Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trials, tribulations, suffering and pain

A great quote from War and Peace by Tolstoy is: 


"The most difficult thing – but an essential one – is to love life, to love it even while one suffers, because life is all. Life is God, and to love life means to love God."
Two things I know about life are that 1) it's not easy and 2) it's not always fair. It doesn't really matter where you fall on the good/bad continuum because bad things DO happen to good people. They are bound to happen; that's life!

Everyone goes through trials. Everyone! Some trials last for a short time, while others last for years. Trials have a way of showing us who we really are and what we’re made of. Here's my personal example: If you would've asked me before my accident if I would want to live as a quadriplegic on the minute chance I got in an accident and became paralyzed, I would've said, "NO WAY!" Honestly, who would want to live knowing they would lose all of their physical abilities as well as their privacy, dignity and hope for a normal life?

Most people probably feel the way the same way that I used to prior to my accident. However, I'm glad I don't feel that way anymore. My accident has taught me how resilient people are. I never would've wanted this life for myself, but now that I'm living it I can honestly say that I've never been happier.  If I would've made my choice about whether or not I would want to live as a quadriplegic before actually experiencing it I would be missing out on an incredible life.

Sometimes it's easy to compare our trials with the trials of others and wonder why we seem to have it harder than everyone else. Do you ever think, "So-and-So has a perfect life… why do I have to suffer more than everyone else seems to have to? One thing to remember is that we all suffer, just not in the same ways, so someone might appear to be living the perfect life, but can be suffering on the inside.

Why do we have to suffer and go through hard things? I definitely don't have all the answers, but I know a quote that explains things really well. (It's several lines, but please read the entire thing – it's that good!) It's by Orson F. Whitney and it says: 


"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God... and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father… in heaven."

I'm glad I know that everything I'm going through is shaping and molding me into a better, more Christ-like person. I can only imagine how angry and bitter I would be if I didn't know that trials and adversity have a purpose.
One more quote before I close. This one is from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and says,


 "The most beautiful people I've known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths." 

3 comments:

Jen@Because I can said...

beautiful post Heather! You are an inspiration!

Diane said...

And you doubt me when I say you're beautiful??? Awesome post!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I love your attitude, I am sure you get tired of hearing that but I mean it....Yes the why's can go on forever and it is just life...

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