Pete Codella - 8/6/16

My first post-surgery run

This morning, I completed a four mile run. It was my first run since my fifth hernia surgery a month ago. I’m starting to feel like my old self again, and that’s a good thing.

Many of us academically know the principle of opposition in all things, that you have to experience sorrow to understand joy. It’s funny how we tend to take our health for granted, until we don’t have it; how we sometimes take relationships and love for granted, until we don’t have it; and how we take our possessions and things for granted, until we don’t have them.

I suppose that’s the wisdom of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us — giving us these oppositional, mortal experiences to help us develop characteristics that hopefully bring us closer to Him.

Our extended family has experienced some pretty challenging life events these past few months, including cancer, surgeries, and even death. The only way I can make sense of these challenges is the principle of personal growth and the opportunity to develop faith in our Heavenly Father and our savior, Jesus Christ.

After all, in my view, what’s the purpose of mortality if it isn’t to prepare us for eternity, surrounded by loved ones in the glory of heaven.

When I was feeling despair — four days after a very challenging surgical recovery — I had a spiritual experience. One night, in the midst of some pretty severe pain, I found myself in a very bright, warm and loving place. I was lying down, peaceful. A few feet away from me sat my Grandmother Jensen. She was beautiful, in her mid-40s with bright eyes and white hair. She was wearing a white and lavender, floral outfit, and she was smiling at me.

The look in her eyes, the smile on her face, and the feeling I received from that place and her presence told me everything would be all right. I felt that my recovery would happen eventually. I received confirmation of the love of my family, extended family and even my Heavenly Father.

I’m happy to be alive. I’m grateful for this mortal experience. I love my family and know they love me.

May God help us all get through the challenges of this mortal existence and bless us to make good choices and live in peace, joy and happiness.

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