Monday, February 20, 2012

Tears & Blessings

Patience is a virtue.  Patience is a virtue that 90% of the time, I am right on board with... and 10% of the time I struggle immensely.  According to Elder Uchtdorf (a leader in my church), patience is, "far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn’t appear instantly or without effort... Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"

Faith is a virtue that I believe goes right along with patience.  I have always been one to "go on faith alone," with hard concepts.  However, when it comes to the Lord's timing in my own life I struggle.  I think that the theme of my year is going to be trusting in the Lord's timing and being patient with Him.  I have goals and ambitions... I have things that I want out of life personally, spiritually, professionally.  However, I must remember that the Lord's plan for me is ultimately better than the plan I have mapped out for myself.

"If only we could look beyond the horizon of mortality into what awaits us beyond this life. Is it possible to imagine a more glorious future than the one prepared for us by our Heavenly Father?" - Elder Uchtdorf

Right now, that's where I struggle.

For so long, I felt as though I was receiving no real spiritual guidance and was just lost.  Then, I felt the distinct impression that what I really needed to do was ACT.  I needed only to make my OWN decisions, take control of my life and forge forward in personal goals and desires.  I have done so in the past year and felt SO blessed for it.  I have seen how in those personal decisions, I was still guided and I know that I am exactly where I need to be with school, my ward and friendships, my job... Things fell into place in almost a divine way as I made the first move.  I just needed to actively go after things.

However, now I'm back to that place in my life where I feel a bit lost and alone.  I feel like I'm not sure what step to take next in certain aspects of my life.  I don't want to be left behind... This is a time where I can't really "take the next step" and forge forward.  I am forced to somewhat play a "waiting game" and put faith in my Heavenly Father in that He knows what's best for me and where I need to be.  This time around, my patience is waning.  I could get a hundred and one pep-talks about "just holding in there," but it's easy to say that I know that, and hard to put that faith into constant practice.  

"The way we act towards adversity is a major factor to how happy and successful we can be in life." - Elder Wirthlin

I intend to make every effort possible to look at tough times and adversity with a grateful heart.  However, I have to say that it's okay to break down and be upset a little too.  I think it's okay to just let the flood-gates open and wash out all the negative emotion.  If you know me, you know I am NOT a crier... but a really good cry a few select times really can be therapeutic and calming... in a weird way.  Haha!  So, my advice to anyone going through trials, frustration, or the anxious and trying "waiting place" in their life is to break down a bit... THEN, pull it all together and face the trial with gratitude and a "can-do" spirit.  For me, I think that the break-down is realistic and healthy... It's staying in the funk that's negative.

So, now I face the challenge myself of pulling myself out of the funk and being grateful for the blessings that I DO have... because I have a gillion.  Yep - a gillion.  To name a few:
 - Parents that love me and tell me they love me.  They even allow me to live with them while going to Grad School so I can save money and be close by... literally - upstairs.  Haha...
 - Music.  I can sing and have my voice to bring me relief and happiness.
 - A great job that I love and a program in Grad School that is AMAZING and right where I need to be!
 - Moisture.  I'm not a fan of snow because I hate driving in it... even though it IS pretty.  Plus, I really like the warmth.  However, we need the moisture, and I have 4-wheel drive, so it's a positive. 
 - Technology.  I have working computer access for communication and work, television programs and movies that I love, and a humidifier.  Haha...
 - Great friends.... really great friends and examples for me to emulate.
 - My health.  I can play sports and work-out, and I feel good about my health.  Plus, my cold is mostly gone!
 - Fabulous siblings that I learn a lot from and can call friends.
 - Cute clothes.... I have a pretty huge and fun wardrobe, with more scarves than shoes.  I also have hair that I love... Haha!
 - The gospel.  I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, as well as a Savior who died for my sins and trials.  Knowing that They are looking out for me makes me know  that everything is going to be okay.  Really.

The Lord gives us the trials we need to grow to be the best we can be... Our experiences, negative or positive, will be for our benefit, as well as the benefit of others.  We will never have anything given to us that we can not handle - especially with the Lord's help.  I am a blessed woman because this hard time means that Heavenly Father has faith in me, and believes that I can grow even more.  

Song of the Day:  This is a bonus song on Ed Sheeran's album that I've listened to a million times and just realized that was a bonus track.  Haha... I'm in love with it.  Check out different versions of "The Parting Glass," an old, traditional Irish Pub Song by Ed Sheeran, The High Kings, and Cara Dillon.  Which do you like best?! Enjoy!

Ed Sheeran

The High Kings

Cara Dillon

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