time in a short few hours that I felt alone. Then I thought of where I would want my children to turn with their heavy hearts and the Lord lifted my burdens to where they were made very light.
Over the last few days I have found that even in times of trial, hardships and heart break that there is light, happiness, strength and a spiritual growth that can't even be explained. Relationships can be strengthened, laughter is a part of our home and through the atonement we can continue to grow and be made whole.
I am so grateful for the small promptings along the way, that I recognize so much more in my life, that prepare me for the hard times and give me something to lean on and know that I am not alone. In fact, I don't have to carry the weight, but focus on being a better person, doing good things and finding true happiness in each hour of each day of my life.
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