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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Trials into Triumphs.

This post is going to be a bit personal but I thought it was worth a share. So during my senior year of a high school I went through some pretty hard things. It threw me into a depression which ultimately lead to me making a lot of mistakes. I was living life, going through the motions, and yes there were lots times that I was happy but I never realized until recently I wasn't genuinely happy. My happiness depended on other things, my grades in school, who I was currently dating, how much money I had, peoples approval on my choices, etc. All things that would eventually work out on their own. I have to admit there were times that I would just fall into this mode where nothing mattered and I didn't want to bother putting effort into 'being happy'. I would be so frustrated and upset with others as well as myself because for some reason, no matter how hard I'd try I wasn't truly happy. Other times my life was fun and seemed to be going great. I had great relationships, school was effortless, etc. Looking back on the past four years of my life I think a lot about the trials that I faced during those years. Ultimately these trials lead me to turning to the gospel. Around April of 2011 I realized that even though I wasn't active in the church I always prayed, in most cases pleaded and cried with God that things would work out in certain aspects of my life. I made the decision that I wanted to start going back to church, even though I had made the decision I didn't act upon it until October 2012. During the time between my decision and actually acting upon it I had begun making better choices slowly but surely, I hadn't gone to church but I had stopped hanging out at parties as much, I was living my life and thought it was good. Eventually I started going to a singles ward in October and knew I wanted to obtain a temple recommend. So I did just that. It wasn't easy but I accomplished it. I had completely changed my life in order to do so. During the process of receiving my temple recommend I was in a relationship that meant a lot to me. I was happy. But when that relationship ended I was more broken than I had ever been before. Again, my happiness depended so much upon something that left me hanging. Being completely shattered, I literally had nowhere to turn to besides the gospel. I had already changed my life so much, but I knew that there is always time for self-improvement. The ending of this relationship (I'll spare you all the sappy/hardship details) inspired me to form a closer relationship with Heavenly Father. This gospel was and literally is my strength. I focused on myself, I began focusing on learning the gospel and allowed it to become my distraction from the sadness of the world.

I've learned to realize that as we put our trust in Heavenly Fathers plan and strive to better ourselves within the gospel true happiness can be found. I know that Heavenly Father has a hand in even the smallest aspects of our lives. Literally he knows exactly when and where things need to be placed. I know that I went through these four years, to get me to where I am now. I know that even on the bad days there are tender mercies to be found. I was writing one of my close friends who is currently serving an LDS Mission and I wrote the following: 

I keep thinking to myself, 'wow this is a feeling I've been missing out on for so long, I feel like it's too good to be true, I never want it to end.' Seriously I am genuinely happy and so immensely blessed because of this gospel. Don't get me wrong, I still go through trials every single day. Life isn't easy. And sometimes living by the standards of the gospel can be an tiring process, but this happiness is so worth it. For example I wrote this about two weeks ago: 

"You know those times when you feel as though, 'I want one thing to turn out, just for once I want things to work.' As I was thinking those exact same things this morning I came to the realization that the one thing in my life that has consistently worked out is putting faith into this gospel and receiving the strength to push past whatever difficult moment I am facing, regardless of if it's big or small. Within this faith I know that things WILL eventually work, with school, with my career, with family, with financial situations, with dating, etc. Lately there have been random unexplained moments of difficulty in my life, but I know as I keep trying and keep putting my best effort in, things will work out." 

And it's true. Depending upon this gospel has brought so many blessings and so much happiness into my life. It doesn't depend on the guy I am dating, the fact that I am in need of a better paying job, or that I am unsure weather I'll be able to pursue my dream career. Although yes all of these things working out would be great, they are simply bonuses that ADD to my happiness, NOT make or break my happiness. 
Depression is real, but so is this happiness. I am thankful for both because they have allowed me to grow. Your trials have the possibility to shape you and lead you to this happiness. Take your trials and turn them into triumphs.