After starting off my morning in a particularly rough fashion. I needed something to smooth my ruffled feathers, so naturally, I went to Facebook. Now I am ashamed to admit, I should have gone to my scriptures first, and even though I did not go to my scriptures first, the scriptures immediately found me through the wonderful world of technology.
The first was a post written about a scripture in Colossians. Here is what the post said:
The first line of Elder Maxwell’s quote struck me, “pleasing but challenging growth.” I pondered that phrase as I continued to read the quote, and then the scripture: “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving “.
I thought about my Foundation, my Faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, my faith in the Plan of Happiness. I thought of the lessons my parents, family members, and youth leaders taught me as I grew up. Their wisdom and patience as I first established small tiny roots that soon grew into strong mighty roots in the bedrock of faith. The trials I faced in my youth only served to deepen my roots.
Then I read the last phrase: abounding therein with thanksgiving… I wondered, have I been showing an attitude of plentiful or abundant thanksgiving? Have I viewed the growth opportunities as PLEASING? Today I most certainly had not. I was frustrated, down-heartened and a bit upset that my life was not what I had wanted/planned. I had been frustrated with work, which spiraled into thoughts of, “I am supposed to be a stay at home mom with a whole passel of kiddos”, but instead, I am a child-less widow, working in a job that, at that particular moment, I wanted to quit.
As I continued to ponder (I do that quite at bit), I realized, I am so grateful for my life. For the challenges I have faced, and that I chose to allow the adversity to deepen my faith in the Lord’s plan for me. I indeed quickly changed my upset attitude into one of abundant Thanksgiving as I mentally listed the many many blessings the Lord has granted in my life.
With a renewed, albeit newly humbled attitude, I continued to peruse past memories. As I scrolled past photos of Heavenly Father’s exquisite creations, my gratitude deepened further. With my changed attitude and softened heart, the spirit had an opportunity to teach me in that moment.
I stopped on a post written 5 months before my sweetheart died. I had forgotten I had written these words:
Cancer is a blessing.
Yes, cancer is truly a blessing, because I CHOOSE to view it as such.
In what some could have considered a dark time in my life, as I was facing the potential end of mortality for my sweetheart, at that moment in time, apparently, I had had an abundant of gratitude of thanksgiving for a a trial that served to root my testimony further in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The atonement that can make something very hard and potentially ugly into something very beautiful.
The spirit whispered that if I chose, I could apply those same sweet words to widowhood. So I did:
Widowhood is a blessing.
It has shattered my dreams of the picture perfect future life that I so carefully planned as a little girl.
Instead, it has given me a present filled with a love so incredibly rare and perfect – a love that transcends mortality and the veil; something I could never have dreamed.
Yes, widowhood is truly a blessing, because I CHOOSE to view it as such.
As I now type this, my heart is so incredibly full of deep and abounding gratitude and thanksgiving, marveling how quickly my anger, frustration, and ruffled feathers disappeared and was replaced; marveling at the incredible power of the atonement. Chin up, focus on the light, and root yourselves in Christ. That faith can get you through the rough days ahead, and I promise there will be rough days. It is the rough days that help to strengthen and deepen the roots of faith even more.
Questions to Ponder:
- How can pondering and journaling help you get answers when you are struggling?
- How can you choose to see your trial? What has it taught you? What purpose have you seen in those lessons?