Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doing The Next Right Thing

This is something my mother told me the other day. You see, life is hard, and mine is no exception. While I could spend all day figuring out how many millions of people have it harder than me, the crux of the matter, is MY life in hard for ME. I am not living starving in Africa. I am not living in India where women are little more than possessions of men. I am not living in a drug-war infested country. I have not struggled with infertility, homelessness, severe illness or disease, the loss of a child, etc. Nevertheless, my struggles and trials are still hard for me. Knowing that other people have suffered worse things, does not change the fact that I have trials. Knowing that I have healthy children, an adoring husband, and a roof over my head, does not change the fact that life is just flat-out hard. Having said that, having these trials, and struggling with how to move forward through them, also does not make me ungrateful for what I do have. Admitting that things are rough, that times are difficult, doesn't mean that I do not appreciate the blessings I do have. I do have many blessings in my life. I recognize and thank God for those blessings. I enjoy spending time with my children. I enjoy taking care of them and raising them. I love my husband.  I feel I must say that, because there are people in this world who believe that if you complain about one thing, if you admit you are struggling, then they are compelled to tell you how "it's not that bad," "be grateful for what you have," etc. This is neither necessary nor helpful to the struggling individual, or maybe it is just not helpful to me at this time?

At any rate, "Do the next right thing," I do not know what I am supposed to do from here. I do not know what I am supposed to be learning from this experience. I don't know why life is hard for me right now, and why my family is called to suffer and struggle thus far and continue to do so. But I do know what the next right things are. I don't know if my husband should quit his job. I don't know if he should join the military. I don't know if we should stay here for the rest of our lives wasting away in a town with no opportunities nor prospects (I sure hope not!) But, I do know what the next right things are. I do know that we need to continue to pray and study our scriptures. I do know that we are supposed to continue going to church, even though I feel isolated and alone and unnoticed there. I do know that I am supposed to continue doing my visiting teaching, (even though I feel like mine doesn't care about me, and I feel like I am just another number to her. Even though I have asked for visits repeatedly and continue to feel neglected). I do know that I am supposed to continue keeping up with (or trying to) the housework. I do know that it is right to love and raise my children. And so, even though I don't know what the big choices are RIGHT now, I can choose to do the smaller ones. I can choose to do the next right thing, even in the midst of my struggles and trials. And maybe in doing so the way will be made clear to me. But even if it isn't, I will know that though I struggled and nearly drowned, I choose to keep on going. I refused to stand still in the dark whining. I choose to press on and not quit. And somewhere inside, I have to decide that doing my best IS good enough.

And now a quote (on Facebook, I don't know who said it): "Keep your chin up. No one expected you to save the world, otherwise you would have been born wearing a cape and tights. Just do the best you can."

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