Life tends to throw unexpected curve-balls at you, and most of the time, it is when you are not ready for them. Sometimes, you are so shocked that you fall, and while you’re lying on the ground, dazed and confused about what to do next, you have two options: you can stay down there, or you can get back up, wipe your hands, and stand back up. If you lie down, you allow defeat. If you stand back up, Life will throw more curve-balls. The decision is yours. Do you keep going?
I believe that life is a continuous battle between what is easy and what is right. I also believe that it is through the hard times that we become stronger. Like a diamond, we are scorched, repaired, and eventually refined to become the most beautiful that we could ever be.
My name is Jensen Parrish Hall. On February 22, 2014, my mother, father, and two youngest brothers were killed in a carbon monoxide accident. There was a malfunction in our water heater, and the poisonous gas filled our home. At the time, I was serving an LDS mission in Portland, Oregon. My brother, Ian Parrish, was also serving a mission in Rapid City, South Dakota. We were sent home immediately to figure out funeral plans and be with our families.
I’ll never forget the night I found out. My mission president and his wife were the ones to tell me. Later on, as I laid in bed, unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep, a thought came into my head. It said, “Jensen. This is going to be hard. You need to make a decision. Are you going to become bitter and angry, or are you going to trust me?” Though my world felt broken and confused, and though fear was in my heart, I remember deciding I was going to be strong.
I thought that first week would be the hardest experience. Overtime, I realized that was not true. It was only the start of many hard days that would come. What kept me going over the last two years since my parents and brothers passed away was my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ. Not long after the funeral, I began a blog that I titled “A New Normal.” I shared many of my thoughts about life, death, faith, and enduring to the end. I wrote because it gave me a sense of purpose. Soon, my blog became popular all over the world! I truly believe that even when terrible circumstances happen, we can be tools of good in the world. I am truly grateful for the opportunity that I have had to write about my experiences and see the growth within myself.
Overtime, I have learned the strength that I have within me is not my own, but it is through my faith in God that has kept my head held high through times of struggle. I used to believe that the Lord would never give you something that you cannot handle, that he will give you a limit to your trials. I realize now that is not the case. He will give you trials that will allow you to fall to your knees to ask for his help and guidance. It is through His grace that we are able to get back up and keep going, and as we endure, we become stronger and more knowledgeable. He will give you trials that causes you to search deep within you to discover who you are, and whose you are.
Jensen will be presenting on March 5th A Reason to Stand. Reserve your tickets today!