I feel so blessed in my life to be surrounded with amazing people. They are an inspiration to me as I watch and share a small part of their lives. It seems as though there are a fair amount of us passing through heart crushing times in our lives.
This past year or so has been one of the most difficult we have faced as a family and individually. Our growing season is ours, so I will not share the details, but suffice it to say…it has been tailor made to suit us. I see that this is the case with each of those I share a part of their lives. These moments have been made to teach us. At the same time, these moments can crush our very hearts.
There have been more days than not when I have felt like I was being crushed. The weight we have been called upon to carry seemed to press down upon me so hard that I thought my heart would explode. My shoulders have ached in ways that are not a result of working out. at times it has been difficult to keep my head up, breathe, take the next step, or even smile and laugh. I felt as though I was trying to navigate a treacherous bit of path with no lights to guide me.
In these moments it is easy to give in to those faceless voices who are trying to convince us that we are being punished, we are alone, and we will always be abandoned. They are relentless. They do not care if we are tired, in fact they find strength in our fatigue. It doesn’t help that there are many times my prayers have seemed to barely reach the ceiling of my bedroom, let alone heaven.
Some days it is easier to ignore and chase away these feelings. Other days they are all around, yelling, enticing, slithering and pulling.
I have learned so much in this past year. These lessons I do not want to forget, because I have fought with everything I have to learn them. They have a beauty that can only come from a crucible of tribulation.
- Gratitude for the simplest things is the quickest way to chase away those who would pull you down.
- Looking for the end of the tribulation will only blind you to the ways that Heavenly Father is working to help you today.
- Recognizing the little things allows us to see how they add up to great things.
- Allowing Him to take control of our lives is not easy. It is what I am meant to do, however letting go takes a lot more courage than I ever thought.
- I am stronger than I ever could have thought. Every day that I didn’t think we would make it, we did.
- Breathing is a gift. It is something I never want to take for granted again.
- Bargaining with Heavenly Father is asking for a bit of correction from Him. We do not hold power to bargain with Him…it is He that has given us everything.
- The day I asked for understanding rather than why was the day the heavens opened up and softened my heart.
- Receiving help from others is a gift. It is humbling on every level. It is also a way to enable us to draw closer to those who are helping us.
- My family is the place I find strength, refuge, joy, peace and love.
- My husband is my best friend. He is a gift from heaven. He is my rock and strength.
- There are far more important things in life than what we see.
- Every promise we are given from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is given…in their way and in their timing.
- Faith is to be placed in Him, not the imagined solutions of man.
- We are loved by someone who knows us far better than we do. Growth is one of the greatest evidences of this.
- Prayer is my lifeline…even when my heart is crushed and I am feeling hurt and angry.
- My heart is strong. Even under the crushing pressure it has experienced, it has not broken. I thank my Savior for this.
Seeing this past year for what it truly is has been a great blessing to me. I know that there is far more than I have gained from this time, however I will recognize this as time goes on. This too is a gift.
As I read my Book of Mormon this morning I found a verse in Alma that brought me to my knees.
“And now it came to pass that Alma, having seen the afflictions of the humble followers of God, and the persecutions which were heaped upon them by the remainder of his people, and seeing all their inequality, began to be very sorrowful; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him.” (4:15)
As much as I wanted to quit and let go, the Spirit of the Lord would not fail me. It is these moments I had just enough strength to move forward. I wanted to feel more, however I was given what I needed.
Today I pray that what I have learned (and am continuing to learn) will help someone else who feels as though their heart is being crushed. We are meant to bear each others’ burdens.