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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blessings in Trials and Trials in Blessings

Have you ever thought about how it goes both ways?  I have.  Quite a LOT lately.  The truth of, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. (underline added by me)" (2 Nephi 2: 11) is becoming ever more and more real and apparent to me.  How funny... I've been using 'apparently' in my verbal communication more than I am comfortable with, but it's rather appropriate, too, because much IS becoming apparent and clearer to me!  :)

And it's amazing what things can happen when we obey the command, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (boldened words made that way by me)" given in Ephesians 5:20.

I hope you'll stick with me to see what I'm referring to!  ^_^

My sister sent a note to my Ria a bit back.  With the letter she included a paper cut-out cloud.  The cloud was lined with aluminum foil.  My sis had written a note to Ria on it, reminding me that I'd helped her make a bunch of those clouds when things had been a bit difficult for her and she'd posted and hung them around her room.  I totally didn't remember that at all until my Ria received that gift in an envelope.  I consider it one of the huge gifts of my life (even though it wasn't mine at all!) because it has heavily impacted MY perceptions and changed our home over time since receiving it.  Seriously.  Awesome, right?

At the time, I believe we were in the midst of one of the illnesses of Tea's 18 months of monthly sicknesses.  I was overwhelemd by fears about my children's well-being.  I was feeling drowned by the trials of my life.  That little cloud, which cost the price of postage to send, reminded me of the principle of "opposition in all thing," without mentioning it at all.  And I'm quite sure I didn't think of it in those terms at that time, either.  But I began to TRY to see the trials I was facing as something that might be hiding something else worthwhile... some silver around the edge.

I began to wax both philosophical and poetical about the whole silver-lined-cloud-thing - mostly to myself and in my own head.  As I write, I realize it must have been significantly more than a year ago because I even mentioned some of my musings in a testimony which I shared with my previous Ward.  These ponderings were certainly guided, at least in part, by the Spirit.  Because of the thoughts (my own and some certainly were whispers of the Spirit), I began to be much more accepting of the trials that came my way.  Acceptance is the first step to Peace and Peace is a necessary precursor to Joy.

Now fast forward more than a year.  (At least 15 months, but probalby a good bit more... and time reference is important because my progress has NOT been swift... but the tortoise DID win....  heehee... I know I'm only racing against myself... but GOSH, I wanna win!   -_^wink)

This illness (throwing up, fever, diahrea) has definitely "rocked the Gollihugh family boat" a bit for the last week.  And it continues.  Jess got it over-night.  It has been a trial of one of the bigger sort - especially as far as stress goes, because our baby is merely 6 weeks old.  But please do not mistake.  I am NOT complaining.  This trial, as large and dark a 'cloud' as it could be compared to, is lined with loads of silver.  The silver, in fact, is greater in worth than the evil inteded by the darkness within illness and pain.

Jessie has been our nurse.  He has taken complete charge of each of our sick kiddos, in turn.  He has helped them with their throw-ups.  He has walked (and sometimes carried) them to the toilet for the diahrea.  He has diligently sought information that he might use to provide relief and healing and then prepared and administered teas, chicken broth, chicken noodle soup, roasted onion dip for crackers, baked sweet potatoes, and ensured that each and every one of us was consuming (when we could not eat especially) lots of hydrating fluids (especially electrolyte replacements) as well as teas.  To see him in action this way, solicitous and tender has been a tremendous gift to me.  And, as part of the even larger trial of his being unemployed again, the ABILITY and TIME he has to do this work in our home for all of us sickies is an amazing strike of silver in the black thundercloud of the unemployment trial.  So, see!  How could I wish the trial to never have come when it gives me such riches BECAUSE it has visited us?

Yes.  It's a trial.  Yes.  It's difficult.  Would I WISH it here?  NO!!!  Would I wish it away given that it's already come... yes, when the time is right in the Lord.  Would I wish it away before it's purifying work is done?  No.  I cannot.  I can see how the chaff is blowing and the dross is burning to leave greater purity than was present before its arrival.  The greater good is most certainly being served.  How could it be otherwsie when we truly do strive to live as God would have us do?

With the trial of the illness, I have experienced something amazing.  I have finally applied the principle in Ephesians whilst still facing my natural tendancy to fear illness and while still in the midst of this trial.  Over the last year or so, I've gotten better about expressing thanks for trials... AFTER they were passed.  This time is different, as I've mentioned.  And WOW!  The payoff for THAT!  As a result of thanking the Lord for the trial and praising His name for knowing what we can handle, He has opened my mind and I have experienced a flood of revelation.

I exhult in and praise our Lord that we can pray and receive answers.  Even instantaneous.  I definitely have had that experience - even on a regular and ongoing basis.  But since giving thanks for this trial... it's like the highway for communication (reception, most likely) has been straightened and widened significantly.  It's like I don't have to listen nearly so hard to "hear" and understand the answers to the questions I ask the Lord in my mind.  Additionally, as I've been thinking about something (not praying or expecting any info from the Lord), I've received really amazing understandings as sort of "downloads" of pictures to illustrate a true understanding of the thing over which I was pondering.  In addition to the pictures there are explanations in whispers when I ponder on the pictures!!!  It's been amazing and WONDERFUL and I'm SO thankful!!!!  I feel so excited to thank the Lord for all our trials and am actively trying to do it more - and do it audibly so our children will learn the habit!  Perhaps they will always have a more open channel of reception in their mind and only have to work on the 'fine tuning'.  Wouldn't that be wonderful!!!  ^_^

Have you found any treasures in the trials of your life?

Next regular post, I'll illustrate a little about how I have found there to be trials in blessings.  It will be more a cursory examination and I'll explain why at the end of that post.  ^_^

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