While preparing to teach this week’s Sunday School lesson in 2 Corinthians, I came across a talk given by Paul Johnson, one of the Mormon Seventy, entitled “More Than Conquerors Through Him that Loved Us“. There were a few lines in the talk that stood out to me, which I will quote:
At times it may seem that our trials are focused on areas of our lives and parts of our souls with which we seem least able to cope. Since personal growth is an intended outcome of these challenges, it should come as no surprise that the trials can be very personal—almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses. And no one is exempt, especially not Saints striving to do what’s right.
A pattern in the scriptures and in life shows that many times the darkest, most dangerous tests immediately precede remarkable events and tremendous growth. “After much tribulation come the blessings.”
As I read this, I immediately reflected on my own personal trials I’ve experienced so far in my life. For me, the most difficult trial I’ve had so far has been overcoming addictions, anxiety, and depression, which I’ve written about here and here. In this post, I won’t spend any more time reflecting on the trial, rather, I will discuss the blessings that came after the trial.
Although I struggled with the issues for about 15 years, the most severe part of my trial lasted about 2 1/2 years as I struggled to overcome various problems partly caused from things I did and also from things that other people did that were out of my control.
However, as I made progress and felt the Lord’s hand guide me through the way, I came to trust in Him completely and believed that as long as I followed Him, everything would work out for my own good. Deep down, my deepest desire was to have a healthy relationship with a good woman, but if the Lord thought it would be best not to have that, I was fine with that because I had seen what trying to do things on my own had brought me over the past 15 years.
Over time, God granted me peace of mind and spirit. With that came confidence in my relationship with God and also with myself. I grew to love who I was and feel gratitude in hy heart. Shortly after the most sever part of my trial was over, God granted me the greatest blessing in my life other than the gospel: my wife. It came unexpected, but I thank the Lord every day for the blessing that she has been in my life. With her in my life, I feel that I have been able to come even closer to God as we grow in love for each other each day as we raise our family to the Lord.
I know that my trials are different than others’ trials and what appears to be a trial for one person would not be a big deal for another. The tendency is for people to not share trials, but this online format can provide a good place to share experiences and perhaps receive some insight. I have learned that sharing experiences helps build faith and helps us get through the trial. If you have an experience you would like to share about overcoming a trial and the blessings you received from the Lord afterwards, or if you are currently going through a trial and need some help, please share.
The day I wrote this article, I came across an amazing story of a young Cambodian boy whose father was captured and killed that escaped with his mother to the U.S. and was able to overcome issues with drugs and gangs to find God and also earn his PhD. See below: