Have you ever had the lights in your own life grow dim and you just knew that a trial was headed your way? It’s as if you walked into a room that was fully lit and little by little, the lights in the room begin to dim and then all of a sudden everything goes black. You search for the light switch and no matter how many times you flip it up and down, nothing changes. It’s still completely dark and you feel completely alone. You use all of your different senses to try to feel your way through and adapt to what’s going on. You try to get comfortable, but living in the dark is obviously not comfortable because you are used to the luxury of light or your cell phone five inches from your face, illuminating you with pictures of cats falling from the sky or whatever. Anyway, after a period of time, you adjust to the darkness and grow with the tools you have learned while sitting and moving in the dark. Then, little by little, the lights begin to flicker on, one by one, until the room is again fully lit. I feel as if this has been the theme of my life.
These past two years since I’ve been home from my mission have been a lot harder than I expected. I’ve had to face a lot of new things with my mental health, and instead of ignoring them this time; I have actually been facing it. And with facing it my OCD has been way rad and my obsessive thoughts/ED have been perfectly obsessive. My anxiety attacks have become even more frequent to let me know that they’re here to give me fantaaaaaaastic company and that despair feeling which so easily comes into play during this time sometimes takes residence BUT hurting is healing. Hope is there and I have come to learn even more that there is purpose in suffering.
I have a deep belief that God created it this way so that we may grow and become all that He wants us to become. He allows the lights to dim out so that we may learn, grow and adjust by leaning on Him. He wants me to grow. He wants me to change. He wants me to see myself as He sees me. He wants me to reach my full potential.
I have come to realize that even when the lights go out, that doesn’t mean that hope isn’t there and that they won’t come on again. It also doesn’t mean that my value and purpose all of a sudden goes out the door. I know God is there in the light and the dark. I know this because I have experienced it throughout my whole entire life. My values of spirituality, love, empathy, fairness, service, etc. were developed in the “refiners fire” of these experiences and will stay with me even in the dark. These experiences that have shaped and cultivated my life have helped me realize and guide my choices in a way where I have come to know who I am and have gained the trust that God is guiding it. These times have shown me that light will always come. Christ is always there. That throughout life, there have to be challenges and difficulties or else how would we grow and progress? It is way easier to be hopeless than it is to have hope, but cultivating that hope in the dark is well worth it.