When I was pregnant with my second child, and deathly ill with so-called morning sickness, I wrote in my family blog that there was a reason for my trials. There must be something I needed to learn.
After I posted my explanation, I received a letter deploring me for my opinion. In the writers’ minds, a loving Heavenly Father does not put his children through pain and suffering, like what I was experiencing. Though I appreciated their sentiments, I disagree.
Recently I had an awful miscarriage. Not only did I lose the much-wanted pregnancy, but I endured terrible pain weeks after. It was heartbreaking. Yet, two weeks into the pain, I finally decided that I couldn’t waste my life away on the couch. I needed to get up and go.
During this difficult time, I read Elder Martino’s talk from April’s General Conference entitled “All Things Work Together for Good.” In it he said,
Our trials come in many forms, but each will allow us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good that comes from each experience.
The pain I felt from the miscarriage hasn’t left. Initially, it was really hard for me to understand what good could come from this experience. Every time I felt the pain, I remembered the loss. At the same time, I couldn’t become bitter over this trial. I wasn’t even sure if it would ever end. What else should I do?
Elder Martino explained,
Now, I realize that it is much easier to look back when a trial is over and see what we have learned from our experience, but the challenge is to gain that eternal perspective while we are going through our tests.
After reading these words I realized what my challenge was: To take a step back and allow faith to fill my heart. I still don’t know what lesson I am supposed to learn, but I do know that I’ve grown closer to Heavenly Father. I’ve also become more compassionate for those who experience chronic pain and can now empathize with their frustrations.
Towards the end of his talk, Elder Martino summarized a difficult and important principle.
Sometimes we pass through pain and sorrow that we might grow and be prepared for potential trials in the future. I ask a question to you mothers: ‘Would you ever do something that would cause pain and bring tears to your children when they have done nothing wrong?’ Of course you would! When mothers take young children to the doctor to receive immunizations, almost every child leaves the doctor’s office in tears. Why do you do that? Because you know that a small amount of pain now will protect them from possible pain and suffering in the future. Our Father in Heaven knows the end from the beginning. We need to follow the example of the Savior and trust in Him.
One thing I am slowly learning is that though trials are hard, they shape me into the type of person Heavenly Father knows I am capable of becoming. Coping with daily pain is not something I expected to experience; however, it is something I am called upon to bear. It is my responsibility to bear this burden well.
Thank you! I appreciate this post.
This is lovely, Amber. You know, God sure loved his son, but there was still much suffering to endure. Sometimes I wonder how we get off as easy as we do.
In dealing with chronic pain myself, I completely agree. Sometimes I feel like Heavenly Father is inoculating me against the future, building my spiritual and physical muscles so I can become more like He is (the perfect parent, student, and teacher). He knows so much better than we do the trials that will teach and strengthen us. Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony and for reminding me of these truths. 🙂
Having dealt with a lot of physical and emotional pain in my life, I can say with absolute surety that it serves a very important purpose. I am puzzled by those who wonder “Why is this happening? Why do I have to suffer?” BECAUSE: we cannot be like Christ if we do not feel at least some of what He felt. How can we stand next to Him with any degree of comfort and confidence if we just sail through life with no trials, no pain, no sacrifice? I know you know that, Amber, I just wanted to share that part of my testimony with others who might be reading this.