Why This Suffering?
This submission was contributed by an anonymous reader:
Since recently entering the 12 Step Program and learning the large revealing truth that all this happened because I believed large icky lies from the adversary, I've had a lot of questions for Heavenly Father. A lot of confusions to clear up. A lot of fog to blow out. A lot of mess to pick up. One main question that arose at the beginning has remained in question a long time still. Through kind encouragement, I got up the courage to ask Heavenly Father directly. It went something like this:
"Heavenly Father, you promised me that if I kept the commandments, sacrificed, magnified my callings, did everything you asked, that I would be blessed. Peace, happiness, a promised land and the best me. I was SO obedient and sacrificed everything! Mission, Sunday school teacher, visiting teaching, journaling, service, temple, etc etc etc... I did everything right! I gave my all. I've tried my best..... what happened? How did Satan get in SO far? And SO deep? To the point where I can't even feel you anymore, Heavenly Father! I struggle to even believe you exist anymore; to be honest I struggle with wanting to try. I don't feel peace - I'm afraid, I'm not happy - I'm miserable, I don't see any promise of a place or state of being in which I'll be glad to live, and I really hate myself the way I am right now. Heavenly Father ....why? WHY this suffering???"
Over time, I've received a few helpful answers here and there that have helped me understand bit by bit. For example:
~Look how much I used the word "I." I was taking credit for my salvation, and my pride stopped me from relying on the Lord. I left no room for Christ. I was slowly and silently letting all that I did myself keep me from the gentle power of humility - knowing all good things come from God only, and that without Him we are powerless.
~Satan talked me into believing the Lord held impossible expectations that I could never reach, that I had to be perfect.
~Satan told me God abandoned me because I messed up too much.
(to list a few)
Still, the question remained - "But... I was obedient - why wasn't I figuring these things out sooner? Why did He let me fall so far and hurt SO much before finally learning all this?" Again. Why this suffering??? Have I not suffered enough in my life?
Weeks later my answer came the weekend of the Relief Society Broadcast. But... not until I got to church that Sunday morning. I was struggling the weekend of the Broadcast; my general state was pretty much "numb" that day. Though I heard words I knew I needed from amazing women, that I wanted to believe, I did not feel moved by them. I went home feeling distant, unchanged, frustrated, and ashamed because of it. The next morning our Bishop's wife spoke in Sac Meeting. She introduced her talk by explaining that the RS Broadcast seemed to focus on the same theme which she felt to share with us that day. My ears perked. A second chance! She began with this analogy:
When a baby chick is emerging from it's shell, it takes a very long time of struggling and physical exertion as it slowly pushes it's way out of the shell. The mother sits close and watches attentively, wishing she could help, listening to her baby peeping and crying desperately as it tries to escape it's discomfort and confinement. But the wise mother knows that if she helps, the chick will die having not developed the strength needed to survive and function properly. She knows it NEEDS to experience this distress, and she cannot help in this particular instance. But she stays close and watches every second, with great love and concern as her precious baby suffers this long hard fight to freedom and life.
This is how Heavenly Father works at times. He always stays close, but sometimes he LETS us struggle and hurt, and doesn't help, because He knows our long suffering, trying experience is vital in the journey to becoming our best selves and receiving the greatest joy.
During this perfect analogy, a tender feeling entered my heart as I recognized my prayer was finally answered. Thank you Heavenly Father. :) We'll have to talk more.
I know this was all necessary. I know one day I'll look back and understand. One day I'll be saying I'd never change it for anything. Thanks to prayer and tender mercies, for now I get to at least know why.