This puzzle was a beast. My husband had to work General Conference weekend so we figured this would be a good way to keep the boys occupied so we could (hopefully) listen to the messages shared.

We are pretty puzzle-savvy so even though it was 1000 pieces, I figured we could finish that weekend. But, it took nearly a week. It’s one of those where, after the feeling of sense of accomplishment and completing it, we wonder if we should hold true to all the talk of getting rid of it that had stemmed from the frustrations of working through the hardest parts. Is the thrill of putting in that last piece worth all the effort, frustration, and overwhelm of figuring out the other 999 pieces?

I think that relates to life as well. The more difficult it is to persevere and not give up on a task, the more grateful you are once you get to the other side of the trial. That said, would you voluntarily do it again? Being grateful for the experience and the lessons learned doesn’t mean that you would jump right back into the experience and its raw form.

However and experience no matter how hard it is is more valuable on the other side of it because of the lessons that you’ve learned while you work through it. For us, as we packed away the puzzle we decided to separate the pieces into smaller groups. (I apologize to the “puzzle purists” who may believe that this is cheating.) This way, when we go back and start it again, we’ll be able to break it up into smaller bites and not feel so overwhelmed. 

I think it’s the same in life. When we go through a similar trial to one we’ve already faced, we are able to recognize that we can take things in smaller bites. That helps us work through the little problems that make up the big problems. In addition, we can feel confident that we’ve done it before so we can do it again. A few years ago, I tore my ACL. A decade prior, I had torn my other ACL. I knew what I was in for with surgery and recovery. It was a balance of dread and confidence. I knew that recovery would not be easy but I knew I could do it and I knew I would be better for it. 

In what areas of your life have you been faced with trials that are related to a previous trial? During the second time around, how had the previous trial helped you work your way through it?