While hubby was in the military, we were stationed in Washington. I loved it because for the first time in my life I was able to see the seasons change. I saw leaves turn from green to yellow and then to orange. I loved seeing fresh fallen snow and hear the sound if it crunching as I walked through it. Then flowers would bloom in the spring and we would stop and pick berries on the side of the road in summer. It was amazing to see the glory that God had created. It was magnificent to see how the world changed with each season. Just as the weather goes through various seasons of change, we also experience seasons of change in our own lives. We have stormy seasons, calm seasons, and season that are as bright as a summer day. It is through these seasons that we live this wonderful life.
Recently I received an email from a very sweet reader. She was asking me how I coped when things got rough. I've been thinking on this question all week... wanting to respond, but not sure how. When my family started living on a small income, it was not by choice. Things were rough. We had very little money and had two little bits to take care of. I am just going to be real with you....it was scary hard. We didn't have insurance and no job prospects for the future. Everything was very uncertain. Have you heard that whole thing about blind faith? Well we were totally walking blind with nothing to hold on to but our Faith. The one thing we did have was food storage (Thank you Bishop Myers for telling me to do it. Little did you know it would be our saving grace a year later). We lived off that food storage for quite a while. It was that food storage that allowed us the time we needed to figure out how the heck we were going to make it. We had planned as much as we could. We knew hubby may not get a job after getting out of the military (there were no jobs anywhere), but all the planning in the world, doesn't soften the blow when reality strikes.
I've never really talked about how hard it was on here before, but it was. It royally stunk. When I get emails from you mamas and dads expressing your sorrow and fear for the situations you are in, my heart breaks for you. I want to cry for you because I know that feeling of uncertainty. It is very unsettling. I honestly can empathize with you. Not knowing how you will feed your family or pay a bill is a terrifying thing. You become full of doubts...searching for an answer. If I am describing you right now, please know it gets better. This doesn't mean you will get bags of money to save you from your problems (although wouldn't that be nice), but you will be able to endure. As I thought on this question and prayed about it, the whole idea of being in a "season" came to mind. Then I picked up this month's Ensign and read President Uchtdorfs article, "Saints For All Seasons". It was exactly what I had been pondering in my heart. After the first few sentences were read, tears came to my eyes and I knew I had an answer to the question I had been thinking on. Isn't it just amazing how that happens:)
While reading I was reminded that when we go through hard times in life, that is when we are going through a stormy season. The storm may be like a light rain or it may be more fierce.... hitting like a tornado, but it is life's bitterness that allows us to recognize, contrast, and appreciate its sweetness.
While hubby and I went through our storm, we were constantly reminded that although things were rough now, if we endured, then our spring would come. Sometimes it was hard because spring seemed so far off in the distance. We had to patient. When we got discouraged we reminded ourselves to just take it one day at a time. If you are in debt, take it one day at a time. If you are dealing with sickness, take it one day at a time. If you are emotionally, physically, or spiritually struggling...take it one day at a time. It will get better.
For us, enduring was something we couldn't do alone. We needed God's help. Being poor and struggling was not a punishment. God was not angry at us and he certainly had not forgotten us. He was always there wrapping his arms around us as we cried in frustration. In our darkest hour he is always there....for you and for me. When my hubby and I were struggling financially, we learned so much about ourselves and each other. Where other couples would buckle under the pressure and fight, we cleaved to one another. We talked about everything and made plan after plan. If one plan failed, then we made another one. Going through that storm was inevitable. It was necessary for our progression. Had we not gone through those hard times, I never would of learned the greatness I had inside me. Had we not had to be frugal, Blissful and Domestic never would have come to be. I would be missing out on such an amazing Summer (getting to know amazing people all over the world).
While in that storm, hubby had to go to the hospital. They thought he had a tumor on his brain. Before they did an MRI, we asked them to be honest with us and not sugar coat anything. We wanted the worst case scenario. They told us that if it was a tumor, then my husbands time here would be short. It was heart breaking news. We cried. He received a blessing from his brothers and off he went for the exam. While hubby went to get the MRI done, I remember going into the bathroom and falling to the floor. I didn't understand why we had to go through more. I didn't understand why our storm had to get worse. I already felt like we couldn't handle anything else. It was in that dark moment that I knew I had to pray. I prayed for my husband, for my family, and for my children. I prayed that whatever the outcome was, that I would have God's strength to get me through it. I also told God I wouldn't be angry. I told him I was thankful for temples....for knowing I would be with my husband forever...even if our time on this Earth was cut short. At the end of my prayer, I knew God was there with me. I knew that as I sat on that bathroom floor crying, that he was crying with me. I gave it all over to Him, knowing that anything was possible if I had faith in Him. An amazing thing happened....Jason's test results came back negative. He didn't have a tumor. What an amazing blessing that was. We had stood up to the storm and finally after months of struggle, the winds were finally calming down.
After that short stay in the hospital, our storm began to move on and spring was sprung. Since then my hubby was able to graduate, find the job in law enforcement he had been spent four years working towards and praying for...oh and we finally have insurance. Woot woot! If I could go back, I wouldn't change a thing...not a single moment, tear, or second of heartache. Because of that storm, I appreciate the season we are in now so much more.
Our storm lasted for a long time and I know it won't be the last one we have to endure. There is no question to whether or not we will have to experience seasons of adversity. It is going to happen, but how we will weather the storm is up to us. It is up to us whether or not we turn that trial into a blessing. We will endure both pleasant and painful times in our lives, "but no mater the season, as followers of Jesus the Christ, we will rest our hope upon Him as we walk toward His light". "We are Saints of God, determined to learn of Him, to love Him, and to love our fellowman. We are pilgrims on the blessed road of discipleship, and we will walk steadfastly toward our heavenly goal". Let us be Saints in spring, summer, fall, and winter. Let us help one another, as we all go through our own seasons of joy and hardship. Love one another and uplift one another. The world is already full of enough ugliness, lets not add more to it by ugly words and thoughts towards one another. Lets be like Christ and show kindness in all we do.
Today I pray for you who are struggling. I pray with all my heart that you will have hope. That you will know that it can get better. Know that God loves you so much and that you mean the world to Him. He gave his Son, so you could live with Him again.
Have a wonderful day lovelies and as always thank you for the support and kindness you show me each day. You are amazing!
Oh and if you made it through that very long winded post, then I love you even more. :)
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