Life’s Hard Lessons

While I am not sure why I had to deal with all the trials and hardships I have been asked to endure, I know I have learned a lot. I have learned things I might not have learned in any other way had I not gone through those things. That is kind of sad that I had to endure such hardships to learn these things, I do wish there was an easier way, I am grateful for all I know however.

I have learned empathy and compassion for others. I have learned endurance and how to deal with difficult times. I have learned fortitude and acceptance of others. I have learned to not judge others because we all go through things. I have learned to have faith and trust in a Higher Being. I have learned about unconditional love from Heavenly Father. I have learned who to trust and who to not trust, and still not become cynical. Life can be a hard teacher.

When I was a kid I had times when I had respite from the difficulties of living with an addict. I had times I went to visit my grandparents and I spent weekends with my dad and stepmom. I was able to go on some vacations and get away from it all for a short period of time. Those times were great, and I felt like I lived a “normal” life, but then reality would kick in again and I had to go back to my house with my mom. It was a let down each and every time! It’s like when you are having a great dream and then you are awakened suddenly to something unpleasant.

I am thankful for those hard lessons life has taught me, I just wish I could have been taught them in a little bit of a nicer way!

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Picking Up the Pieces

Living with a parent that is a drug addict is incredibly hard. I don’t think others can fully understand how trying it is unless you have lived through it. Trying to balance between self-preservation and caring for your parents can be quite taxing.

My mother is a recovering drug addict, and there are still so many challenges. Right now I at least don’t worry about her having a sudden drug overdose because of drugs. However, she is almost like a young adult or teenager at times. She hasn’t learned to cope with anything because she didn’t have to when she was taking drugs. Another side effect is she has become somewhat of a hypochondriac due to the fact that every ailment she has use to be covered up by drugs.

As her daughter it is hard to see her struggling so much to cope with life. It’s hard to see her flounder but yet SHE thinks she can do all things. Do you know how challenging it is to see your parents behave like a teenager, but have the freedom of a grown adult?! I wish I could giver her a crash course in life so she can learn the things she doesn’t know right now.

I feel like it’s almost like when someone gets out of prison after years of being on the inside. Which she kind of was in a prison of drugs. The world she is in now is different than the one she remembers years ago before drugs locked her up. I do wish I could do more to help her, but some things she has to learn for herself. Even if it means she could fail miserably.

Think of the Blessings

Recently my kids and I decided to go exploring, and one of our tires went flat. It was more worrisome because we were in a place without any cell service. I started to panic a bit because I had 7 kids with me and no way to call for help. I took a couple deep breaths and we all stopped, folded our arms, and I said a prayer. I prayed help would come and we could get to a place to get a new tire put on our car. Not two minutes later a state highway patrol car pulls over and offers us the help we needed. He was able to call AAA and he called around to get some quotes from a few tire places to find the cheapest one! 

Shortly after we had called for a tow truck it showed up and he loaded our van onto the bed of his truck. He drove us down to a tire shop and instead of charging us for the full tow price he cut the fee in half! He also made sure we went to a decent auto repair place and they had a tire in our size! 

This whole situation could have turned out much worse; I am no stranger to difficult situations I have had my fair share of them. I took the time however to see the Lords hand during this whole ordeal.  As we were driving down to the tire shop I took the time to appreciate the beauty that was surrounding us. I was ever so grateful that a state highway patrol man showed up just when we needed him. I also hope that kind tow truck man is blessed for the help and kindness he offered me and my family by lowering his rates. 

This whole situation reminded me, once again, how Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. Ether 12:12 says, “For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them’ wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.” It also reminded me to look for the good in even the most difficult of situations. It would have been quite easy to fall into a downward spiral of despair. I could have justifiably been so upset and angry because of the situation my children and I were in. I had prayed before we left that we would be safe. I had asked God before we left if this was right to do. I didn’t get any indication that we shouldn’t go on this trip. I didn’t get any indications or promptings that we shouldn’t go.

This is not to say tears weren’t shed on my part, it was a much longer day than I had anticipated. However, I know I saw the hand of God so many times. This is how life is more often than not, we deal with the ups and downs that come our way. If we take the time to recognize the good things and all the ways in which God is looking out for us, discouraging situations can be made bearable. President Thomas S. Monson said “If we… consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.”

I am grateful to have such a loving Heavenly Father that allows situations like this to happen, to bring me back to the path of remembrance. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be put in places where others are allowed to serve me and my family and receive blessings as well. I am still thankful for that officer and the tow truck man that helped my family. I pray they are still being blessed for their help and service. 

In this world of turmoil and strife it can be all to easy to get down because of that which surrounds us, but if we can learn to see his hand in all things we can learn to have hope. We can have our faith and testimonies magnified. We can grow closer to Heavenly Father and figure out how difficult situations can help strengthen us, and help us to become the people he sees in us. 

It can be hard to look to those challenging times as something that are good for us, but they are in the sense that they help us to draw near unto Him. As we draw near unto Him, He will draw near unto us. I never doubted when my children and I were on that road that we were ever alone. He was watching out the whole time. He is always watching out for us. 

There have been many times recently when I make plans and think I know how my days are going to go… more often than not though things don’t go according to plan! It can be quite frustrating actually! I have been working on learning to rely on His timing more than my own. Asking more of what He wants me to do, and learning to accept things that aren’t according to plan. These tend to turn out to be  things that I or those in my family may have need at the time. Maybe sometimes He needs me to just slow down a bit, or offer time or service to someone I might have overlooked in my busyness. 

As we learn to accept His will and plans for us we can find greater peace and comfort in our day to day lives. As we learn to find comfort in our trials or hardships we can recognize more of His hand in all things. I know this to be true because I have seen it so many times in my own life. 

A Story to Tell

Everyone has a story to share, and when we share our stories we can learn to see others in a different light. It can help us develop a sort of love and understanding of where others are coming from.

It is my greatest desire , and it has been for a few years now, to share my story to others. It hasn’t been easy, and I have received some negative feedback from some. However I have had much more love and support from others.

I heard once that when you can talk about hardships from your past that you are healing. I do accept those things that have happened to me, and I want to help others that are going through difficulties as well. I want to help other know they are not alone, and that others are there for them.

When I was younger I went through a really tough time. Then as an adult things weren’t much easier. I still get overwhelmed with emotion at times working through the things that happened. Four years ago I started down what would be a long and arduous journey. I never thought things would ever get better. I am so thankful I was wrong! I am thankful I have a place to share my struggles and triumphs.