I remember driving on a familiar road, talking with my husband about our future, and thinking to myself: how can I survive one more year of living like this? We had been living in a basement apartment for five years already and there didn’t seem to be any end in sight. I was embarrassed. I was cramped. I was loosing my patience with how long this process was taking. I had given up hope that my family might ever live independently in our own house. We had done everything we thought was right. We both graduated from college, we both had jobs, we had three kids, we were going to church regularly, and the list could on of all the things we thought we were doing right. As I prayed and cried to my Father in Heaven, I constantly asked to know what more I could do to ease our burden. I remember feeling guilty for wanting a house, a material thing. I hated that guilt. I hated feeling so stuck and trapped. Having three kids, one on the way, living in a basement with barely two bedrooms seemed impossible. Those were my thoughts in the car that day.
“For with God, nothing shall be impossible” Luke 1:37
Fast forward to today, two years later. We are still living in a basement apartment, all six of us. We are still living the gospel to the fullest. We are still trying to choose what’s right. I still feel cramped. I am still trying to let go of the embarrassment. But, we are closer than we ever have been to getting a place of our own and I am spiritually stronger than I ever have been. My marriage is stronger. My family is closer. My kids are learning and living the gospel. And I KNOW that my family and I would not be where we are today without this trial of basement dwelling. As I look back on the past two years and how I made it this far when I was so encompassed with sorrow, the only thing that got me through is the knowledge that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and for my family. He knows what is best. He knows that I can make it through and will become better for enduring. I can’t always see the plan ahead but I know that someday I will understand and it WILL be worth it.
The week before October’s General Conference I wrote down all my questions I hoped I would get insight to while listening to our Prophet and other church leaders. One of my questions was, “Why are our finances worse?” Yes, they did actually get worse than that car ride two years ago. But guess what? My question was answered in Elder Anderson’s talk Sunday morning. “Wounded”. We are all wounded. No matter who you are, we all have nasty stuff to deal with. It’s part of life. This is what we signed up for. We knew that when we came down to earth we would be tried and tested. So how do we trudge on? How do we make it back up the mountain after we have fallen? How do we heal our wounds? I have put together a list from Elder Anderson’s talk that will help us look at our trials with an eternal perspective.
Pray with all your heart
Strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ
Hold on to His words
Return to the Lord’s house
Keep the commandments
Be worthy of the Comforter
Reach out to others
Don’t ever give up!
Each one of these things has helped me climb back up the mountain at one time or another. I am still living through one of my trials. But I know, without a doubt, that my Savior has made my burden lighter. I know that my day of relief will come and so will yours.
“Your dark night will pass, because The Son did rise with healing in his wings.”
Our dear Father in Heaven has a plan for you. These trials we go through are not meant to cripple us spiritually. We are meant to survive, and have our hardships strengthen our faith and trust in God. You can do it! I am cheering you on.
“The Healer of our souls, in His time and His way, will heal all your wounds…and God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes. This day will come.”
Read Neil L. Anderson's full address here.
As we have learned from President Eyring, more often than not, the sisters you minister to are hurting. You may not even know it, or you may know and don’t know how to help. Here is a notecard to print for the sisters you minister to. Whether you are a lifelong friend or a new acquaintance, a caring note is always appreciated. Take the note to your sister’s door, leave it in the mailbox, or hand it to her at church. No cookies or brownies required. “The wounded who nurse the wounds of others are God’s angels on earth.”
Call to Action:
Knowing where to start on your way back up the mountain is sometimes half the battle. Pick one, just one, of the things in the list above and make it your goal for the week. See how your wounds start to heal by looking at them with eternal perspective. Print the list and keep it in your scriptures, in your journal, posted on your mirror, or wherever, to remind you that Christ has given you just what you need to beat this trial and heal your wounds.
Teach your children, and grandchildren too, how to deal with adversity. Write down different challenges that your family is dealing with as well as challenges that may someday become a reality. Have your children look the trials square in the eye and say, “I will be bigger than you! You cannot defeat me!” If you’re feeling ambitious you could even write all the trials on a big piece of butcher paper and have your kids break through the paper.
Come, Follow Me Connection:
In Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is teaching His righteous followers. Elder Anderson’s talk is also directed toward the righteous. As you study Come Follow Me this week, see what similarities Elder Anderson’s talk and Christ’s Sermon on the Mount have in common.