It’s amazing to me how other peoples trials effect us. (affect? I could never get that right, it’s why I didn’t peruse that degree in English. That and Beowulf) Right before Shelby was diagnosed, I was having a serious crisis of faith. I had reached my year mark of having ‘the pain’ in my side without a diagnosis or anything to cure it, and Casey was in one of his really tough spots where he wasn’t sleeping and would throw hours long fits. I had really felt like prayers weren’t being heard and had stopped praying. I was bitter. I still went to Church and prayed with the kids, but that was really just out of habit. I was miserable.
Then Shelby called. She had a mass in her chest. It turned out to be cancer. I wanted so badly to go and be with her. To play with her kids. To do some dishes. And because of the pain and the autism, I couldn’t be with her. I felt so helpless. So I prayed. I prayed a lot. I opened my scriptures again and fasted with sincerity. I stopped thinking about myself. I watched as Shelby battled the cancer with more faith than I had shown in the entire year of my pain trial. I watched as she comforted those around her and told them that everything would be fine. She didn’t complain. She was never bitter. I was not the only one who had their testimony strengthened or completely renewed by watching her go through this. I saw the Lord’s hand. I saw miracles that I hadn’t been watching for in my own life- but were there. I hate that Shelby had to go through something so horrible, but she’s so strong. And I’m grateful for the need to get back on my knees.
One year later and her PET scan was clean. She still has many of the effects (affects? See?) of the chemo and radiation but has no cancer. My account of this is nothing like hearing it straight from her, see her blog at http://www.shelbysjourney.blogspot.com/.
One year later and my pain is still there, and Casey still has his times. But my perspective has definitely changed. All of us have trials. That’s the design of our life experience. One of my favorite scriptures these days is Mosiah 24:14-15:
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as bwitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.
There are some trials that are chronic in nature. Some that just aren’t going to go away as soon as we’d like. Heavenly Father has promised us that these burdens will be eased, and we will be strengthened. Having faith is how we can bear these ‘burdens with ease, and submit cheerfully and with patience” during our trials.
I’m so grateful for this great Gospel. For the knowledge that what we’re going through right now is just a blip on the eternal time line. I know God lives and I know my needs are known.