Sunday, January 9, 2011

Can We Ever Expect the Unexpected?

Why is it that we can never seem to prepare ourselves for difficult events that happen in our lives?  Even when we strive to be more on guard from what we faced before, I think that we are still taken aback when we have to face something newly difficult.  I have faced something like this the past week that I hoped never to have to deal with, and I won’t go into too many details but I find myself asking questions such as “If I had been more prepared spiritually and relying more on God, would things have happened like this?” or “If I had made different choices, would this thing not have happened to me?”  I’m thinking that these probably aren’t the best questions to ask myself, especially since they highly focus on what has already come and gone—things that I cannot change no matter how much I stew over them and wish that things had turned out differently.

I have always thought that I faced some difficulties in my life that would prepare me for most things that I would have to face, but I found that thinking was not quite correct this past week.  Perhaps it was more difficult for me because I thought that I would be able to handle anything that was thrown my way and I wasn’t relying enough on the Lord.  After all, I know that I have certainly been guilty of pride many times even when I did think that I was being guilty.  But on the other hand, perhaps this was just something new that I had to experience to continue learning and growing.  If it wasn’t difficult for me, then I probably wouldn’t have to step back and reflect, turning to Heavenly Father for strength and support.  So I suppose something that I have been asking myself quite frequently as of late is what is the best course of action to take as we move our lives forward?  Do we be cautious to avoid getting hurt or having to face difficulties, or do we push ahead, ready to face what we have to deal with, and realizing that it is not going to be easy? 

As I thought about this idea, I was reminded of a song from the movie “Pocahontas” where Pocahontas sings about the river.  During this song, she talks about how she loves the river because it is always changed and ever flowing, and she never knows what is coming up “just around the river bend.”  It is interesting to me to note how similar our lives really are.  Live keeps moving along quickly no matter what we do, and you can find people who fight against the current and try to stay in one spot to avoid change and new difficulties that come with that while there are others who flow with the current and face whatever new things come into their lives whether good or bad.  During the song, it is implying that we should go with the flow of the river, thus living life to the fullest.  However, I suppose the question is that if we do go with the flow of the river, is that living life to the fullest?  There are probably many questions along these lines and I don’t ever claim to know the answer, but I do believe that I have come to realize something that has greatly helped me.

Over the past several months, I have tried to move forward in life, searching for new opportunities, new friend, and new experiences.  As I have done this, I have been greatly blessed and enjoyed many wonderful things.  This past week, I have faced something that made me question myself, others around me, and many other things.  I met someone new and became friends with them, and as a result of that, I faced something that took me quite a bit by surprise because I never expected to be put in the position that I was.  It’s quite interesting to me as well because I put someone else that I cared a lot for in the same position that I was put in.  Honestly, I had no idea what to do, and the outcome that I was ultimately hoping for did not happen.  At first, I have been wondering what I did wrong and why things happened this way, but I have come to realize something (an idea that has grown and been confirmed while I was writing this blog post).  I realized that while I was unsure of myself, I did learn a great deal, and even though I didn’t feel as if I helped this person at all first, maybe I was just there to be a support for him and not to lead him to do something that I thought was good.

I just have once again realized that the Lord knows best about everything, and we have to trust in Him!  I think I might have forgotten that a little bit over the past little while even though I thought I would never forget it after experiencing the changes in my mission.  I believe I even said something along the lines of “Heavenly Father knows what is best for our lives, and it might not be what we think is best or what anyone else thinks is best but He knows” when I was talking to this person.  Perhaps the steps that he took in his life are for the best, I certainly don’t know and can’t judge, and I believe that Heavenly Father is guiding him.  I’m so grateful that Heavenly Father is so aware of us, all that we do, all that we experience, and all of what is to come for us because I have seen in my life how much He loves me, and I just appreciated the fact that He loves this other person just as much as He loves me.  Knowing this, I love this person even more than I thought I did because I know how much he is worth and how much he is going to accomplish on this new path that he has taken in his life.  I’m not sure if he will read this post or not, but I’m grateful that I can consider him my friend and that he is still moving forward in the way that he thinks is best no matter what anyone else thinks because He is being guided by Heavenly Father.  I have seen that as I have interacted with him. 

I truly hope that I was able to help him in some way because as I reflect on the recent events in my life I have certainly learned much and grown from the interactions I have had with him even though they made me unsure and falter a little bit.  And this is because I can see already how I have developed into a better person, and I believe that as I continue to reflect that I will only continue to learn.  I am very grateful that he allowed me to be a part of his life and work with him in the capacity that I did, and I will never regret it because I know that Heavenly Father really does have us meet and interact with the people that help us the most even if none of us realize it in the slightest bit.  So I believe that we should go ahead, following the course that is laid out for us even if we do not know what is coming up for us around the river bend because Heavenly Father does know!  That is the miracle of it all: we may not know what is ahead but He does, and while He might not tell us exactly what is coming, He will prepare us and help us through whatever we might have to face, big or small.

I love our Heavenly Father so much, and I have felt His love for me in my life.  He has really given me so much in my life that I have to be grateful for.  I know without any doubt that He is there even though I don’t have any proof, and as I have felt His love for me, I have come to love those around me even more.  It is incredible to me that when we allow His love to encompass us and work in our lives it spreads out to those around us if we will let it do so.  I hope and pray that we can all trust in Him as we move forward with faith and that we will allow ourselves to be instruments in His hands no matter what they may be even if we don’t understand and know why.  I know it has greatly blessed my life as I have done this, and I know it can do the same for each of you.

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