Episode 8: Answered Prayers and Finding Meaning in Life Through Trials

 

When I am in the thick of the hard times in life, it is so hard to maintain perspective and get through trials gracefully and with faith.

In the middle of my faith crisis last year I definitely doubted many times that God actually answered my prayers.  I doubted my worthiness.  I questioned my position as a member of my church. I wondered if I would ever get a good night sleep again and regain my health, so I could raise my kids without being so dang tired all the time!

Many of the hard things about that first 18 months with 6 kids was directly related to the lack of sleep we had.  The gut issues, the sicknesses, the short temperedness, the overwhelm, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, all of it stems from lack of sleep.

I had no idea then that the lesson I would learn, or at least one of them, was that every hardship and trial is meant to lead me closer to God and my Savior Jesus Christ.  I make choices each day, but the biggest ones are the ones I make during the hardest times in my life.

This week I had to read in the Book of Mormon for a religion class I am taking online through BYU-Idaho, and there is a part in the book where some brothers are talking, a younger brother, Nephi, is talking to his older brothers, Laman and Lemuel, and the older brothers are confused about a vision their father, Lehi, shared with them.  Nephi, upon hearing his father’s vision, went straight to the Lord with full purpose of heart to seek confirmation and more understanding of what his father saw and he was presented with the same vision.  He also learned the meaning of all the things his father saw and even caught things his father missed.

Laman and Lemuel did not inquire of the Lord, and instead argued about everything they heard. Nephi, sick of hearing their bantering said this in 1 Nephi 15:11 

“11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and aask me in bfaith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.”

Well, I will tell you that I tried to have a lot of faith when I was trying to regain my health last year, but what I failed to do was allow the Lord to answer my prayers in His way and according to His time table.  I was stubborn and obstinate.  I wanted the answers when I felt I needed them.

It is good to plead with the Lord sometimes, other times, you gotta know when to take a breath and let life unfold as He would have it unfold.

Last weekend, I got to watch the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was able to listen the Prophet on the earth today, and all of the Apostles and several other leaders of our church.

This stood out to me from the weekend.  Elder Neil L Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said this in his talk titled “Wounded,” “We search for happiness. We long for peace. We hope for love. And the Lord showers us with an amazing abundance of blessings. But intermingled with the joy and happiness, one thing is certain: there will be moments, hours, days, sometimes years when your soul will be wounded.”

All weekend I kept hearing that same message. This life will have trials and tests of our faith, but you can and will have joy and happiness, too!  I think it was hearing these messages that reminded me of how far I have come since last year, and despite the hardships that we go through in life, there is always a reason to be grateful.

Thanks for listening!

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