Friday, May 30, 2014

Of Endings and Beginnings

I resist change. I dislike leaving parts of myself behind. I think this is almost universally true. Some of us are better at accepting change and moving smoothly through it but even those who adjust well need to adjust in some way to change. I think it's the adjustment that is hard.

Why is this? Why is it that we grieve so violently at someones death? or after a breakup? or feel so homesick when we move away? In all of these situations we feel that we have lost something, and truly we have. For me these moments effect my soul, they pull at the very fabric of who and what I am.

In a recent conference held by my church one of the speakers helped me answer this question in a profound way.

"In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.
The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2013)

On some level I need the endings. I need to experience these moments. I need the loss. I need the change. It is these things that create opposition, it's from these experiences that I come to know who I am. I am able to recognize my character and more fully define it.

I have experienced the ending of good health a chronic illness of a parent brings; the death of a loved one; the ending moving far from home with little contact with family for over a year is; breakups, heartaches and sorrows life brings. Some of these things I am experiencing now. All of these things have forced me to change, grow and grieve at the endings they create. Yet I am forced to admit that I wouldn't give them up. Not for anything. I would not trade the refining fire they have been and what I am now for all the riches of the world.

I was once talking with one of my dear friends who has had family trouble for most of her life. We were discussing how her family has suffered due to their own poor choices and how I have watched my family suffer due to health problems. We paused for a moment and considered if we would trade struggles straight across. It surprised me to realize that she didn't want mine and I didn't want hers. I'd rather have the ones I've been given.

Paul, in the scriptures, said, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Christ suffered to better "succor his people" (Alma 7:11). He suffered to better understand us and our needs. Is it any wonder then that we must suffer as well, partake in some small way of his sorrow in Gethsemane to better know Him?

So as I face the endings in my life, as I change and the world changes around me, I will seek an eternal perspective. Cuz lifes not over yet. 

~Katie Jean~

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