So I’m not sure if the whole world is aware and I am not, but apparently there’s this HUGE arctic hurricane, polar vortex thingy that happened, and hit New York. I didn’t even know, until we were stuck inside due to the huge winds and below 0 temps. Shows you how out of the loop you really are as a missionary. Haha. BUT, it made me think of a lot of the storms we face in our life.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life. . .
There is calm in the storm. Although sometimes you need to look for it.
Let me explain a little. All of us missionaries are promised when we go on our missions that our family will be blessed. Once upon a time, my beautiful sister served a mission in the beautiful country of Tahiti.
While she was there, I can tell you, that that year was the hardest year I have ever experienced. My family got hit by a lot of trials. It was crazy how much all of us had on our plate, and I remember thinking, “Holy moly! How am I supposed to even do this? Where are those blessings my family is supposed to be expecting from this mission? Does God really offer them?”
It took me awhile, but one day I recognized them!!! I had two loving parents who I knew were helping me get through every thing. They kept a clear head. I had an easy semester (yes that was in fact a blessing). I had friends who were willing to help a “sister” (haha! future sister 😉 ) out that whole year. I realized that year that I was going to serve a mission, and that right there is the greatest blessing of my life. Not to mention, I was also offered so much peace during that struggle of a year, because most importantly, I have a Savior who knew everything I was going through.
So fast forward a year and a half and I’m in the MTC. I find out that there is this HUGE forest fire right in my neighborhood (I literally live in the middle of a forest). My family was evacuated and the fire was heading directly for my house. And I remember thinking, how in the world will my home be saved from this massive fire? But some favorite memories I have are kneeling down in the MTC multiple times, begging for protection for my home and family. And it hit me. Peace. “Not my will, but thine be done.” If this was a trial my family had to overcome then so be it. I felt a calm peaceful feeling that no matter the outcome, my family would be blessed. If the house was to taken out by a fire, there was a plan in store that our Father in Heaven had for us. And we have a Savior who knows every pain we have or ever will go through! He would be there to comfort us.
(I will tell you though… my house did in fact survive. Missionary blessings!!! But this is beside the point.)
I read this talk the other day. Trials are a way God shows us His love for us, because those trials are what cause us to grow.
“You and I will one day know, if we do not know now, there is no way we can escape from God’s love, because it is infinite. ” — Neal A Maxwell
Infinite, people! INFINITE! It’s hard to escape trials we may face though, because really they are God’s love. Do you even realize that?!?! Do we realize how much we become like Him during these trials?
I find that something we are all guilty of is looking at the bad in each situation. Instead, look at the good. Look at the eternal perspective. How will this increase my faith, my testimony? How will this make me a better person? How will I come closer to my Savior through this experience? Who is the calm in the storm anyway?
“Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
“But men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” –Matthew 8: 26-27
Jesus Christ is the calm. I know from personal experience this. But I know that it’s hard to believe it, unless we ourselves can feel it. So my invitation to everyone (the whole world hopefully!) is that when hard times come, and there’s winds that feel 7583659693691 miles per hour come STRAIGHT at you, and waves crashing down or you, remember that He will comfort you. He knows what you are going through.