There were parts of this week that were absolutely wonderful. And there were parts that were really tough. But I learned some things that I hope I don’t forget (but I probably will so here I am writing them down). So here are some of my realizations:
1. The church provides amazing support and help for any trials. This week, I went to lds.org and typed a keyword into that search engine. Several relevant results popped up and I spent the next several hours simply browsing them. There was a talk that related to what I was going through and helped me feel better and introduced me to my new favorite scripture (see realization #3) and a mormon channel interview with a woman who struggles with what I am having a hard time with. She gave advice on how to push on and provided the motivation and assurance I needed. I also felt less alone in my struggles. I'm so grateful for the internet and how the church utilizes it to bring us together! That little search made my whole day better.
2. A friend told me, "You know, Maren, to be happy is a choice." And that didn’t sit well with me, but I didn't understand why. Now that I look back, I think it was because in that moment there was no way I could comprehend feeling happy, I was just really sad. I wanted my friend to wrap me up in a hug and to tell me I matter. There was no switch for me to flick where I would just suddenly feel happy. But I thought about it for a bit, and talked to other people about it, and I came to the conclusion that, you know what? Sometimes we are just sad. As human beings, that happens. And it’s okay. Sad things happen and they make us sad. But, my friend was right, happiness IS a choice. Maybe we can't say, "Oh I'm going to be happy right now" and then truly just be happy like flicking a switch, but we can do things right now that will ensure our chances of happiness in the future. For example, it's so hard to get up sometimes and to do my hair and to socialize and to make sure I eat enough and sleep enough, etc. etc. But when I do those things, even if I feel incomprehensibly sad, then slowly I start to feel better. So sometimes we can't choose to be happy right this second, but we can choose to have faith and to work towards being happy again.
3. The last thing is that I found this scripture: 2 Ne. 4:17-21 and it is AMAZING! It says:
17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great agoodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O bwretched man that I am! Yea, my heart csorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily abeset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have atrusted.
20 My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through mine bafflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
I could really relate to Nephi this week. Despite everything good about the world and about the gospel, I was sad. I felt wretched and sorrowful and inadequate. But, although I didn’t do this perfectly by any means, I did try to choose to have faith that things would be okay. I made some choices that didn’t help either but… I did get up and I did my homework and I socialized and I even put on make-up most days (at some point in the day anyway haha). But more importantly, I read my scriptures every night (which even a page can sometimes be unbelievably hard to do), and I poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father every day, sometimes all day. And now, you know, I actually do feel happier! Life looks just a little bit brighter today. I can see that while I was going through that trial, the Lord was with me every step of the way. He is my support, like He was Nephi’s. The important thing I have to remember is to stay close to Him even when I don’t feel like I have the energy or the time to. Because those are probably the moments that I need Him the most.