Enduring Through Trials

We all have times of trial in our lives.  8 years ago at the age of 24 I found myself in one of the hardest times of my life.  I was separated from my husband and quickly headed towards divorce.  This was not something that I ever had planned or imagined would happen to me in my life.  I always knew I wanted to be married in the temple and have a large family and I felt so disappointed and discouraged for my future. I spent lots of time in the temple and with family members.  During this hard time, I focused a lot on the Lord and my family.  I felt very unprepared and scared to go back into the social, single LDS scene.  I prayed and prayed for comfort, peace and answers.  At times I didn’t understand why this would happen to me in my life.

Elder Paul V. Johnson has said:

At times it may seem that our trials are focused on areas of our lives and parts of our souls with which we seem least able to cope. Since personal growth is an intended outcome of these challenges, it should come as no surprise that the trials can be very personal—almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses. And no one is exempt, especially not Saints striving to do what’s right. Some obedient Saints may ask, “Why me? I’m trying to be good! Why is the Lord allowing this to happen?” The furnace of affliction helps purify even the very best of Saints by burning away the dross in their lives and leaving behind pure gold. Even very rich ore needs refining to remove impurities. Being good is not enough. We want to become like the Savior, who learned as He suffered“pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind.”

Knowing that my Savior had suffered with me already was a great comfort to me.  Eventually the problems and hardships associated with that trial in my life passed and I have been able to move forward with great purpose and great happiness.  I ended up reconnecting with an old friend and was sealed to him almost 6 years ago.  Looking back on that trial I cannot imagine a better outcome for this part of my life and it is so obvious to me that the Lord had his hand in every step of the way.  Enduring through the hard trial of an abusive marriage and heart wrenching divorce definitely left me stronger than I had ever been in my life.

In the Book of Mormon, there is a time when Lehi and his family are traveling in the middle of the sea.  There is a disagreement between the brothers on board and Nephi is tied up by his older brothers for several days.  Great storms come and the brothers don’t know how to steer the ship.  Everyone is fearing for their lives and they all basically think that they will drown.  It isn’t until “they are about to be swallowed into the depths of the sea” that they finally release their brother.  I could not even imagine getting treated this way.  Nephi had as much right as anyone to be angry with God and frustrated with his family, but after all of this when his wrists and ankles are very swollen and sore he says:

“I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.” (1 Ne 18:16)

I love this idea of praising God all the day long.  It makes me think about all the days when I get bogged down with mundane details of life and I easily forget to praise God in every moment all day long.  I have always been optimistic and I know that when we look on the positive side of our trials that we can be made stronger and more like Christ.  I know that the trials of our lives are given to us to help us become stronger.  I truly don’t believe that God will give us anything that we can’t handle with his help.  He is so waiting to help all of us, all we have to do is ask.

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