Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Faith to Climb the Mountain of Adversity

Along this journey we call life many face adversity.  I know I for ones at time look upward to heaven and cry "Why me?"  The scriptures are filled with stories of adversity and miraculous healings.  There are times one sees such miraculous healings and miracles all around us happening to many yet there are many who aren't part of that miracle and one wonders "why was the one spared and the other taken?"

I remember an incident where such a questions aroused in my mind.  My mother's beloved Bishop's daughter was killed in an auto accident.  Not even a week later another Bishop's daughter was in a horrific auto accident in which the response team expected the worst, yet she was spared.

Years later this wife of this good Bishop who had lost their daughter stood and spoke about how when they first heard their beloved daughter was dead their first response was, "Why?"  She then continued that soon after they were called into home after home where a family member had been lost.  She bore powerful testimony of a powerful healing that came as they reached out to these distraught parents and how because of their heartache they were able to succor those parents in a way that only they could.  How I love this remarkable woman.

Another story that I am reminded of was the journey my poppers and I shared.  My poppers had been inactive for 70 plus years and then in Jan 1998 thanks to a Priesthood Blessing I invited my poppers to come back to church so that we could be sealed as an eternal family.  I at the time had no clue how sick my poppers was.

My beloved and trusted friend who had come and found me was there at my side offering encouragement and support; oh how I love this great man and his family for their selfless service.
As our date to enter the temple entered we faced adversity of all kinds.  Well meaning friends started to doubt that we as a family would make it and started encouraging me look at other options; but this beloved friend continued to support me and my decision to continue on with our original plan.

Our goal date arrived and my beloved friend asked if he could give my poppers a blessing before entering the temple which I gladly accepted.  My friend because of his great love for me wanted to give my poppers a blessing of healing in so much that my poppers would be able to walk out of the temple but alas our Father in Heaven had other plans.

After that wonderful day in the temple and after all the pictures had been taken, my beloved and trusted friend came and put his arm around me to let me know how proud he was of me.  He then shared his fears that he had been preparing to pick up my broken pieces from off the ground if my poppers had not made it to the temple that day.  I was humbled and awestruck that my great mentor was proud of me.  You see when he first met me I was a broken shattered mess with lots of anger issues.  This inspired friend helped me understand that I was still a beloved daughter of a Heavenly Father who loved me so much and he taught me that my losing our babies was not a punishment and to trust in my Heavenly Father.  He was there to pick up the pieces when my only brother committed suicide. I went right over the edge with that one; but thanks to the love, patience and inspiration of this great man I found my way out of the dark hole I had plunged into.

Shortly after my poppers was called home my friend related to me that the Lord needed him to go and serve in another area and help others like me who were in need.  I was so scared that without his support I would fail miserably but he lovingly reminded me that it wasn't only him who had been supporting me.  My Heavenly Father had been there the whole time and all my friend had done was show me the tools to access that help.

A few years ago I found out that my beloved friend who had been such a powerful influence had a rare form of brain cancer.  I was shocked and speechless, how could our Heavenly Father allow that to happen to such an Instrument for doing good?
I then found myself studying the life of Elder Neil a Maxwell; how I love his teachings.

Elder Maxwell upon learning his diagnosis made this profound comment to his wife, "I pray that I will not shrink."  I'm sure that my friend also had a prayer in his heart like that of Elder Maxwell's, "Lord, I pray that I will not shrink."

It has been years since I have had any news about my friend but not a day passes that I don't feel his great influence in my life.  He like a beloved seminary teacher taught me that with God nothing is impossible yet I learned with my poppers and another experience, it is not my will, but thine will be done.  Another lesson he taught me along with that beloved seminary teacher is that with the faith of a mustard seed one can move a mountain.  Oh how I wanted that faith....then I came across this quote, possibly a gentle teaching moment for me:

"Fortunately, as the months and years pass, most couples recognize that their adversity is not a God-given punishment but simply a natural consequence of physical limitations,
One infertile woman said that her crisis of faith had been healed by the example of the Savior.
She had wanted her faithful prayers to heal her infertility...Finally she realized that...
Christ's perfect faith had not altered Gethsemane but rather helped him to endure it...
This woman came to see her faith...not as an imperfect faith that had been insufficient to remove her trials but as a vibrant faith that could help her endure them.
Not faith to remove the mountains but faith to climb them."
Lisa Johnson Boswell
(Women Steadfast in Christ, 198-199)

Yes I am sure there are time when one is allowed that "Faith to remove the mountain" but the faith I have and continue to develop is allowing me to climb my mountains. 

I am forever be grateful for inspired friends.  My hope is that my faith will continue to be sufficient to climb my mountains as they come.

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