Monday, January 23, 2012

Choosing to See the Good

"Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a [valiant] heart."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I'm afraid of snow. Ridiculous, isn't it?! After living in Vegas for most of my life, when I moved up north to attend college, the snow was incredible! I soaked up every minute of living in a winter wonderland. But, after moving to a place for three years where it didn't stop snowing between October and May, without a car, and without any ability to go outside for very long, I struggled with appreciating snow.

The all-pervasive grayness got to me. The snow that had accumulated since the big blizzard, during Thanksgiving, had turned a ghastly slate color that intermingled with the low-lying fog. Visibility was terrible. I felt terrible! Waking up every morning to this depressing sight made my depression and anxiety harder to deal with. I fixated on this dark world around me, praying constantly to see the healing light of the sun or at least a little blue sky. It didn't least until June.

I wish I had seen things differently. The swirling winds of driven snow were incredible when the blizzards would settle over Rexburg. Flakes the size of a tennis ball were fascinating, as was the ice that crept into the inside of our car windows and our double-paned thick glass at home. It was so cold outside that when each snowflake fell, you could hold it for a second and observe the intricate designs of each individual flake. My neighbors upstairs would go outside and blow bubbles, watching them pop instantaneously because of the chilly air. What was I doing? Wishing I was somewhere else - a tropical beach where every member of my extended family was conveniently located. I wish I had soaked up the fun of being in such a unique place. Being at the base of the Tetons could have been such a great experience for me, even in the midst of the trial I was dealing with those last few months we lived in Idaho.

It's snowed here in our new *undisclosed* location. When I woke up this morning to a field of white, there were patches of blue sky; the snow that had fallen in the early hours of morning wasn't piled up a foot or two high (maybe one or two inches); it's already melting; and it's absolutely beautiful in every way. It helps to know it won't last forever! We've had a couple of major fires here recently, despite it being the off-season, so this snow is actually an answer to a lot of people's prayers. Understanding the need and importance of this thing I so dread at times, has really helped me.

The snow isn't what created my problem. Neither was the fact that I had little access to a vehicle or my inability to be outside for more than 15 minutes at a time. Those things didn't create my problems,they added to it, but now I realize the important lessons that I've taken from this experience.

I feel like Heavenly Father created this perfect storm for me to reckon with and overcome certain bad tendencies I had learned. I needed to come to terms with past wrongs, to forgive, to come closer to God and understand the Atonement better.

I understand now why I have to experience this trial. It's not easy and I've cried a lot, but when I choose to see how much I have been helped, how I've been led by the hand of my Savior, I realize that it's not so bad - I'm not left to myself. I have hope. I see  how very much I'm being blessed. I have friends who drop what they're doing and allow me to come over when I'm having a hard time. I'm helped to see the silver lining in the clouds. I'm blessed with medicine that helps me to not feel sick to my stomach all the time and that allows me to function normally. Most of all, I feel the Holy Spirit testify to me that I am loved by my Heavenly Father. He cares for me; He understands perfectly what I am going through and has compassion on me.

When I choose to see the good, I realize that God is good. He's not out to get me or is unavailable because He's preoccupied with some other, more important, corner of the universe. And the most thing meaningful to me is that I feel as though He holds my hand through all trials I face. He comforts beyond anything that I'd need. He shows that He is there for me and He cares.

So, I'm learning that snow isn't something to fear! :) It's a really wonderful thing and I'm re-learning to appreciate it's beauty, as well as the beauty of things that may look gray on the surface, but have so much purpose within.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Alaska. Because of this, I LOVE the snow! I have a perspective on snow that most people do not. I think that there's something MAGICAL about it! When you grow up in a place where there's snow on the ground accompanied by only a few hours of light each day, you really learn to make the best of your surroundings! I'm glad that I had that experience in my life growing up because it has taught me that you can play outside for quite awhile when it's -20 degrees (as long as you dress appropriately), that indoor carnivals versus trick-or-treating are soooo much better, that christmas lights can stay up nearly year round, that ice sculptures are amazing, that moose can hop really high fences into your backyard, and yes, even that the snow will EVENTUALLY melt into one of the most beautiful summer's you've ever seen! I'm glad you're trying to overcome your previous feeling of winter because walking in winter can really be a wonderland...if you let it! I hope you enjoy this winter! Love ya Carolyn!