Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 8 - 05.27.2012

I guess a common reaction amongst those who've lost loved ones, or experienced extreme setbacks in any form, is to blame or be upset with God. Many of us in some shape or form have grown up knowing two fundamental facts about God: 1. He loves us, and 2. He is omnipotent, or all-powerful. It's easy to understand then why some might feel betrayed, slighted, ignored, or forgotten when He who has unshaking love for us and power over all does not tip the scales of mortality in our favor, especially when we feel like we might justifiably classify ourselves as "good people" and deserving of a miracle or two. 

In 1995, Richard G. Scott said something everyone should know, whatever your challenges may be:  
When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father.
I'm happy to report that Caitlin and I never placed blame on God for what Holden had to endure, (I'd consider that one of our spiritual gifts for which we are humbly grateful), we didn't even dwell too much on the "why" questions, but we have had a paradigm shift when it comes to miracles, faith as it pertains to miracles, and the priesthood power that executes them. 

I had the sacred privilege of giving Holden 5 priesthood blessings during his short life. Most of which pronounced his health and recovery. Friends and family all over the world were submitting Holden's name in the temple prayer roll. Entire wards held special fasts for him. Spiritually speaking, we had all bases covered, and all the ingredients for miracle-producing faith and prayer. And...nothing. No improvement. No miracle. The only beneficiaries of the countless prayers seemed to be Caitlin and myself. 

Honestly, two years later I don't know that my faith has fully recovered in regards to healing blessings or miracles. I still don't know why we are to go to strenuously exhausting lengths to pray for miracles that are ultimately up to God's will and timetable to be realized. It's hard to express what I feel when others' healing prayers are answered in the affirmative. My heart is obviously glad for them, and I love hearing such illustrative examples of God's goodness, but deep in the recesses of my soul I still feel that tinge of envious heartache.  

Before I damper your faith too much, I want to remind everyone of a 3rd (perhaps the easiest to forget in times of trial) characteristic of God. The one I remind myself of when I begin to question God's will. It's outlined in 2 Nephi 2:24
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
He is omniscient. He knows and understands everything; Past, present, and most importantly, future. The reason why asking "why" leads you into blind alleys is that we do not, nor are we meant to, understand all the "why's" of life. Part of our experience and purpose of mortality is learning to lean on God, and not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). 

Placing your trust in God is one of, if not the most vital and preliminary steps to true happiness and contentment in life. I beg of everyone who may read this, Trust God. Trust in Him enough to keep His commandments, especially the ones you don't understand, and especially the ones for which you don't easily recognize the correlated blessings. Have a hard time keeping the sabbath day holy? Trust God. Don't understand why daily scripture study is necessary? Trust God. Trust in Him enough to submit your feeble will to his. It's the greatest and only gift you can really give Him and he'll compensate you 1,000 fold. 

When you are in complete, dark, abysmal despair, trust God. Remember; God is omnipotent, God is omniscient, and God has an infinite and unfathomable love for you. Given these 3 facts, and I know that they are true, there is clearly no one and no thing better to believe in. 

I do not expect in my lifetime to learn why some live and some die. I do not expect in my lifetime to "get over" losing Holden. To not miss him miserably when he should be turning 2, 5, 10, 20, 40 years old. It won't happen, and that's okay. It's okay because I trust my Heavenly Father. He knows why. And because he knows why, I don't have to. He provided a way for us to be whole again. Our family is not incomplete because Holden is gone. He is still around. And he is always forever inseparably ours. One day, and we pray every day that that day is not far off, we will physically hold him in our arms again. And I owe every single ounce of that truth to my Heavenly Father, His perfect Son, and the covenants that they've been good enough to allow me to make with them. My heart hurts for people who have been through what we have without knowing what we know. Trust in God, and partake of His goodness. 

“Faith in the Lord is trust in the Lord. We cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. As a result, no matter how strong our faith is, it cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him in whom we have faith. Remember that when your prayers do not seem to be answered in the way or at the time you desire. The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security and serenity in our lives.” ― Dallin H. Oaks


Anonymous said...

This is such a wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing. It had uplifted my spirit and helped me remember to trust in God.Trust that He is. Thank you. ~Bethany

D&J Savaiinaea said...

Thank you for today's post. It was exactly what I needed to read and has brought me comfort when I was asking why to much. Aroha to your family who we pray for.

katrina said...

This is beautiful. I've learned an incredible amount about the gospel from you guys in the past two years and continue to every day. Thank you. I trust God and I have so much love for you four Lee's.

Holden's grandma said...

Love you! You give me strength to trust my Heavenly Father. He loves. us, if we can remember to trust.

Joan said...

So heartfelt and beautifully written. We feel your pain, but we also feel your faith and trust in the Lord. Thank goodness this trial has taken you to higher heights instead of into the depths of despair. You are perfect examples of how to trust in the Lord. As you said, he knows the why's because he can see from the beginning to the end. Your strength is marvelous to behold. Love you two!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing what you have learned and your feelings from your experiences. Your wisdom astounds me. All three of you uplift and strengthen me and continue to bless the lives of so many. I'm grateful to be your friend.


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