Amy Rees Anderson

Challenges Change Us

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again… So why bother in the first place? Just this: what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above… One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”  – René Daumal

The challenges we go through in  our lives change us. They humble us. They give us a broader perspective. They help us be less judgmental. They soften our hearts. They refine our character. And once we’ve been through them we are better for them because it would be impossible for us to ever again go back to being the same person we were before those trials, because we now know so much more…we have grown in wisdom…

Enduring life’s challenges is hard, and at times it can make us wonder why we bother in the first place. But endure through them we must – because that is what allows us to know, to understand, and to empathize with others. And others are going to need us someday to be their for them to give a shoulder to cry on and to comfort by sharing, “I understand as I have been there too.”

I have climbed, I have seen, and I have been changed by each of the many different trials in my life. I have received the blessing that comes from having others who could say they understood my pain because they had once felt it too. And hopefully there have been times I have been that source of strength for others as well. That’s what the memory of what we’ve seen does for us and others.

When hard times come, remember that they won’t last forever and know that we are never left to endure hard times alone:

“Please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him. Have hope and faith in that promise.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

~Amy Rees Anderson

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