Last fall, I felt as if I were walking through a refiner's fire. I felt such unbelievable pressure to be successful in my academic career, in my marriage, and in my spiritual life. A lot of that pressure was self-inflicted by my need to control and to be perfect at everything. But there was a lot of external pressure as well. Life is just hard sometimes.

In the most difficult moments I found a lot of comfort in this quote:

"You can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life--in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced." 
Jeffrey R. Holland CES Fireside September 2008

Yes, I recognize that I wasn't experiencing painful injustices, but adding a complete meltdown to an already stressful dissertation proposal situation sure made it seem like the odds were insurmountable.

I had many beautiful experiences during that time. I felt more alert and aware of spiritual experiences than I had in years. I am not grateful for the pain and heartache I felt, but I am grateful for the spiritual experiences I had during that time.

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