Friday, August 22, 2008

Life Trials

Early in our marriage (technically, I suppose we're still early in our marriage) I remember my mother-in-law saying something to the effect of "All your friends are at this young stage of life where it is great and exciting...you haven't hit the hard parts yet where someone gets divorced, or their spouse cheats on them or a child dies or they die or get diagnosed with a terminal illness."  She wasn't being pessimistic, but speaking a difficult truth that is more often than not associated with this life.  

Many of you have probably heard about NieNie and her husband.  In summary, they were in a plane crash last Saturday and are in critical condition, burned badly from head to toe.  The flight instructor, Doug Kinnard, died in the crash.  NieNie and her husband have 4 small children and are rather young themselves--28 I believe?  They are in for months of rehabilitation and the estimated medical costs are already in the millions.  My heart is aching for their little family.  

Of course I don't actually know NieNie, but she's popular in the Mormon world of blogging and seems to be beloved by all who know her.  This situation takes me back to my other blog friend Molly who lost her not-yet 2 year old daughter in May to a terrible choking accident.  Both of these women and families seem to be experiencing the trial of their lives.  That defining turning point where you are stretched and stretched beyond what you thought possible.  Where the ache of pain becomes a constant companion and life as you know it will never be the same again.  This makes me wonder (hesitantly) what will be the trial of my life?  I don't think it happens for everyone in such a dramatic way.  I think most of us, if not all of us, will go through some pain and suffering, but I don't know that all of us will have a trial that could be considered 'the big one'.   For some it may just be enduring and dealing with the mundane and ordinary tasks of life.  Perhaps your life is just fine, but things haven't turned out quite like you hoped they would. I like this quote by Elder Maxwell (oh him again...)  

Occasionally I see individuals who are meeting life's challenges reasonably well but who unfortunately fail to appreciate the general adequacy of their response. They let the seeming ordinariness of life dampen their spirits. Though actually coping and growing, some lack the quiet inner-soul satisfaction which can steady them. Instead they seem to experience a lingering sense that there is something more important they should be doing or that their chores are somehow not quite what was expected, as if what is quietly achieved in righteous individual living or in parenthood is not sufficiently spectacular.

Are you ever scared for the big one?  What about the ordinary and bland? 

Either way I hope you (continue to) pray for Nie Nie, Molly and anyone else you know currently caught up in the trial of their life.     

5 comments:

  1. I do frequently think about this as well. So far my life has been an absolute breeze. I can't complain about a thing, and that worries me! Thank you for posting such good quotes and for your testimony. You are wonderful!

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  2. Thank you for your post. It reminds me that life is too short to complain about things when really there is nothing to complain about. Then only thing close to a hard life trial was when my dad had a big accident and we almost lost him. That was the worst experience thus far, but with lots of prayer and faith he made it okay. He's not how he used to be, but he is still here and it's because the faith of others.
    Like you I just started reading Nie Nie's blog and have been touched by her. I know that faith and prayer will help her out a ton. Thanks so much for you post.
    PS: I randomly found your blog and I'm so happy that I did! I've been looking for it b/c a while back you gave me a link but I had lost it. Hopefully now we can keep in touch. Love ya

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  3. Every day I worry about the big one. I love my mundane little tasks! In fact thanks for reminding me that I do.
    This is one of the biggest areas in my life that I've come to understand what faith really is. Understanding it, trying to grow it...plain old having it is the only thing that brings me comfort in this area.

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  4. I've been thinking about this, too.

    I used to worry about "the big trial" really a LOT, but I don't anymore. I just decided I wasn't really living my life and enjoying it with that looming over me.
    Denial is way happier.
    ;)

    PS - how have you been!? I've been thinking about you. I LOVE your blog header.

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  5. Interesting responses. They create mixed emotions for me...but all we can really do is live our lives. We can't live someone else's. But we can take time to think of those "someone else's" lives and learn from them. Which is what you are doing. Which is what makes my tragedy more bearable...that there is learning and growing because of it. It is not mine alone. It is not in vain.

    Gratitude really is the highest form of intelligence, whether our lives have been "an absolute breeze" or our hearts have been knocked out of place.

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