Sometimes I get my best inspiration in the shower, usually while washing my hair. Yesterday morning….I began pondering about life’s adversity and challenges. I started comparing my challenges to others and even wondered…why me? I asked myself and God…what about me? Only a brief moment later another thought came to mind…it is all about you. As I stood there with bubbles running down my face and water trickling down my back, I was reminded that our challenges are just for us…God gives us trials to make us stronger. He knows our potential. He knows our strengths. He knows us. And yes…our journey in mortality is all about us. I’m sure I’m not alone in asking…why me…or what about me?
It’s kind of ironic to think that the loss we suffer, the heartache we experience, or the depression we suffer is truly meant for us…but incidentally enough it is.
I remember getting so upset at the way my life was going…even before Ryan and Evee’s death. Ryan and I had been trying to have another baby for a couple of years, with no success. I’d see many of my friends and family become pregnant and then have babies…all while I was still unable to. I tried many different infertility treatments, but nothing seemed to work. I was still without the baby I so desperately wanted. Ryan was firm in his faith and would lovingly tell me, that things would work out the way they were supposed to.
One week before the accident that took the life of my husband and daughter…I was at an infertility clinic receiving an HCG shot to aid in my quest to becoming pregnant.
Fast forward one week…
I was lying in a hospital ER bed…dazed…confused…upset…and fearful. I’d just been given the extremely devastating news that my husband and daughter had died, due to injuries from the car accident we had just been in. Along with this tragic news, I was also told that I might be pregnant. I’m ashamed to admit this…but that news only made me even more scared….in fact it was the last thing I wanted to hear at that moment.
A day later I was admitted to the hospital with a perforated bowel and my blood was drawn once more. This time I was told that the pregnancy test came back negative. Again…I hate to admit…but part of me was relieved. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to process and handle being pregnant after the death of half of my family. At that moment…it just didn’t seem possible.
It’s been almost two years since that day. It seems like only yesterday…but an eternity at the same time. My life is far from what I pictured it to be. I remember sitting in the temple one day shortly after the accident and receiving the confirmation that I will continue to experience my fair share of trials. Bummer right?! Wrong.
I wish every day that life could be different. I wish I didn’t have to learn the lessons I’ve learned in such an abrupt and devastating way. Yet, through it all…I’ve changed. My perspective is different. I’m willing to submit to the Lord’s plan for me…instead of worrying about my plan for me so much. I’m not the same person I was two years ago. Life means so much more than I ever thought it could.
Yes. I still have my moments. I ask why…I ask what about me? But then the Lord gently and lovingly reminds me that…Alyssa it is all about you.
The adversity we experience in life can be and is for our good… if we let it be. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of addiction, illness, divorce, infertility, or loss…just remember that this life is all about you. God knows our trials can strengthen us and build us. He wants us to have a fullness of joy.
President Thomas S. Monson said the following in his 2013 LDS General Conference address,
“Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life. The poet expressed much the same thought in these words:
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Only the Master knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls with His comforting words.”
I have my good days and bad. Some days I feel sorry for myself…and other days I feel empowered. We will all have our days. Just remember that on those days… where you may feel desperately alone or maybe that you are seeking empathy and courage… God is with you. Because after all…his glorious plan of happiness… is all about you.