Friday, July 20, 2012

"Why me?"

Early in recovery and even sometimes now when the winds blow hard, or more often when I get overtired, I sometimes ask God "why me?"  Why after almost three years of recovery do I still trigger so bad sometimes?  Why can't I just have a break?  Why is it so hard?  I begin comparing my problems with others around me and get upset that their challenges seem to be easier than mine, or worse, I think other people don't have challenges at all.  I let feelings of entitlement seep in and begin to justify feelings of self righteousness.  I lose my gratitude for what I have been given, and even lose the gratitude I have gained for the challenges specific to me.  Even though at times I struggle with these thoughts I already know the answer so I am fortunate that I don't sit in the question very long anymore.

I had a sister recently ask me:

 Why do you think we are given these struggles?
I answered:
Because these struggles are what will most efficiently refine us to a state in which we can boldly approach the throne of Grace and return home.
Satan molds his temptations to exploit our vulnerabilities while Heavenly Father presents us with challenges to strengthen us in our vulnerabilities.  We all have unique rough spots that each need smoothed.  It would be pointless to give us challenges that bring a buffer to an already smooth spot.  Instead, we need challenges that will chisel, sand, and buffer our rough spots. 

A good friend of mine summed it up perfectly as he expressed in one of his missionary letters home his thoughts on why we have been given the challenges we each face:
We have been prepared for our specific challenges in life for far longer than we have even been here in mortality. Don't we realize there is a divine reason we are all in our situations that we are in? God has known us for a very very long time and has seen us grow and knows exactly what we need to face now to be able to become Kings and Queens in the worlds to come. It is so easy to say life isn't fair. But how is it not fair? We are blessed with the trials that we need not the ones that someone else needs. To me, that seems very fair. To me, that seems like we really do have a loving Father in Heaven who really does know us and really does want nothing else but for us to succeed. - Spencer Carrier
Dwelling on the 'why' of our challenges is dangerous.  It takes our focus off of our Savior and halts our progression.  Early in recovery I hit a turning point that really helped free me from the bondage of asking 'why' I was an addict.  I finally decided that I wasn't ever going to know why and more importantly, that it didn't really matter why.  I just simply had to accept that I was.  Once I was able to reach a level of accountability that allowed me to just accept that I was an addict without seeking to place blame elsewhere, I was then free to stop wasting time looking for answers myself and refocus my attention instead on accepting the Lords will and using His counsel to better my circumstance.  I was finally free to feel gratitude for the challenges I'd been given.

Feeling gratitude for our challenges is like submitting ourselves to a lifetime of bufferings and compression from the power of universal elements that constantly refine us to become the smoothest stone possible.  It takes time and it takes patience.

One of my very favorite scriptures brings me such hope when I lose my gratitude for my addiction:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
9.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am grateful for my addiction.  Without it I would not have the drive to spur me to lean on my Savior everyday; to cry out to Him everyday; to surrender to Him everyday.  Without it I would be apathetic and complacent.  I would be stagnant.  I would be lost.


 

2 comments:

  1. I have often wondered many of these thoughts myself and reached some of the same conclusions - that is when I am feeling more humility than I am now.

    I have thought that if I had never acted out, never saw or sought out what I did, never sought repentance through the help of my bishop, would I be where I am now in my testimony of the atonement? Would I be as active in the church as I am? I always tell myself MAYBE. But then I wonder HOW and I get back to the original question after that. There needs to be a HOW it seems to me, so that we can get to that close relationship that is both rewarding and necessary in our conversion. As hard as it is for me to type/say this as well as accept this, I believe you are right - I was given this trial because it is the exact thing that would help me come close to my savior. Not to remain apathetic or lazy in my conversion, but to put myself on the road of discipleship - to follow Christ as His loyal disciple, committed to my conversion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I guarantee I wouldn't be where I am today haha! You are awesome!

      Delete

Thank you for sharing a moment with me:-)

Ezekiel 34:11-12,16

"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick"