When we moved into our home in Maui, Hawaii, almost 16 years ago (we don’t currently live there anymore), aside from the incredible bicoastal views and lots of space, one of the best things about this house was the huge avocado tree growing in the backyard.

This tree gave the most delicious, buttery avocados I have ever tasted. They were huge—about the size of a large grapefruit—and some years, we had so many avocados that we had to send friends home with about a dozen every time they visited.

I lived on these avocados when I was nursing my first child, absolutely terrified to eat anything that might cause the poor baby indigestion or any other side effects I had read about.

Fresh mashed avocado was the very first food for all of my kids. And on Passover, we had an abundance of the most delicious avocados.

This tree was so huge it cast a massive shadow over our back porch, giving it natural shade from the strong Hawaiian sun. It was truly our magical tree. Until one day when someone from the Maui Health Department arrived on our doorstep to tell us that our dear avocado tree was too large and needed to be trimmed for various reasons.

In New York, you get in trouble if you don’t shovel the snow off your sidewalk. In Maui, you get in trouble when your trees are too high. Go figure. We didn’t actually get in trouble, but we just had to take care of it right away.

So along came the trimmer. When you go to the hair salon for a trim, the hairstylist cuts an inch off, maybe two. Apparently, tree-trimming in Maui means cutting most of the tree back, leaving just the trunk and a few stubby branches.

It was so depressing to see. I know, it’s just a tree, you say. But this formerly huge gorgeous tree was now just a brown stump. OK, not a stump; it’s still the tree, but imagine one with no branches or leaves. I was sad. The kids were all sad. Anyone who came over who looked at our tree got sad, too.

Well, the tree trimmer didn’t seem too concerned. And any of our friends who knew anything about landscaping and trees would exclaim, “Wow, that is the best thing you could have done for that tree!” “It’s going to grow back and be so much healthier!” “Your next avocados are going to be insane!”

Yeah, whatever. The tree is gone, stop trying to make me feel better. It’s really not working.

But ...

A few mornings after the tree was cut back, I noticed this rather unusual influx of monarch butterflies flying around the yard. The kids lay in the grass and the butterflies flew all around them—even landing on their noses! We soon discovered that another tree that had been somewhat smothered by the avocado tree was now just blossoming, and I guess it was a tree that butterflies eat from and build their cocoons on because now our garden was filled with these gorgeous butterflies.

And then the next morning, sitting at the kitchen table, the sun came streaming in, creating this really gorgeous warmth. A warmth that had been blocked by this huge tree all these years.

Not only that, after about a month, I started to notice these tiny green shoots coming out of the cut branches. These shoots eventually turned into full-on luminous, green leaves.

I guess the tree trimmer wasn’t just chainsaw-happy, trying to destroy our avocado tree. I guess he knew what he was doing. Because since then, our tree looked really happy. We had sunlight at the breakfast table. And there were butterflies flying around our garden all day. I started to feel like it’s all going to be fine after all.

Kind of like life.

Sometimes, it seems like things are really good. And then something happens that seems not so good, and it makes us really sad. We reminisce about the old life we had. How we wish things could just go back to the way they were.

Little do we know that what seems really difficult is actually G‑d’s way of making us stronger. It’s G‑d’s way of bringing in the butterflies and the sunshine and the bright new leaves.

In Chassidic teachings, there is the concept of yeridah letzorech aliyah—a descent for the sake of ascent—meaning one has to go down in order to be able to go up. The downs are necessary precursors to the ups. Sometimes, in order for a person to achieve deeper spiritual insights, they first need to fall.

We all know that saying, “It will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”

This is also about having faith. We ask that G‑d should only send revealed good to everyone, but the next time you feel like a tree that has just been cut down, hang in there. Hang in there really tight because G‑d truly does have a plan. An intricately detailed blueprint for each of us. Our job is to be ready and open to receiving the good and the blessings that G‑d is prepared to give us, even among the difficulties.