“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami
There are few things in this life that I find more invigorating than a huge, black storm heading my way! I absolutely love it!!! It’s strange, but the prospect of that storm coming to beat down on the earth in order to help it flourish and grow is almost spiritual in its power over me.
Last night I had the unique opportunity to go to one of my favorite places on Earth. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In my church, we have special buildings that I’m sure you have heard of or seen. These buildings are called temples. The temple is a place that you are allowed to enter when you meet certain criteria that will allow you to feel of the spirit that is within the walls of that sacred place. These criteria aren’t a question of ecclesiastical knowledge or anything of that sort, but rather of how one is living his or her life. If a church member is living his or her life in accordance to the commandments of God (barring natural imperfections), then they may enter the temple.
So there I was last night, sitting in one of my favorite places on Earth. It has been quite a while since I have been. My entire life has been completely twisted and flipped upside down since the last time I went. I have been beaten, crushed, turned into a pulp, and then picked up again, just enough to be beaten down again, and again, and you know what? I couldn’t be more thankful for the beatings that I have received because of who I have become as a result. Last night I was able to feel God’s love for me and I was able to recognize His hand in everything that has happened in my life. I came to the realization that He is moulding me into what I need to become through these experiences.
So I finally came to the realization that in order to be happy in this life, we absolutely have to go through the storms of it! We can’t know happiness without first knowing sorrow. We can’t be happy if we don’t know sadness. If you are experiencing the sadness of a loss right now, or sadness from any circumstance, remember that it is through this sadness that you will one day know an even greater joy! Without feeling the way you feel when you are in the moments of sorrow, the absolute joys of life would just seem mundane. They would just be another day! In order to know what it’s like to be happy, you have to know what it’s like to be sad! There has to be opposition in all things in order for us to live the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us. His plan truly is a plan of happiness, and that’s why we experience sorrow!!! Weird, huh?
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so… righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.” (2 Nephi 2:11)
I know that when you are in the thick of it, hope seems bleak. Life in general can seem bleak. I am here to tell you however, that there is a purpose behind all of it. You will see one day that what you are going through right now is one of the best things that could ever have happened to you! Right now, that’s hard to see. I want to help give you hope that there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember, in order for a chunk of coal to become a diamond, it has to go through more heat and pressure… and TIME, than we can even imagine. I believe that God gives us these things as reminders that He works the same way. So the more pressure you are under, the more fire you are passing through, and the more time that seems to be passing, remember who is in control, and let Him guide you through it. You will come out much better in the end. You’ll see!
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
― Cynthia Occelli