Thursday, January 27, 2011

Refining Process...

I've already talked about this trial that Todd and I are going through, and how it's been a hard couple of months for our family.  I have had a particularly hard time dealing with the stress that has gone along with this trial.  It seems like when our life is going along fine, I am able to cope with the stress of having a large family, cleaning house, cooking, driving, etc.  But lately, it all just seems like too much to deal with.  The stress of our situation, and the uncertainty of what is going to happen in the next few months has been weighing on my mind, and I feel like I just need to DO something constantly, although there is really not much I can do but wait and see.  Wait and see makes me crazy.  Todd worked as a funeral director for 10 years, and I was thinking lately about the stages people go through when they experience a loss.  I think those stages are very similar to what a person goes through when they are experiencing adversity, or a trial.  I have seen this in my own life in the last few months.  Here are the general stages that a person might go through:
1.Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
I think that I was in this stage for awhile when the people who bought our business first missed a payment.  We thought--surely they will make up the payments.  Surely they aren't planning on ripping us off?  Even when it was evident that they didn't plan on paying their debt to us, I thought there would surely be some simple, quick remedy at our disposal.  Unfortunately it isn't that easy.  It might be a long hard fight--and there is no guarantee that it will ever be made right.
2.Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Unfortunately, I am going through this stage too.  It doesn't really help anyone for you to be angry, but sometimes it just feels good.  The bad thing?  Todd and I have been angry at each other, which helps no one.  I know there will have to be a point where the anger at the situation goes away--but I am not there yet.  My mind operates on a black/white, right/wrong basis.  It always has.  In my mind there are no gray areas.  Unfortunately, I live in a world of grey.  People don't have the same values system that we do.  They justify things that are dishonest as a "part of business" or a way to get by.  It's hard to deal with people who don't think the way that you do.  I am really trying to get over being angry.  It doesn't help the situation, and it really only makes one person miserable:  ME!
3.Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
I am ashamed to say I have done this one as well.  Sometimes it is so hard to see the big picture.  All we can see is our tunnel vision--and in my tunnel vision, I see a dead end.  I wish I could fast forward a few months or years to get some perspective on this situation, and how it will end up working for our good.  I know trials are meant to refine us, and sometimes they hurt, but sometimes you just want to know that it will all turn out okay in the end.  That's where the HOPE, and FAITH come in, and I hope that these don't let me down.  I know that God sees the beginning from the end--I just wish I could catch a glimpse of it!
4.Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
I am not a person who has ever been depressed.  I mean the kind of depressed where you feel hopeless, and helpless, and like you want to hide.  But I have certainly had a taste of how that feels the last couple of months.  I have had days where I turn off the ringer and hide in my house and not talk to anyone.  (You know it's bad when I don't want to talk...) I have had days where the tears have flowed freely.  There have been times where I have been discouraged and tired.  It is all a part of the refinement process I described earlier, and I think it's all meant to bring us closer to our Savior and experience just a little of the suffering that He experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane where he was completely alone in his suffering.  Unless I experience some of the same suffering in this life, how can I ever be like Him?  I cant.  So while I don't enjoy this experience, I do feel as if it is teaching me to more fully rely on my Savior, and His atonement, and His healing power in my life.
5.Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what has happened.”
I wish I could say that this was the stage that I am in at this moment.  It is not.  I know there will come a time when this is all over, where we look back and see lessons learned, and growth that took place.  I know that things will work out--whether good or bad--the way they are supposed to, and we will move on with our lives.  I know that in time, I must be able to look at the people who have wronged us, and forgive them for the pain they have caused our family.  I have faith that in time, I will be able to do just that.  I am just not there yet.  I have a long way to go in this refining process.  Again, that's where the HOPE comes in, that if I have enough faith, and trust in God, He will help me get to this point.  I do believe I will get there...it's just that some days are harder than others.  Right now, I am just taking one day at a time, and hoping for a small victory here or there, that's all.  Is that too much to ask?  :)

1 comment:

Heather said...

Tami...I'm sorry! I'm with you....I wish life were more simple....that people would be good for their word...that there was more honesty and trust. I don't know exactly what you're going through with someone not paying off such a huge debt, but we have taken a huge leap of faith in moving to a place where we KNEW we wouldn't be making enough to live and still did it. It's HARD when you know you have kids depending on you for everything. There's only so long that you can keep that "bandaid" on.
I think you have every reason to feel like you do.....I hope this will all come to a close soon for you and your family's sake. It's always nice to notice the growth AFTER you're done going through it! I'll put you guys on the prayer roll! Love you guys!

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