“When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that comes from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love.”
-GD lesson 28 D&C
This just jumps out to me and waves me down on the highway of life. Sooooo profound.
You know, a few years ago… maybe 5-6, this probably wouldn’t have caught my eye, much less my heart or mind. But lately, so many things are falling into place and making perfect sense to me. I am actually loving learning more about God, his Son, Jesus Christ, and my purpose here on earth. I am loving reading and studying. I am loving praying and listening and hearing. I am loving leaning in, leaning in hard. I am loving quiet reflection and pondering. I am loving the peace.
5-6 years ago I think I was just going through the motions. I think I thought I had all the time in the world to live and then get my crap together before I died. I think I didn’t know anything really important. I think I didn’t care about too many things that are really important.
Tracy got sick. I was in Stake Relief Society. I started going to the temple more regularly. I gained a little glimpse of real faith. I gained a little faith in the power of temple attendance. Leonard had a mid-life crises. I gained strength. Leonard started using meth and heroin, I gained strength. Leonard started using porn and seeing other women. I gained strength. Leonard totally went off the deep end. I gained strength.
Everything came crashing down, but then, over the next four years, some amazing and miraculous things fell right into place. And many of them were soooo miraculous and soooo timely and soooo obviously blessings, that I can never deny God’s hand in my life. His total intervention. Oh, my goodness, my testimony has been strengthened!
I always said I believed in God. I always knew I should. My mother taught me that. I knew that. But I didn’t actually feel that it was happening for me. I saw it in other people’s lives. I heard their words. But I just didn’t feel it for myself, personally.
And, now I do.
And it has been worth the trial. And the hurt. And the embarrassment. And the disillusionment. And the tears. And the loneliness. And the adversity. And the pain and difficulties.
In the school of mortality, the tutor is often pain and tribulation, but the lessons are meant to refine and bless us and strengthen us, not to destroy us. There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand, and He waits for us to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer. I testify that if we will be obedient and if we are diligent, our prayers will be answered, our problems will diminish, our fears will dissipate, light will come upon us, the darkness of despair will be dispersed, and we will be close to the Lord and feel of His love and of the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
-Robert D. Hales
I can’t say quite yet that I am grateful for this trial. But I’m sooo grateful for the growth that has come because of it. I am grateful for my faith and my testimony and the clarity and understating that has been the result of all of this. I am grateful for knowing with all my heart [and everything that is in me!] that God knows me and has blessed me. I’ve struggled with that.
And, now I know.