“Trials and tribulations tend to squeeze the artificiality out of us, leaving the essence of what we really are and clarifying what we really yearn for.” —Neal A. Maxwell
Last week, a friend told me of a difficult trial she is currently experiencing. As she sat, feeling the sorrow and weight of her situation, she said she didn’t know why this was happening. So as we visited, I shared with her my thoughts on how it’s not the why but the what.
In my own experiences, especially with my mother passing on from cancer at the young age of 53, I have come to focus on the what. I choose to ask, “What am I suppose to learn from this experience?” I know I am here on earth to have experiences that strengthen, test, and even challenge me at times. Without these experiences, how would I become the best version of myself? I often say to my children, “Growing requires growing pains.” I choose to find the silver lining of joy through my opportunities of growing pains. I try to remind myself that this is what I really want. . . . right?!
On a wall in my home, I have a phrase that says, “Don’t give up what you want MOST, for what you want now.” In our present state, we easily lose sight of what we want in the long-term. If what I want most is to be like God and live with him in the eternities, then I must be refined now. Otherwise, when else would I be refined? This applies to all areas of life: the comfortable zone is the place of no to little growth. As I am continually stretched and pulled—uncomfortably so—I see that God is making so much more out of me and my life than I ever could on my own. . . .and I LOVE it and am GRATEFUL for it!
My mother is an incredible woman (I always say is, because her spirit never dies, and I will be with her again), and she was ready to meet her Savior. From her passing, I have learned many things I wouldn’t have fully learned otherwise: to truly rely on my Savior Jesus Christ, to be more spiritually minded in all things, to spend more time lifting others, to do all things the Lord requires of me, and to have faith in his plan to mold me.
What is your what? I have a small hand-held journal I use only for recording how God is made manifest in my life. I invite you to do the same: grab a journal and write down what you are currently learning during your joyful and difficult growing pains. Recognize how God is rounding the rough edges of you that otherwise would have remained. Isn’t that what you yearn for—to be a new creature in Christ?
I pray that you will see that God wants only the best for you. . . .long term! We each live far below our potential, but He sees it! If we will but choose to ask, “What am I suppose to learn from this experience?” He will open your mind and heart to understanding. Through choosing to depend on Jesus Christ, you are choosing to be changed!
in gratitude and love,