a life uncommon

I’ve been thinking.

All you bloggers out there make me think.

Remember: Elder Holland asked us if we could sign on for a little bit of Gethsemane. I want to make my way through that refiner’s fire – because I want to be awesome. Above all, I want to live a life uncommon. And I know that when working silver through the flames, the Blacksmith will keep it in the heat until right before the very molecules collapse and break apart. This is the only way to ensure the pure integrity of the new creation the metal is to become.

I know we all struggle, and that suffering is relative to our experience, and we can’t compare the hues of color of grassy lawns over fences; but…as I shoulder my cross and carry it up the hill, I sometimes can’t help but feel a bit guilty about how light it looks compared to some of the other crosses I see.

I learned from perusing her archives that a newfound blogger friend of mine is a recovered (recovering? Does that ghost ever really stop haunting?) addict; and that she was in a (unrelated) very serious car accident years back that re-arranged her insides. Yet she conquered. Not just conquered, she prevailed. She has a meaningful career, immense faith, a beautiful family, and a beautiful soul.

I think about Nie (you all know Nie, right?), and about her physical struggles that are a mere shadow of the inner struggles she’s battling right now – re-defining her relationship with the world and her place in it. Re-defining her reflection in the mirror – learning to see, again. I cry for her – I pray for her and her children. She has no idea who I am, but her life has changed mine.

I think of those near and dear to me who are struggling with incurable illness; how expansive their days seem to me, now. Women I love who are every whit deserving and have the intense yearning, yet are unable to conceive. Friends’ and family’s daily – sometimes moment by moment – struggle with the sharks of depression, trying so hard to be what they know they can despite the constant demons that ride them. Sometimes getting out of bed is heroic.

I think of those who have lost children – that kind of pain is unimaginable to me.

Yet I do imagine it. I share the stories and the glories of your long walk up that road to Calvary. The pain and the triumph. The faith.

I work with troubled teenage girls in my profession. I serve as the Compassionate Service president in my ward. I see exactly how real human suffering is – without having to suffer it myself. I haven’t experienced a lot of the torment that can be dished out in this life (and yes, I know I’m still young), but thanks to those of you who are willing to share your stories, I have learned from them.

And isn’t that what the refiner’s fire is about? Learning? Growing? Changing?

I gotta tell yah, I’m THRILLED to know that I’m not stuck – I’m not a stagnant creature that has to learn how to deal with the things I disapprove of about myself – the “that’s just the way I am” things. I get to change. What a gift.

And to those of you out there who share your stories: you make me believe I can be better. More patient in trials, more willing to love unconditionally, more willing to do the hard thing.

You help to refine my fire.

“Fill your life with love and bravery, and you shall live a life uncommon.” --Jewel


b. said...

It's beautiful words of inspiration and acknowledgement from people like you who help people like me through the refiner's fire.

Thank YOU!

That Girl in Brazil said...

Dang girl.

I mean ... dang.

(Profound, huh? But I have no words. Except these -

thank you)

Pssst. Also. You need to put your email address on your profile. Cuz your application to my want ad totally needs a response.

TeeTee said...

Beautiful post!

I think about Nie Nie and her children also, and her life has also changed mine, greatly.