It was the best of times. It was the worst of times…
High school. That’s a whole new world in it of itself. A new bizarre world where everything that you do or don’t do may be a pivotal choice in your life. Boys like girls, girls like boys. Dating becomes a new adventure. Friends can make or break you. If you’re like me, you were also exposed to many things that may have traumatized your young teenage mind.
I was a sophomore in high school when I had my first “official” boyfriend. I was head over heels “in like” with him, and I felt that he felt the same way. We couldn’t actually go on dates, but we saw each other in school everyday. He held my hand. He kissed me in the parking lot. (It was awful, by the way.)
We started “dating” on November 7, 2007. It was great, I thought. Then, he sent me a text message on December 5, 2007 to tell me he didn’t want to date me anymore. (I sure did know how to pick them.) We didn’t even last a month.
He played his cards well, I’ll give him that. He didn’t start dating my best friend until at least 3 weeks later. He made sure that there was at least a little bit of time for the blow to settle before asking her to be his new girlfriend as he sat next to me at the movie theatre. There was a group of us there. I thought it was just going to be us girls. I guess he couldn’t wait any longer. I was 3 weeks from becoming 16.
The following week or 2 were what I deemed to be the hardest 2 weeks of my life. Not only did my best friend start dating my ex, but she also became better best friend with another friend of mine. Soon, they didn’t want me around. My ex didn’t like me because they didn’t like me. They left me out of the loop. I felt that sides were being created. I did have one friend, thank goodness, but she was involved with clubs during lunch some days, and so I would be alone in the hallway.
For me, being alone was the worst thing in the world. I was less outgoing then, and so I sat by myself. I hated going to school for those 2 weeks.
On a day that was particularly hard, when I was by myself, I went across the street to the seminary building. I walked into the classroom that I was attending and I saw my seminary teacher. He was a good friend of my dad, and I had known him for a while. Maybe it was the look on my face, or maybe it was my countenance, but he could tell that something was up.
We started talking. I vented, telling the whole story about the boy, the breakup, the betrayal, and now the loneliness that I felt. I talked about how I was just trying to do what was right. I complained about the hardships of high school, and how I couldn’t wait to get out and be done and move and yada… the list went on.
This wise seminary teacher took a little while to let it all sink in. He didn’t say much at first; nothing more than the “huh… mmm-mmm… okay…” I sat there, waiting. Waiting for him to tell me what to do, waiting for him to tell me that because I’ve been through these “hard times”, I would be blessed. You know, something that would validate my concerns.
Instead, he looked me right in the eyes and said, “Do you know what you’re real problem is?”
I was shocked. I had a problem? Are you serious? I was being what I felt was persecuted and betrayed by other people, and I was the one with the problem?? But I could see he was being totally serious. So, I responded, “No. What is my problem?”
His answer changed my life. “The problem here is, you’re not trusting the Lord.”
I don’t remember much about the rest of the conversation. I know that we talked about ways to trust the Lord and to have faith. But that one statement changed the way that I viewed my trials.
And now, 7 years later, when things can be what I deem in my young adult life the hardest thing that I’ve ever done, when there are days that I feel alone, days where I just want to talk to my dad face to face, days where I wish that Mom was here to help me plan a wedding, days where I miss Keegan’s happy-go-lucky personality, and days where I miss seeing Liam playing with his friends… sometimes it’s hard to trust. Sometimes, it’s really hard to believe that there is a purpose with their passing. Or, maybe not that it’s hard to believe in A PURPOSE. Rather, it’s hard to understand what THAT PURPOSE is.
I think that’s what it really comes down to. I don’t think that we as people don’t believe in a purpose. We just want to know THE purpose.
And yet, sometimes that’s the point. We just continue to move, to plan, to live. Because of the Atonement of Christ, we are able to do that.
Just think. Whatever trial you are going through RIGHT NOW, whatever feelings of inadequacies you are feeling RIGHT NOW, whatever feelings of anger, depression, confusion, heartache… it has already been felt FOR YOU.
Take a moment. Think about the hardest thing you’ve ever experienced. To know that the Savior went through that exact feeling (which, if you really think about it, is amazing. Because since no two people are exactly alike, we all feel and experience differently.) creates a remarkable connection between you and the most powerful being who ever walked upon the earth. A connection that can literally give you an ability to move not only forward, but also upward in your life, no matter how far along the path you may seem, no matter how unpopular you may be, no matter how ugly you feel.
Perhaps one of THE PURPOSE is to be able to create that relationship with our Savior.
So… what happened after that dramatic 2 week fight?
Things did get better. Things did calm down. We became friends again, but it was never quite the same. We all got involved in different things because of that. Soon, I made more friends. Those friends are still some of my closest friends 7 years later. (One of those friends is now my fiance!) Because of the influence of my friends, I decided to go on a mission. I served for a year. I’m still alive today because of it.
Did all of that happen because of one fight? Probably not all of it, but it definitely influenced me in many ways. I look back now, and I realize… “Wow. I’m so glad that happened. Because who knows where I would be now.”
… Thou are in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions…
Questions to Ponder:
- How can looking back on past experiences help you better trust God?