I once had a friend say to me, "Karissa, do you ever wake up and just think, 'Anything could happen today. Today's events could change the course of my entire life'?" I find it thrilling how unpredictable life is, how often I find myself shaking my head in wonder and saying, "Wow. I sure didn't see that coming when I woke up this morning."
Yesterday was one of those days when I said, "Wow. I sure didn't see that coming when I woke up this morning...and if I had, I probably just wouldn't have gotten out of bed."
But this same unpredictability is what gives me hope. I look over the past year of my life and see how many blessings have poured in that I'd never have expected. New friends, rich experiences, fun times, hard times, opportunities, and lessons in love, in trust, in letting others in. I never would have seen this coming. And so maybe a year from now, I'll look back on this weekend and say, "Yep, that sucked. That hurt a lot. But wow, if I'd never done that, I'd never have learned [lesson] or had [experience] or met [person] or done [awesome thing]."
You never see what's coming up while you're in the midst of the hard thing. Ammon knew this, and said, "Could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted us such great blessings?" (Alma 26:1). I bet when they started out from Zarahemla into an unknown wilderness, to teach a hostile people, and suffer incredible hardships, they weren't saying, "Man. This is so awesome. I just know right now that we're going to convert exactly 1327 Lamanites, including two Lamanite kings, and we'll forever be happy and hailed as deeply successful missionaries. Let's get out there and do this!" I think they were probably saying something more like, "Well, this sucks. Himni lost the map, so we have no idea where we are. It's been raining for three straight days, Omner's got some weird parasite, Aaron's leg is broken and...seriously? We don't know how to be missionaries! We've never done this before! We've never left home before! What are we doing?"
But the thing is, they didn't go home. They trusted the Lord, had patience, and kept going. And they were successful beyond anything they could have foretold.
The Lord said, "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation." (D&C 58:3).
And so, underneath the emotional pain and turmoil I've found myself in these past few days, I have great hope. I know we did the right thing. I know the future's bright. I know the Lord has crazy good things in store for me. And for you.
I'll be ok. You'll be ok. We'll both be ok.