Becoming comfortable with discomfort
I had the blessing of attending a beloved friend's stake women's conference on Saturday. I walked away feeling so edified, which is something I have really been needing more of lately. I took notes from every class and plan to study them this week. But there was one story, in particular, that I think was meant for me and that I felt was important enough that I wanted to document it here.
My friend Meredith has had a REALLY ROUGH YEAR. When I say rough - she has been dealing with not one, not two, but three really hard trials that would be tough all on their own. The fact that she has been dealing with all three simultaneously has made it seem insurmountable at times. I'm not going to go into detail about the things she shared because I want to protect her privacy. That is her news to share.
However, one of the things she has dealt with, I CAN share. She is 34 weeks pregnant, which is very exciting. I am so happy for her and her sweet family. It has been a HORRIBLY HARD pregnancy. She lost 13 lbs. in her first trimester, had a home health care nurse, around the clock IV fluids for months, and a pic line. She was on bed rest for 14 weeks! Can you imagine?
Finally, when she was feeling better, she wanted to go to the temple. She probably felt a need to get out of the house for some peace and solitude but more than that I think she wanted to go there to get some personal inspiration and ponder a resolution to the other trials she was dealing with.
She started a session at the temple and noticed a woman who was grunting and groaning, moving around a lot throughout the service. It was clear this woman had some physical limitations so she was trying not to notice. (For anyone who has never been to a temple session, it is normally extremely quiet and reverent.) Eventually this woman yelled out for everyone to hear, "THIS IS THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIR I HAVE EVER SAT IN!"
One of the temple workers who was in the session leaned forward to Meredith and asked if she would be willing to switch chairs with the lady. She consented and they traded places.
After a few minutes in the chair, she realized that the lady was right. This chair really WAS incredibly uncomfortable! She started thinking to herself, "REALLY HEAVENLY FATHER?" I'm dealing with trial 1,2, and 3, I have been housebound and bed bound now for almost 4 months, I finally get a chance to come here to your house and you give me this horrible chair?".
Then she heard a message that spoke more than words to her.
"I need you to become comfortable with discomfort".
She realized the answers she had been looking for were given to her right then and there. Heavenly Father was with her. Things were not going to be easy for the next little while. They might be hard. Uncomfortable. But it was going to be okay. She could learn to become comfortable with discomfort. She could lean on Him in the mean time.
I needed that lesson, as well. IF you are someone who is uncomfortable, I hope you will find comfort in the words that were spoken to Meredith that day in the temple too. Sometimes we might even be guilty of turning discomfort into "trials" when it really is only discomfort. It is an opportunity to grow and stretch. to focus our attention on the good things and not the seat we are sitting in.
Eventually we will all get a comfy, cozy overstuffed chair.
We will appreciate it that much more.