Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trials and Tribulations

I have a very blessed life.  I tend to be like almost anyone else and get so caught up with the going-ons of my life that I often forget just how fortunate I truly am. Every now and then something happens, or I hear something that causes me to be able to have a moment of reflection, and I always am able to realize just how incredibly fortunate I am to have the friends and the family in my life that I do. So if you haven't heard it from me yet, or even just lately, thanks for being you.

Unfortunately, the cause of my reflection this past week was due to news I received about four friends of mine, all in very different situations, yet all experiencing trials and tribulations.  As I thought about the struggles that they have been facing, it saddened me to think that they are friends that I have not had much contact with as I've been so wrapped up in my life and haven't thought to at least check in with them at least every now and then. Now I'm sitting here just trying to think about how I could have/might still be able to help ease their burdens, how I might be able to help strengthen them as their "hands hang down".

What's most saddening to me about all of this, is that three of the friends who have been experiencing these intense hardships, I'd never have guessed were struggling.  In fact, the exact words of one friend are "I put on a smile every day, but I feel dead inside"...hearing these words caused me to think back to times that I have felt that exact same way; those were the times where I felt that I could not go any lower, and that I did not know where I could turn, or how I could continue to wake up day after day and continue to go through the same daily routine. It's not that I was suicidal in any way, but I just felt completely lost and powerless.  The feeling was absolutely overwhelming and to think of my friends, people who I love and care about, who are currently experiencing these feelings definitely pulled at my heart strings.

It's for this reason that I'm writing this post today.  I know that just as I had no idea that those friends have been suffering, that many more continue to trudge through days, weeks or even months at a time, carrying burdens that cause their shoulders to hang down and their knees to buckle underneath them. For those who are reading this, and to whom this may apply, and to whom it most definitely will apply in the near future, I can only say to you that when life literally brings you to your knees, stay there.  Not permanently, but long enough to take a break, and long enough to cry out to a loving God who is aware of your burdens and your hardships; take the time to cry out to a Savior who longs to give comfort to your soul, and who seeks to lift you up in the power of His Love.  You may not feel that He is there, but I promise you that He is.  I have no doubt about this, as I have felt the matchless enablement and healing of His Atonement in my life on several occassions.  To you, my dear friends and family, who might be struggling at this very moment and who may feel that there is no end to the long period of seeming darkness in which you have wandered, know that there will be light.  If that light comes only into your soul, while the trials and tribulations that you are facing continue to abound all around you, know that it will come and that it will give you the hope and energy that you need to carry on with purpose and renewed vigor.

Lastly, while prayer and study are vital to our spiritual well-being, and all around well-being for that matter, please never forget that you have friends and family who love you.  As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) has spoken about, often times the angels that the Lord sends into our lives are those friends and family members who surround us.  If you are struggling, reach out to those whom you love, as they cannot help to ease or to bear a burden which they do not know exists.  There is no shame in accepting the help and love of others, especially as we know and understand that they will almost certainly be in need of our help at different points in their lives.

Life is full of trials and tribulations, but with each hard fought battle comes new opportunities, and to the conqueror comes many riches. Sometimes these riches are temporal, but most often they are spiritual and bring great happiness and joy.  The battle is never lost as long as you continue to keep moving forward in faith. Just make sure to enlist the services of those who so willingly wish to join in your conquering efforts.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Well I tried...

Man, I just can't think of something worth blogging about. I have these ideas in my head that would be nice to put into text, but it's just not happening. This is why I don't keep an actual journal either.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here's To New

I'm not sure if it is just because I've had a crazy sleep schedule the past three weeks, or if it is just in anticipation of what's to come in 2011, but it's 1:30 in the morning and I can't sleep! I've been lying here for an hour just trying to turn my brain off, but to no avail. So here I am with another blog entry.

2010 has been a great year for me, having brought with it lots of opportunities for growth and new experiences. I've met many new friends, have had the opportunity of serving in different church callings, and have had the opportunity to learn many new things in my work position. In short, it has been a great build on to what has come before, and I hope it proves to be an addition to a foundation, laid by preceding years, on which much happiness and success can be obtained in the different areas of my life.

I don't know what's in store for 2011. At best, I have a vague outline of what I'd like to see come to fruition; but whatever may come, and however my plans may change in the next 12 months, I'm excited to welcome in 2011 and whatever, or whomever, it may bring with it.