Saturday, November 08, 2008

Preparing For Change

I have a young women's lesson to teach tomorrow. The subject is "Preparing for Change." Change has always been a common event in my life. The first real eventful change that I remember was when I was in third grade and my best friend moved. The next was probably around the same time, when the boy that I had a crush on decided that he was done being my friend. I remember these events because they made a lasting impression. As a little girl, these changes influenced my self image as well as the way I looked at the world around me.

As I grew older some of the changes that took place in my life were life changing, like the death of my grandmother when I was in seventh grade for example. And some were just the facts of life, like moving from grade to grade in school. Some have been the source of my greatest joys, serving my mission, marrying Leif, and having children, for example. And other changes have been the source of my greatest sorrows, like the loss of my twin daughters.

Change is inevitable. Some changes are life altering and some are just the natural season changes of life. So how do we prepare for the life altering changes that are destined to happen in our life? I ask myself how I was prepared for the changes that have taken place in my life.

First, I think I have my parents to thank for the the first two preparatory steps that took place early on in my life. I was raised with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I had a family with a strong bond of love, despite our dysfunctions:) The foundation that I built my life on from a very young age was founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has been my rock and my source of peace through some very dark times.

Second, I have always accepted that trials are given to us to refine us, not to punish us. This acceptance has given me a drive to always seek for the purpose and learning in every time of change.

Third, I was taught a valuable principle by a wise seminary teacher during my junior year of high school. I was struggling with one thing or another... again, and instead of trying to solve my problems (which I preferred) she gave me an ensign article by Richard G. Scott to read. She had one particular paragraph highlighted in the article. This is what the third step of preparing for change was for me. "Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in [faced with] a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness." From that point on I became a fighter. Not always the best fighter, but when life gets hard, I have found that I don't like to stay down very long. It has taken years of trial and error, and I will have to continue the fight as long as I am on this earth. But Fight I Will!

So to me the three steps to prepare for change are:

1. Build our foundation on Jesus Christ and His gospel, and stay connected to family members who lift you up and bring you strength.

2. Understand and accept that trials are given to us to refine us, not to punish us. And seek to learn from every trial.

3. Fight to be free of despair and to serve again with happiness.

These three principles may seem simplistic when one is not in the midst of a heart wrenching trial. But when the storms rage and the refiners fire burns, they will be grateful for the preparation that took place ahead of time.


Heidi Hamilton said...

Great insight - great lessons! I hope your young women took notes. Thanks for sharing!

val said...

hi! i'm finally getting a chance to check your blog. isn't it a great way to keep in touch with friends, or just document what you want to remember in life?
your boys are so cute. i'm glad to have reconnected with sweet lena!!

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