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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Trials and Faith

I have a friend who once shared a story with me about one of her friends. So, this is the story of a friend of a friend. We'll call her Ann. Soon after getting married Ann discovered some difficulty getting pregnant, and later was told by her doctor that it would never happen. I don't know the details of why her doctor was led to believe that.

But, Ann had started to pray, telling God that she knew He could work a miracle in her life. She placed her faith in God, that He could make it happen. Well, it did. Her faith and prayers worked. There's no doubt in my mind that she finally got pregnant because her prayers were answered by God. When my friend shared this story with me, I was very touched by it. I would have moments myself in prayer where I would tell God that I knew He could make it happen for me, too, if He wanted it to.

Then, I would have questions like, why would he not want it to happen? Is there some reason I'm not supposed to have this desired blessing? Or do I not have enough faith? Is there something wrong with me? Am I not living worthy of those blessings? How low do I have to go before my faith will be sufficient?

I've since learned that having faith doesn't necessarily mean that everything will work out exactly the way I think it should. I don't want to discount the times when faith produced the miraculous results that were sought, because those really are moments of great faith. But sometimes the greatest faith comes when things continue to go wrong, and the person is able to still find reasons to keep on fighting.

I've felt some deep feelings of empathy for a couple of dear friends in my life who are struggling through some hard things right now. I watch as they continue to fight, to believe, to hope, even when all seems to be lost. Their struggles are different than mine, but I know they feel a lot of the same feelings... wanting to know where the end of their pain is, longing for the day they can find relief from the heavy-heart feeling. They may even be wondering if there ever will be an end to the pain and if it's worth it to keep on going.

I just want them to know that I love them. And that it is worth it to keep on fighting. Whatever price we are asked to pay will always be worth it in the end. The God I know is a God of mercy and great compassion. He knows the struggles of life, He knows the pain and frustration, He hears the quiet pleas in your heart... and He will bless you for the faith you show in those very dark moments.

I'm reminded of a story in the New Testament of a blind man. The disciples asked Jesus, "who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" And, the response was "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (See St. John 9:1-3.)

Sometimes we're given trials and challenges not because we've done something wrong, but so that we can be instruments for God to show His goodness. If there were no blind people, then there would be no way for God to show He can give sight. If there were no struggling people, there would be no way for God to show He can bring peace and comfort.

I am inspired by my friends who are currently at their lowest... and yet they keep getting up. They are fighting. They are digging deep for that little bit of faith that is left in them. I know it is hard. But, I know as they dig down they will find faith and strength they didn't even know they had.

When I was going through a low moment, my Dad shared this quote with me:

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"

Keep on going. Keep on trying. You have people pulling for you. Your life and response to your trials strengthens my faith and inspires me to want to keep on fighting.

6 comments:

Amy said...

Your posts are so inspiring to me. I'm so glad that I found your blog :o)

Marc and Megan said...

I'm glad you found it too... because I've totally enjoyed your blog, too! :)

Kaitlin said...

HUGS!!

Bryce & Brenley said...

I really can relate to your entire post. I remember it was a few years of trying to have children before both Bryce and I felt comfortable in asking Heavenly Father to please bless us with children. This was because in both of our P-Blessing it says that we will have children and we had talked about it alot and felt like we shouldnt be asking for something God had already promised us. We then had come to the realization that we werent excersizing our Faith unless we were asking. And that came after going through some horrendous trials in our lives. I hate what we had to go through in our trials, but I am SO greatful for what we learned and the individual we each have become, we know we will be better parents, better members of the church and better friends because of this, and we are greatful for that. Thank you for sharing that.

P.S. I am going to try to email you back this weekend, I really enjoyed your email, and what you had shared with me.

Marc and Megan said...

thanks, Kait! Hugs back at ya!

Brenley, I totally know what you're saying... and I'm so glad that in the end good things come from the hard.

*Carly* said...

What a wonderful post! It is scary to sometimes ask Heavenly Father for something for many different reasons. I remember when I did ask for help to find a family and how relieved I felt and how scared I felt because I had made it all real. I don't think I will even understand the trial of not being able to have children. I know that I understand the Atonement now as much as my mind can comprehend. It is crazy to think about the number of people that are actually involved with adoption compared to the rest of the world and I wonder why am I a part of that "small" group. What makes me "special" or why are there such amazing couples out there that aren't able to have children. I feel like I could go in circles with this and never figure it out. I still am amazed by it all. I would do it all over again for the place that it brought me to in my life.