I heard someone talking the other day about his darkest hour; referring of course to a time in his life when he felt extreme sadness and hopelessness and great tribulation. People who suffer from depression experience many dark hours in their lives. A big percentage of those come without cause or warning for the individual. I was thinking of the many dark hours I have experienced in my life and how at the time, I didn’t think I could ever feel gratitude for those times. However, I have changed my mind. Today I wanted to express what I am most grateful for in regards to tough times and dark hours.
I am grateful that trials often bring me closer to God: Some of my most meaningful conversations with my Heavenly Father took place during deep and agonizing tribulation; While I try to pray everyday, like most people, my prayers are sometimes rushed, insincere or done halfheartedly. When I am hurting and experiencing tremendous pain, I feel myself opening up more to my Heavenly Father and pouring out my heart to him. I feel his reassurance and comfort and I feel closer to him in those moments than I do at most other times in my life. Sometimes I think he allows suffering so that we will come to him and be uplifted and strengthened in him.
I am grateful that my darkest times bring me to the realization that I have friends who care about me. They say that you find out who your real friends are when you are experiencing trials. My problem is that I forget that I have friends, I start thinking that no one cares and then I am reminded when I am suffering that there are people who are there for me no matter what. I am also reminded that there are people who don’t really care but there are so many tender mercies and answered prayers that come from those who do. My dark hours help reassure me of this.
I am grateful that my darkest hours are the times that make me the strongest. It isn’t the easy times that make me strong it is the difficult ones that do. I find myself a little stronger and a little more capable each time I go through times that I feel will break me. I learned that I can do hard things by enduring those difficult times where I didn’t feel strong enough.
I am grateful that my challenges give me the courage to not give up. every time I feel liken giving up when my world comes crashing down, I remember that times in the past when I was able to make it through and it gives me courage to not quit.
I am grateful for the empathy and love I gain from going through hard things. I feel that I am able to relate better with others in their hour of need because I know what it feels like to feel that sad.
I am grateful for the tremendous light that comes after the darkest storm. I appreciate so much more, the happiness and peace I experience when I remember the pain and darkness that I had to go through.