Wow, what a hectic week this has been! I’m really starting to feel the toll of college, and it was the semester break! I’ve officially overcome taxes and I was feeling pretty good about myself, until I got hit in the face with auditions and pre-program acceptance exams and random health issues. Yikes! However, I also feel a strange peace and excitement about this upcoming semester.
I think oftentimes we think of trials as a negative, bad, terrible awful punishment. However, as I look forward into the looming doom of the next three months of my life, I don’t really feel punished at, but rather pushed. I can feel Heavenly Father’s influence, and I know that my trials right now are 100% His doing. And I certainly didn’t do anything so wrong that all of this would be placed on me. Rather, I kind of brought this on myself.
Let me explain. Last semester was challenging in all sorts of different ways. I had to overcome many things I never thought I could, and even though it was painful and gross and I never want to do it again, it changed my life. I think this past semester really taught me something amazing and beautiful: sometimes Heavenly Father shows His love for us in unexpected ways, like trials. I know, I know you might be thinking what are you even saying right now???
My closest friends know I absolutely love to share my relationship with Heavenly Father with them. There are few things I cherish like this relationship. They know how it works, with 90% me whining and the other 10% Heavenly Father calmly and lovingly rolling His eyes while quietly laughing at my drama. I love that He can laugh with me at my human urges. I love that He does laugh, and doesn’t comfort me every second something uncomfortable happens. Instead, once I have finished an episode, He very calmly and resolutely reassures me that I am His daughter and I can do anything I put my mind to. And instead of letting me curl up in a ball like I really want to, I am given the push I needed to accomplish the task at hand. He knows my potential. He knows those desires that I tell no one and won’t even admit to myself. He pushes me until every ounce of my being is known in the universe. I love my Heavenly Father because He refuses to let me bury my talents. Constantly He pushes me until I have earned the capacity for more, and then He pushes me again.
Even though I know this semester certainly won’t be easy, even though I know that I will get depressed and frustrated along the way, even though I have a vision of what I want and I know I probably won’t get it, I know that I can trust my Father’s plan for me. He has yet to let me down with His infinite wisdom and knowledge. He has yet to fail me with how He reads my heart and my mind and every other part of my being. I know He knows me, I know He loves me, and I know that He is doing something with my life. I may not know what I am being prepared for, but I know that I can eventually get there.
I’m not going to lie and say that most days are happy-go-lucky and effortless. I’m beginning to realize more and more how similar everyone else’s days are to mine, that I’m not the only one drowning in life’s responsibilities and expectations. I wish more often we shared these vulnerable points in our lives. I wish that I had recorded my thoughts at the harder points, because in retrospect I’m a little skeptical at my reasoning for being so stressed out. I really want to learn to respect myself even in those moments of near insanity, and not just wave my arms and say ‘hey, I survived!’. I think as a society we need to really learn to see the beauty in the struggle, the joy in the journey, and truly respect what we consider our “worst”. If we can lovingly acknowledge our flaws and strengths and praise our efforts rather than looking down upon them, I know we will begin to learn more from the trials in our lives.
Even though I am certainly scared about how I’m going to get through this semester at all, let alone with a smile, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am in Heavenly Father didn’t think that I would benefit. I know that I am where I am because it’s where I need to be and I have a lot to learn. I’m so grateful for these stretching periods that I have the opportunity to go through. I know it’s easy to say things like that between the storms, but I honestly have a testimony of His hand and love in my life. Not only have I noticed this, but I am also extremely grateful for His influence in my life. It’s a blessing to have His power in my life every step of the way.
I feel that we are very unkind to our God. We see Him as a dictator, torturer, executioner, and fault finder. I know from my own life experience that He is not anything of those things, but a kind and generous Being, who only wants the very best for each of us. He only sees our potential and pushes us to strive for the victor in each of us. I believe in a God of miracles, a God who performs miracles because He loves us. I will forever be grateful for His miracles in my own life, and I pray that we can all feel His presence and see Him in a new light, one that is positive and even reciprocating in love. That is, after all, something most fathers treasure above all else, and I don’t think Heavenly Father is an exception.