Sunday, June 8, 2008

This (Crummy) Thing Called LIfe

So. Life.

This past year has been a dark one for me, and through it I have had many realizations. I would like to share a big one with you all:

Life is freaking hard.

I have always said that I grew up living a "fluffy cloud" life. Life was applause and roses for most of my growing up experience. I have an awesome family, I always did well at pretty much anything I tried to do, I've never even experienced the death of someone close to me (even all 4 of my grandparents are still living). Life was beautiful, and fun--which made it easy to live the gospel and have a testimony. I never had any experiences that emotionally crippled me and had me asking God why...

Until now.

And as I've been going through this experience of divorce (with all the feelings of betrayal, and anger, and fear) my eyes have been opened to how difficult this life really is. And not just for me, in this moment, but for all of us.

We came to this life equipped with a beautiful, deadly thing. Agency. Part of having the ability to make choices, is the reality that we will make poor ones. And part of the consequence of making poor choices is that it creates pain for those we love, and for ourselves. Enter this (crummy) thing called life.

We also came to this life to be tested. In order for our faith to be proven, it must be tried. Enter this (crummy) thing called life.

I received terrible news about a friend this weekend, and it has really put me in a reflective mood. People all around me are dealing with seriously difficult trials. I would like to list a few trials that friends of mine are currently going through (don't be surprised if you see your trial on this's probably you I'm referring to):

1. Eating disorder
2. Depression
3. Bipolar Disorder
4. Substance abuse problems
5. Serious family issues
6. Death of a sibling
7. Death of a child
8. Inability to get pregnant
9. Children with disabilities
10. Family members deployed
11. Loss of a pregnancy
12. Loss of job/money problems
13. Cancer
14. Death of a spouse

And for every person I know that is going through something like this, I'm sure there are other friends of mine going through heavy trials that I am just not aware of.

It is sobering (and depressing) to think about how many opportunities for pain exist in this life. Think of how our Heavenly Father must feel as He watches us suffer, knowing that if we can maintain our faith, and rely on Him, that it will all be for our own good; that we can know joy as exceeding as was our pain. I am reminded of a quote by Sheri Dew from her book No Doubt About It. I'm going to post it on here, even though its long. It is very comforting to me, especially in light of all the pain that seems to be around me right now.

"It is in moments of disappointment, heartache, and lonliness that we often make the decisions that forge our faith, mold our character, and fortify our convictions about the only source of strength and solace that satisfies. And that is Jesus Christ.

How do we know if we are honest, unless our honesty is put to the test? How do we know if we are filled with virtue, unless there are opportunities to choose a nonvirtuous path that we then resist? How do we know if we can bear up under challenge and trial, unless we have challenge and trial? And how can we expect to feel and taste the pure sweetness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning specifically the power and peace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, unless there are times in our lives when we desperately need and seek that peace and power?"

This is definitely a time in my life that I desperately need the peace of the Atonement. I am so thankful for my testimony of the gospel. I know that the Atonement of the Savior can be an unbelievable blessing in our lives if we choose to use it. I know that my Heavenly Father is intimately aware of me, and the things I have gone through can draw me closer to Him if I allow them to. I am thankful for the knowledge that (as stated by Warren Weirsbe) "When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. His loving heart knows how much and how long."

Bye bye fluffy clouds. Here comes the fire.


the rudys said...

i like reading your blogs because unlike you i am not as good at expressing into words exactly what i think - i just read yours and think, that's right, exactly... here comes the fire.

The Yeamans said...

I love this! Nik, you are always such an encouragement! Thank you for your bravery and vulnerability. It helps me keep the faith!
You are in my prayers!

Eric Requel and Bella said...

Wow, you really put everything into perspective. Life is hard, you never know what's going to be thrown at you next. As I was reading this I was thinking about all the hard times I have had in my life. And most were brought on by my BAD decisions. Some weren't not at all! I have had things happen to me that no person should ever have to go through at a very young age. But I knew before I came to this earth what I was going to have to endure, just like we all do, and I still chose to come and go through it. Life is full of disapointment, but it's all in the way you handle it. And Nikki I think you are handling all that you are going through like a Champ! I can't even imagine what you are feeling and what you are going through righ now and I hope I never have to. I just wish you all the best. And thank you for this post. Like I said it really puts things into perspective.

Scott Schroeder said...

I love you. I'm proud of you. And, when my heart aches for you (as in now), I know you'll be fine.

Elaine Williams said...

Yes, there's fire, but it's when we're in the thick of the fire that we learn the most. May you be well.elaine

Julia Kelly said...

i'm a sunday school teacher for the 14-16 year olds in my ward.
after i read your post this scripture just came to mind. hope you don't mind me sharing...

Mosiah 24:14

"And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will i do that ye may stand as a witness for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."

I'm glad that with all you're going through, that you have peace in your heart.

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog was a great birthday gift. I love you, pray for you every day and am grateful beyond words that you are my daughter.

Michael and Cordie said...

I have commented once before and look at your blog quite often. I hope this is okay with you. You are very inspired because what you just wrote helped me in more ways than you know. I feel like ever since I have been married some of the biggest things I want in life don't happen and I often am unhappy because of it. I need to have FAITH and rely on the LORD more! I feel inadequate and weak most of the wonder I keep having trials I just don't learn the first time. Thanks for your thoughts! You really are such a strong person.

Ashby Family said...

You are brave and strong. You are a true example of faith and patience as you ride the wave of this trial. So much of what you are going through reminds me of my mom when my parents divorced. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Everyone has trials some great, some small but they are a constant in our lives. Through faith and prayer we can overcome them all.

Jordanfam4 said...

Your such an inspiration to me. I know we weren't great friends in 9th ward but I know that I think of you often and pray for you continually. you uplift me even when I think my problems aren't even comparative to what you must be going through. I hope you know that above all else I regret not getting to know you better.

Jordanfam4 said...

Your such an inspiration to me. I know we weren't great friends in 9th ward but I know that I think of you often and pray for you continually. you uplift me even when I think my problems aren't even comparative to what you must be going through. I hope you know that above all else I regret not getting to know you better.

The Morgans said...

You articulate your feelings and thoughts extremely well and I am proud of you for being so strong. You are truly an example to me and I hope that if I am faced with similar challenges that I would be able to be half as strong.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those who just happened upon your blog. You don't know me and I don't know you. But I feel we have a lot in common- we both know how much it sucks to suffer from the poor choices of another person. I don't know your personal situation, but I'll share with you mine. After having served a mission, being married in the temple, and having 5 kids, my father left my mother and our family for another man. My mom, who is a convert to the church, went back to school, worked, and led a family of 5 kids all at the same time. I don't share this information freely as you can tell by this anonymous comment, but I come back to your blog because while everyone else blogs about their wonderful lives and kids, no one can articulate how "real life" hurts the way you can by your experiences. Some days, you just have to hang in there.

Cardon Family said...

I think that it is a great idea for you to do the other blog as well! And I think you will totally have plenty to journal about or write are always so inspiring to everyone and I think that is why so many are attracted to your awesome blog! I love it are the bomb!!:)

Nikki said...

Thanks for all these awesome comments. I'm going to comment on your comments so you can all comment on my comment on your comments. haha.

Neese Family said...

You so make me smile! You are such an amazing person. It is so hard this thing that we call life! But our attitude and perspective make a huge difference on how we deal with the problems we face everyday! Thank you for the uplifting words!