If there is one thing I have learned over the past 7 weeks it is that every person has trials, challenges and experiences that are hard and more than once in a lifetime. Some of these trials are visable to the outside world and some are so personal that only a few people are aware of the trial. We all have them. There is no getting around it. There are people in our own little corner of the world who are suffering with health problems worse than mine; some with young families, others struggle financially or with addictions, children with learning disabilities and children with health issues and some have recently lossed loved ones in tragic accidents. There have been times in my life when things are going pretty great and I think to myself, "Wow, my life is flowing rather well." And then just like that, boom a trial comes along that knocks me off my feet. Typically I can usually get up, brush myself off and push through it. This trial however isn't as easy. I definitely feel like I've been knocked off my feet. I think I have gotten up, but I'm still brushing off and getting ready to push through this. My mom keeps telling me there is no way around this only through it and through it we will go.
I am going to get through this trial because of the gigantic support system that I have. I am sure there are at least 1,000 people who are praying for me, my many, many friends, family members and different church congregations. I am so blessed because of this support system. I know there are some who aren't as blessed as I am to have such amazing people in their lives. I really am loved and I have learned to love even more over the past 7 weeks.
There is a talk in our LDS Ensign July 2013 edition called, A Time for Faith, Not Fear that gave me a different perspective on faith and trials that I am enduring. I love this quote, "Life is a test. Trials may come even if we are seeking to put the Lord first in our lives. One of the reasons we are here on earth is to strengthen our faith. Difficult, dark days are a necessary part of life and give us an opportunity to build our faith and learn to rely on a power far greater than our own. As President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has said: “Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness.”1
It is hard to build faith in the noonday sun. When the night is dark and the clouds are thick, we have an opportunity to put our hand in the Lord’s hand and rely on Him to help us through. Doing so strengthens our faith." I love this quote too "When your difficulties seem overwhelming, look up, not down. When sadness and despair start to get a foothold, remember this: the Atonement of Jesus Christ did more than overcome physical and spiritual death. Yes, we will all be resurrected, and all of us have the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins as we repent and exercise faith in Jesus Christ. But as wonderful as the gifts of resurrection and repentance are, the Atonement is much more. Through the Atonement we can receive strength to meet the most difficult trials of life.
When we look up to the Savior, we can be strengthened beyond our own abilities and beyond what we can envision with our mortal understanding." But this is my favorite, "I have found that usually when we face our most difficult tests, the Lord is there ahead of us to prepare the way through them. 'For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up' (D&C 84:88).'" (This is one of my most favorite scriptures).
Speaking of angels, I treasure the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. ‘[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.’ [Moroni 7:36.]” You can view the entire article at http://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/07/a-time-for-faith-not-fear?lang=eng.
My Aunt Carol made me a pillow when I was in the hospital that said, "Grant us faith to look beyond the problems of the moment to the miracles of the future" President Hinckley. So when you think life is hard and you don't think you can get through a trial, look around you; everyone is facing a trial. And remember to have faith in a loving Heavenly Father. I know He is there. I have felt His loving arms surround me as I have endured over the past 7 weeks. I could not get through this challenge without Him. I have faith that I will get through this trial. Yes, this is certainly a trial of my faith, but it doesn't in the least bit shake my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know our Heavenly Father watches over us. I know He hears all of the prayers in my behalf, as well as my own. I don't know how He does this, but I know He does. I know that we have a Savior Jesus Christ who atoned for my sins and for my pain, heartaches and my sufferings.
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