Sunday, September 18, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons

Sometimes life hands you lemons and when that happens you're supposed to make lemonade, so they say. In other words, you're supposed to take a bad situation and turn it into a good one by either learning to overcome it or changing your attitude about it. Well, I'm here to say that making lemonade can be hard. Sometimes you get a lemon that is so sour that no matter how much sugar you add to the mix, the lemonade still leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

This past month has been a difficult one. I've become painfully acquainted with my inadequacies and shortcomings more than ever before. I've realized that I am afraid of growing up and entering the real world. I feel like I am just wandering around aimlessly, unsure of myself and those around me.

But times of trial can often be great times of learning and growth and this particular time of trial has been no exception.
  • For one thing, I have learned that no matter how much I am going through, there is someone out there who is going through something worse. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, I've learned that the advice Gordon B. Hinckley received from his father while he was discouraged on his mission, "Forget yourself and go to work," is a much better and more rewarding option. I've been called as the Humanitarian Service Chair in my ward and I'm beginning to realize what a blessing that has been recently. As I've tried to help those around me who are struggling much more than I am, my own problems seem to dissipate and I am much happier. The problems haven't gone away but I see them in a different light and with new perspective.
  • I've also learned that even when you don't see immediate results stem from a choice you have made that that doesn't mean that the decision was wrong. For example, I bought a contract at an apartment complex across campus a few months back. I never really felt good about the decision; in fact, I had a hard time falling asleep each night because I was so worried about it. It wasn't until I decided to buy a contract within the ward I was already in and sell the contract across campus that the worrying finally stopped. It felt like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders and I knew I had made the right decision. But over the past few weeks, the reasons why that decision to stay in the ward (and in Provo, for that matter) was the right one, have not been made apparent. I haven't found a job yet to help pay the bills. The man of my dreams hasn't come along to get down on one knee and pop the question. Despite that, I still feel like I made the right choice to stay here, no matter how illogical or imprudent it may seem to others.
  • I've also learned the value of friendship. I've come to know who my true friends are in the last few weeks and I've also learned who is not. I'm grateful for all those who have tried to help me overcome my fears and my feelings of inadequacy, who have pointed out my good qualities when I could only see the bad. Because of them, I have learned that I can do great things despite my flaws, that I do have great potential even though I make mistakes sometimes.
  • The most important thing I have learned in the last few weeks is that I don't have to bear this alone. Even when it feels like the whole world is ignoring me and nobody cares, I know that there are always people out there I can go to for help and support. My family is always there for me but, most importantly, my Savior is there for me. He knows exactly how I feel because He's gone through it all before and has experienced and overcome trials that are far greater than my own. He comprehends and can offer comfort and encouragement and can lift me from my pains and sorrows if I let Him. I'm grateful that even when I can't turn my sour lemons into delicious and refreshing lemonade, He can. Just remember that life is good and there is always hope.

4 comments:

miss.melissa said...

Celia! Those were some wonderful perspectives. I feel the same way about some of the decisions in my life too, but I don't think I could put it so eloquently. Hang in there! And we should hang out soon!

Shelley and Steve said...

Things never happen when you think they should. For example, I knew coming down here to so cal after school was where I should go and I expected "something" to happen right away... but I didn't meet Steve for three more years. So be patient and trust in the Lord's timing. And like you said, in the mean time forget yourself and get to work! :)

Omi said...

Love you Celia. You have a great perspective and I know that it is hard to go through trials but it is hard to learn any other way. Hopefully we gain a greater sense of gratitude for what is most important in life and understand that we are the Lord's hands. Things don't just happen unless we listen to the spirit and get out there and do what he wants us to do. Love and forgive and serve all that you can and life will make lemons into lemonade. Sometimes we have to wait for the lemons to ripen.

xoxo Mom

Shauntelle said...

I love your perspective, Celia. Keep your chin up. Heavenly Father has good things in store for you. :)