by Christie Perkins
Hard times are holy places.
That’s how I’ve come to feel about some of the most difficult times in my life. As I walked through cancer I could feel the power of God carrying me. What a sweet experience to feel snug, nestled in God’s hand.
He was very close.
Alone In Struggles
But, there have been times when I have felt alone in my struggles. Times when I wondered if there was a soul in the world who knew my pain. In middle school I remember having a particularly difficult day. Now, since I’ve long surpassed middle school, the technicalities of the troubles are unclear to me.
I am certain the problems were minor compared to some of the things I have since faced, but at this little pixel point in my life it was a heavy burden to me.
As I pondered on solutions, I was stumped about answers to my troubles. Only the sound of tires grabbing the road could calm me. And concentration on my momentary road abode was just a temporary escape from the real issue, the constant noise took my mind off it all.
Well… momentarily anyway. It didn’t last because the real issue could not be soothed with some audio band aid. Nope. No band aids, get away book retreats, meet and greets, taste bud tickler treats, big bargains (or itty bitty ones). None of this could carry me over my steep, mountain dirt road.
Why me? Why this? How do I get out of it? I did nothing to receive this pain.
There seemed no solution. I simply had to just accept and face the situation as it was. There was no exit sign, just a skinny one way road. I was the driver and though I had no control over every little thing, I did have control over some things.
That was empowering.
Don’t Worry About the Things You Cannot Change
But what about the things I didn’t have control over. What about that beast? There are some roads that we don’t get to travel. Some sights we never get to see. We hear about them, we dream of them; we want to go there.
But, we just can’t seem to purchase that ticket fare.
And that is where I came to truly understand the role of the Savior. He makes up the difference. He helps us to see that it’s okay. That there is something much more grand than we can imagine. We think that we are missing some great blessing because we are suffering.
But I beg to differ. He is preparing us for some greater blessing that we will never fully understand until we have successfully endured our current trial. And even then, I don’t think we can capture the magnitude of our blessings. And one day we will all look back off that steep mountain road and we will see the glorious view from above. It won’t be an easy climb. But, we will have that perfect perspective that our suffering was taking us to higher ground.
He carried me that day in middle school. I felt his power to take my suffering away. When I truly thought about his undeserving pain, my own pain lessened. When I attempted to see things from His perspective, I felt him lifting me. I felt him lift my burdens and I knew He cared.
It would have been so easy to tread down that negative path that I was going. To give up. But, no. There was something more that I was to gain from this struggle. It was preparatory to the bigger struggles that lay ahead.
It gave me the confidence in a loving God who knew me and knew my struggles and how to succor to me. It was the calm assurance that He is real.
Trials Prepare Us For Greater Things
That tough day in middle school was the very thing I needed to remind me that when cancer came knocking at my door that He would be near. If he is aware of the incredibly small things, He is very aware of the massive things.
But there were times, in my cancer treatments that I simply had to bear my pain. I had to bear it because there was something greater I was earning. Yet, through it all I knew that God was near. He was so incredibly close. And though I had to endure my difficulties I did not doubt that He cared.
I knew He cared because He opened my mind to see his love in the littlest of things. I’ve learned that you miss the opportunity to feel His love when you only look for the big things. I was wrapped in His love. What an amazing gift.
During some of the most difficult moments in my cancer treatments I turned to prayer. I expressed my full-hearted displeasure in my pain. I told him how bad my hands and feet burned, how I was tired of the four month flu-like bug. I told Him everything. How I thought that I couldn’t go on.
And He listened.
Then, He reached out his hand and what he couldn’t take away from me he gave me strength to bear. I could do this with him yoked next to me.
And I did.
Embrace your trials because it is a sacred time when you come to know and feel the closeness of heaven. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. It was a gift I’ll cherish for eternity. Of that I am very grateful.
I found this quote this week. I loved it. I hope if you are going through a difficult time that it will help answer the “why’s” that you may be battling. But, mostly know that God will carry you through.
“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trial are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more… He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.” (Oct. 1995 General Conference, Richard G. Scott)
I hope you enjoyed reading! On some devices my share buttons are a little tricky to find. To access, click on the comment bubble to load up my share buttons and scroll to the top of the page. My share buttons are underneath my title. Click and share! And oh, have a fantastic day!