"One's life,....cannot both be faith-filled and stress free.....Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life as if to say, "Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made The what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with The and fully share The Joy!......Real faith.....is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process."
(-Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926-2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 1991)
My goodness, this blog has taken a serious turn, hasn't it? I just can't get a few things off of my mind lately, chief among them the idea of opposition. The idea that the good (easy) and the bad (difficult) experiences in life so often come hand in hand. And the idea that their close proximity in our lives makes the one all the sweeter and the other mostly bearable.
I think for most of my life I truly believed that if I was a good enough person life would be easy for me and bad things wouldn't happen. And, for the most part, I've had a pretty idyllic, sheltered life to support that conclusion.
That's why when things occasionally took a turn for the worse, as a result of my own poor choices or just by "random chance" (if such a thing exists), I went straight to a place of devastation. "Why is this happening to me?" I cried. Or I prayed, "Please, make it stop." All I could ever think in those dark times was that I just desperately wanted it all to go away because I didn't deserve it. I was too good a person to be suffering. And in that state all I could see was darkness. I felt so alone, though I never truly was.
The good thing about those dark times is that we can't help but emerge from them wiser. I can see so clearly now how those difficult times have been, and continue to be, for my growth. As I look to my future now, fully expecting to be challenged, I can see more than just the darkness. I can see glowing goodness and happiness all along the way--the sweetness that I would never have known before I tasted the bitter. And, because of those glowing times, I can see, though vaguely at times, that I'm not alone. And that soon, when the time is right and I've learned all I need to learn at the moment, I will emerge into the full light of the sun once more.
Life is hard, and yet so exquisitely wonderful at the very same time.
In other news.....
* I've got a house full of sick kids. Lexi is still sick and now Curtis is sick too. Everyone is sneezing and coughing and miserable. Why I haven't caught it yet is beyond me. I'm hoping I don't get it. (Wouldn't that be a change??!!!). Needless to say, I stayed home from church today. First because I still can't get past going alone. It's gonna take time. Second, because I work all week when my kids are home sick they pretty much are on their own because their dad can't do for them like he use to, plus he is in a lot of pain right now. So, I try to make up for my time away when I can on the weekends and nights. Sure, these two kids are adults and Curtis likes to tell me that all the time, but I know they still need their Mom from time to time. Especially when they don't feel well.
* Curtis is all sun burnt after his trip tubing down the river yesterday. He is bright red! His one friend got so burnt she had blisters and ended up in the Emergency room. I told Curtis overcast days are the absolute worst days to be out in the sun because you don't realize you are getting burnt as much. Well, by Monday when Curtis has to wear socks, shoes, long pants, and a thicker shirt he is going to feel it. He says he used sunscreen, but I doubt it. Crazy kid!
* About two weeks ago Curtis and his neighbor friend were out riding long boards. Well, let me give you some background first...the friend had a girlfriend back in high school and their break up was what I would call bad. To the point that the friend couldn't even be in the same place she was in. He would avoid her at all costs. Well, Curtis decided to tease his friend and tell him he was going to invite the girl to go long boarding with them. Well, low and behold he really did invite her and she showed up. Well, Curtis made them talk. While they were talking the neighbor friend let the girl know that his Mom had breast cancer and was battling it now. Well, this girls Mom also had breast cancer a couple years ago. Come to find out both Mom's had the exact same kind and the neighbor friend has been searching for one survivor she can talk to. You see, the neighbor friend hasn't been able to find a single survivor. I guess this type of breast cancer is so aggressive that it comes back or moves to other parts of your body and has a history of taking the lives of many of it's victims within five years of it's first diagnosis. What are the odds that both of these women would have the same kind of breast cancer? So, thank goodness Curtis was persistent and ornery enough to put these two together so they could talk and ultimately help our neighbor's Mom out and answering her prayers. How cool is that???
Well, I need to get going. Take care and we will talk again soon.