In which our Heroine corrects Herself.
My most popular blog post ever is the one from soon after surgery on Sept 14, 2010 entitled In Proportion: Some Spiritual Truths About Burning Brightly. Feeling curious, I decided to read it again tonight. After all, my memory is bad and I needed a refresher. Here’s a little reminder for you:
“…After the surgery, and during a short time when I was re-establishing my faith, I felt I’d lost my ability to burn brightly. (Though truthfully, it may not be possible to do this when on opiates.) I wondered if I would ever be able to burn like that again. I’m happy to say that I feel I can. In fact, I feel that I can do it even better or more brightly now. It is possible that I have learned a new universal truth: that when a covenant-keeping person loses a physical health, the Father will generously compensate by offering spiritual strength, even in proportion to that which was lost. Would a loving Heavenly Father leave us one-armed (so to speak) in a trying situation that frankly requires two arms? No. He is not a small or a mean God. As far as the "in proportion" idea, I have no quotes from any general authorities to support this—it is just what I feel about my particular situation. I invite you to do the research for me if you feel so inclined.
“At one point in my struggles, I was also wondering why my honoring my covenants and following the word of wisdom had not protected my physical health more. Of course, wisdom dictates that trials still come, but I wondered how I would ever be able to sit in a Young Women class and learn about the Word of Wisdom without scoffing a little about its simplistic a+b=c equation. Well, along with a few other truths which I plan to share along the way, the above-mentioned idea is key to answering my spiritual dilemma.”
I have two thoughts.
1. I was wrong about the in proportion idea. I recognize now that the blessings Heavenly Father gives to those who suffer are far greater than the idea of equality as I expressed in the phrase “in proportion.” As I look back and see how much I’ve gained from this terrifying experience, I recognize that a “proportionate” amount of blessings is feeble in contrast to what I’ve actually received. After regaining at least 95% of my physical health back so far, plus a wealth of spiritual blessings in things like gratitude, faith, wisdom, and patience, I now know that God gives an unquantifiable amount back before, during, and after the ordeal. All I had to do was ask Him, and he did it—though admittedly on his own time schedule.
2. Looking back, I am struck with the revelation that my life up until this year was too easy. There is an important truth here in this simple comment. How can we ever hope to grow to be better people without some sort of trial? It makes sense if you think of gaining a talent at something like running. At first, the warm-up laps alone seem tortuous. Then they become easier. Sometimes you get sore, sometimes your muscles will even feel like they're burning. You get thirsty, and uncomfortable in your own sweat and possibly body odor. It is not a pretty picture, really. And there is some pain involved in the conditioning. However, when all is said and done, there’s the good chance that you’ll be in better shape. And the perk is that you can enjoy yourself more on a hike or a bike-ride, or even significantly improve your health. If you never have to feel the burn, then you’ll never get to the point where you can reap the benefits. Everything was so easy for me—nearly perfect home and family life growing up, good health, easy times with schooling and my social life over all. It seems that I hardly even had small trials that made small bumps in my life—and I think Heavenly Father must have given me a great deal of help through even those small bumps in the road. I’m a lazy person, so when things get easy, I just stop trying as hard and let life pass me by. As I learned at church from my Stake President (church leader) today: Going through tough times allows us to gain certain attributes that will in turn lead us to reap great blessings. During hard times, we should seek out teaching moments to allow for growth. If you have to go through it anyway, then may it at least end up being worth-while. Trials will happen no matter what. That’s life. It is up to us to decide how we will grow from them.