Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blood Clots and Contemplations

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Sometimes you donate blood and things go differently than expected... and you wake up the next day with this. Don't worry, just a minor blood clot that will go away in a few weeks. So in my hour of waiting at the urgent care today, I was reflecting on several conversations I've had in the last 24 hours about life and all of its uncertainties.  The conversations were similar, though one consisted of a friend expressing to me fears and doubts, while the other consisted of me expressing my own unknowns.

 During that wait for the doctor, I thought about how I wish I had the answers-to my friend's questions... and to my own. While thinking about all of the things I don't know, I came to the conclusion that maybe it would best to think of the things that I do know. 

I don't know a lot, but the things that I do know have come to me through experience and revelation. So here are some things I know that have helped me today:
  • I know that whatever situations I find myself in 1. I will always have a choice. Whether in behavior or attitude, the choice is there. 2. It will work together for my eternal benefit. That doesn't mean it will be easy, but it will be something that will improve my life in some way.  
  • I am loved by many friends and family members. Most importantly, I am loved by a Heavenly Father who sees my weaknesses perfectly and loves me because I am His daughter.
  • Weakness is not sin. Weakness is being human
  • The day is always better when you take time to be grateful
  • Though it may be hard for me to see in the moment, I am learning, growing, and improving
  • I don't have to do it all today. I just have to try a little harder to be a little better, one day at a time
  • A few kind words never hurt anyone
  • The best way to love someone is to try to understand their story
  • Sometimes prayer is all you have, but in the end its really all you need

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Refiner's Fire

I drive past the Provo Tabernacle temple every other day on my way to work. As I drove past the other day, I couldn't help but feel a bit impatient, wondering if I would still be at BYU when the temple was finished. Continuing on my drive, I realized just how much progress has been made, when one considers where this temple was at just a few short years ago. Hitting me at a particularly rough spot on the road of life, I started to see how much we have in common with that tabernacle.

 In fact, right now I feel just like that old building, with flames that seem to consume the better parts of me. We all have those stages in life when we wonder "Why, after I have tried so hard, does it seem that it all went to waste". It feels as if we put forth all our effort and yet we watch as it burns to the ground. We may at times even question why Heavenly Father allows us to go through such painful changes to our very core and structure. 

While letting my thoughts wander, a quote by C.S. Lewis came to mind that had been a source of strength once before:“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
Provo City Center Mormon Temple
Yes, it hurts. Facing our weaknesses can be the hardest thing we will do in this life. Sometimes being a tabernacle seems good enough. But God intends for us to be temples. He has a plan for each one of us. In those moments of scorch and blaze, we can know that Heavenly Father is putting us through the refiners fire. He is helping us to make our weaknesses into strengths. He is making us into the people He intends for us to be. All I can do is trust that He has a bigger plan for my life than I can see right now.