Sometimes our challenges pass. Sometimes it’s hard until it’s over, and then it gets better and life goes on. Those situations have a “light at the end of the tunnel” we can look forward to. But, what about those times where there isn’t a light at the end? What about when you lose a child? When your mother passes away? When you acquire a permanent disability? Those things aren’t “passing”. The loved ones aren’t coming back. You’re not getting better. You have to face the rest of your life, learning how to deal with this turn of events. It’s not a matter of hoping it will eventually get better. It’s a matter of figuring out how to move forward without that light at the end.
How do you do it? You cannot. Not in the way you think. You will always feel something missing. You will always feel a little piece of your heart that’s just hurting, unmendable. But here’s what’s beautiful about life: though some pieces are broken, you will eventually discover that there are so many more pieces of your heart. Infinitely more. An infinite capacity to love, learn, and grow.
Life goes on, whether your challenge passes or not. But you have a choice. Within those other pieces of your heart is a light. And once you find that light, you won’t need the light at the end of the tunnel anymore; you have your own.
This light is hope that, while one challenge arises, an abundance of blessings accompany it. It’s hope that another piece of your heart will find other things to love; never to replace, no, that can’t happen. But to keep growing the love in your heart. The light is strength. Strength to keep going, to be brave in the face of your deepest fears, and to evolve as a newer and better being. The light is gratitude. It’s a recognition of the immense number of things you can say thank you for, even if one of those things is no longer with you. The light is your humanity. Your very soul. Your ability to feel. It’s being vulnerable to pain so that you can be open to joy. And both will happen.
So, while you can, find comfort in the light at the end of the tunnel. Find comfort in the saying, “This too shall pass.” But one day you’ll encounter something that won’t pass. It’s gonna be scary and it’s gonna hurt a lot. But it will force you to discover that incredible light that lives inside of you, and that’s perhaps the greatest blessing of all.
“Always remember you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
“Baby, you’re a firework.”
– Katy Perry
I promise your light is there. Shine it.
Angie Dixon says
While they may not pass in this life, they will pass! I loved this quote from Sister Reeves in the Women’s Session of General Conference.
“Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?”
But I do agree that you have to find the light around you. If you just focus on your trial, it is easy to ask “Why has God forsaken me?”. But when you start looking around, you see that He is still there, blessing you immensely. God didn’t heal me from my colitis, or take away the pain right away. But I did see great financial blessings from God that helped us pay for our medical bills. And I am grateful for the person I’ve been able to become from suffering through this trial.
Heather Christenson says
Wow, I just read through your blog and was taken down memory lane. I too live in Hyrum and have had major medical problems due to complications from pregnancy. I am not currently in a wheelchair but as far as medical knowledge goes, I will most likely end up in one at some point in my life. I just wanted to tell you thank you for writing and sharing your story, My story is very similar in many ways and it is amazing to hear of your faith and continued hope. God gives us these trials for a reason. They are hard, but beautiful at the same time. It is terribly difficult raising two boys who are so energetic while feeling like it is all you can do to take care of basic needs, not to mention playing with them and moving about. I admire you for all that you have gone through, these trials are very refining and require great patience. Thank you again. I would love to meet you and your family sometime!
Aubrey Taylor says
Thank you so much, Heather! It’s always lovely to connect with people who can relate! And we both live in Hyrum! How wonderful – I’d love to meet you and hear your story. Thank you for reaching out!