1 | Healing Will Come. One of the trials that has defined my life, like the "thorn in the flesh" that Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 12:7, has been depression. After the birth of my oldest child, I was drowning. I'd had a traumatic delivery, a difficult time getting him to gain weight, and then, at six weeks old, he was hospitalized with a respiratory infection. These struggles of early parenthood combined with the beginnings of postpartum depression left me begging the Lord for deliverance, sometimes hourly. I could not understand why healing was so long in coming. I still don't fully understand the reasons why I felt alone during such a dark and difficult time in my life. But as I leaned into and trusted my Savior, He assured me through the Spirit that healing would come, and that He would comfort me until it did.
2 | Red Sea Roads. Elder Holland rhetorically wonders why the Lord doesn't part all our personal Red Seas. Why doesn't the way become clear for us as soon as we ask? Why didn't COVID-19 dissipate overnight after we collectively fasted for relief? Why do personal sins and sorrows follow us despite our efforts to change? Why can't it be easy? The Lord sees everything, and He knows with His perfect timing how to work all things for our good. Often, the process of working all things for our good involves some character-building patience. As we learn how to endure, we become more like the Savior.
3 | Perspective. A few days ago, our ward Young Women's class had a discussion about trials and eternal perspective. One of the girls, who is going through a heart-rending trial in her family, asked me, "What is the purpose of my trial? When will I ever see a reason for this happening?" While I felt very unqualified to answer her question, all I could do was bear my testimony that for every trial I had gotten through, I was ultimately able to see the blessings it led to in my life, whether through personal growth or letting certain aspects of life fall into place through the Lord's timing. We can't always see the light at the end of the tunnel right away, and it can be really hard to trustfall into our faith in the Lord's timing. But we can be confident that He will never abandon us. No matter what we are walking through, He stands beside us, willing to support us if we will only let Him.
"So while we work and wait together for the answers to some of our prayers, I offer you my apostolic promise that they are heard and they are answered, though perhaps not at the time or in the way we wanted. But they are always answered at the time and in the way an omniscient and eternally compassionate parent should answer them."
JEFFREY R. HOLLAND
"My beloved brothers and sisters, Christianity is comforting, but it is often not comfortable. The path to holiness and happiness here and hereafter is a long and sometimes rocky one. It takes time and tenacity to walk it. But, of course, the reward for doing so is monumental."
JEFFREY R. HOLLAND
INVITATION: As we face the potential and uncertainty of a new year, we're hoping for changes in the world around us and within ourselves. Sometimes the first step in making those changes is believing it is possible. When we speak what we hope to become, the Lord can help us bridge the gap between who we are now and who we hope to be. Write down three affirmations for this year and speak them with conviction. Pray about becoming the person you're speaking into being. Take part in our “I AM because HE IS” affirmation initiative this week as we learn about the power affirmations can have as we start the new year.
AFFIRMATION: I know that my unanswered prayers are not unheard because I trust in His timing. Waiting on the Lord brings growth and strength of character.
-Lorren Lemmons, Submissions Editor