Friday, December 2, 2011

Day: 176 Discovering The Silver Lining

"Every cloud has a silver lining," is a very common statement that we hear quite often from others when we are going through a dark and difficult time in our lives.

Another great statement that goes along with this is:

 "Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another."

No one is immune from hardship or trials in this life. We will all face challenges. No matter what those challenges are, they are difficult at times for the individual to go through. There is no reason to compare our challenges with others, or try to judge if they are dealing with it better than we are. All challenges are perfectly designed for those who are going through them. 

Because there will always be opposition in all things, we must have trials in order to appreciate the good. When we face trials with the right attitude we grow and develop as we use the character that we have built before going through it.

Life is all about perspective. No one that I know looks at life through a positive perspective all the time, but if we did, we could have less things hedge our way. When it appears that our life is starting to be filled with dark stormy clouds, then that is the time to look for the silver lining, or the light. If we focus on the light, or the positive things that we can learn or gain from our experiences, they pass more quickly. BY going through this process, we gain faith and experience. 

As this trial has begun to fade, like the sun at dusk, I cannot help but reflect on the lessons that our entire family has learned through this experience. While I know that there will be more trials ahead, I also have gained a new way of looking at them.

I still have moments where I struggle with fear and the natural man from time to time, but I am starting to understand what it really means to turn to God in all things. I have seen a great deal how everything is turned for my good. Even when others have made choice that could have been devastating, I watched the hand of the Lord guide me to other solutions and He comforted me.

I think that the Lord does use those around us to fulfill his purposes, but through this experience, I have also learned that I did not turn to Him as much as I thought I did. I would turn to others before hitting my knees. While that can still happen, I have turned to Him first a lot more through this experience. I have been able to relax and trust in His plan for my life more. I am sure that this process takes a lifetime or more to truly refine, but I can see the benefits of doing it so much more clearly now. 

In order to keep focus on the light, and maintain that hope, I have found that we must be praying. We must be reading the Word of God every day. And not just once a day. There are so many things that so many people are going through all of the time. A lot of people are losing hope, they want to give up, and just quit. I have had those days too. I really do not think that anyone is immune to that feeling in these Last Days, however, I also feel that we all have access to the antidote. And because it is so simple, we may miss it. When our problems feel so overwhelming, intense, and complex, it can be easy to think the answer must be large and complex too. But, like the brazen serpent, it is not. In that time, all they needed to do was LOOK to be healed. It is the same in our day, we need to LOOK to God first, and we can be healed, comforted, strengthened, and find direction. Many of us do not do it because it seems too easy to really be the solution. I testify that it is. There is no other way to find true joy in this life than to turn to Christ. He truly is the Way, the Truth and the Light.

In addition to the blessings I have already listed, I am going to list a few of the blessings that we have enjoyed since my last post.

Counting Blessings

  • Our family has grown closer through our trials to each other and the Lord.
  • We were given a Queen bed and no longer have to sleep on a full.
  • The children were each given $100 to buy winter clothing.
  • We were given food for Thanksgiving.
  • I sang in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City as a member of the Millennial Choir. I made new friends and shared the same stage as Lex De Azevedo (composer and conductor of 'Gloria'), George Dyer, Gregory Pearson, Catherine Hyde Straumbaugh, Melinda Lockwood Debirk and many talented musicians.
  • I developed better relationships with my extended family, as they supported our family through trials, rehearsals, and performances.
  • Got to sing with our Church Choir.
  • Was accepted to the college I wanted to attend to get a BA in Music. (Vocal Performance)
  • Received help in many ways, from many different people. 
  • Was able to serve others a lot more, and feel like I could make a difference by just listening.
  • Increased my business income through sales and new contract work.
  • I was able to get the medical care I needed, and recover relatively shortly. Had a lot of family and friends that helped in the moment I really needed it.
  • Found things I could work on within myself while attending a class at church.
  • I have had help around the house once a week again.
  • Grown new friendships and created new ones with people at church.
  • Was present at all the events that my children wanted me to attend.
  • I have been able to express my thoughts and feelings more openly with people that have gained my trust. 
  • I have focused more on what I can change about myself rather than wanting to change others or their decisions.
  • I have gained new insights and perspectives.
  • I have realized that even during these hard times, I am still rich.
  • My children have lengthened their prayers, have much longer lists of things they are thankful for, and have been asking for others to be blessed more than things that they want.

There are many more blessings, and I am striving to acknowledge them to God each day.

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