Holly Bowerman, in "Say What You Need To Say," said, "Life isn't so much finding heaven or hell, rather life is about finding heaven while in the middle of hell."
Guess what People? I've been in Hell. It isn't pretty. Funny story: when I was a Beehive in Young Women's we had a combined activity. That means all of the youth aged 12-18 participated. All of us received plane tickets (fake, obviously) and met at the church on a Wednesday night with our tickets. We all boarded a "plane," which was the area between the Chapel and the cultural hall (gym). It was partitioned off and it was set up like an airplane. We were all sitting there, pretending to take-off, listening to the fake pilot. Then the lights went on and off and there were horrible loud noises that I still remember almost 30 years later. We had "crashed."
We were all split up and escorted to different rooms. First, I went to the Telestial Kingdom room. It was one of the scariest places I have ever been in my life. Even though we were still in the church, it felt nothing like it. I, among everyone else in there, was crying and trying to get out. It was a horrible feeling. After they shook us up to the point of being hysterical, they informed us they had made a mistake and escorted us to a different room. The lights were out, but the dim light from outside was coming through the windows. There were tennis rackets on the walls. The people in there were dressed casually. There was some music playing, but not too loud. It was a far cry from the first room, which to me was absolute Hell. We were told that we couldn't go see our families, but that if they wanted, they could come see us. This was the Terrestial Kingdom Room. I seriously wanted to go home. Then, someone came in and told us that they made another mistake and told us to follow them. They escorted us to the Chapel, which was fully lit. There were gorgeous white flowers. Hymns were being played on the organ. And, every single one of our parents or grandparents who were temple recommend holders were there, in their temple clothes. It was the most amazing feeling. Everyone was crying. We had made it to the Celestial Kingdom. I never wanted to be anywhere else.
Life is so similar! I have found myself in Hell on far more occasions than I wish to admit. Sometimes, we have to find glimpses of Heaven while we feel like we are in a living hell. We have to find the strength to look for tender mercies. We have to find the strength to find light in the midst of utter darkness.
"We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing." It's true. Once the pain of staying in something or with someone or at some place becomes too great, we finally decide to change. What if that change took place before the pain had such a lasting impact? That's something I'm still working on.