My dad lived such a hard life, but he was an angel to us. Why do good people sometimes have so many trials?
It requires faith to trust God’s will for us, especially when walking through extreme challenges—yet when we are able to do this, it brings a peace to our daily lives that often is missing. The chapter called “Healing –and Dying” in Embraced helps us understand why we have struggles. Starting with page 67 :
“To my surprise I saw that most of us had selected the illnesses we would suffer, and for some, the illness that would end our lives. Sometimes healing does not come immediately, or at all, because of our need for growth. All experience is for our good and sometimes it takes what we would consider negative experience to help develop our spirits. We were very willing, even anxious, as spirits to accept all of our ailments, illnesses, and accidents here to help better ourselves spiritually. I understood that in the spirit world our earth time is meaningless. The pain we experience on earth is just a moment, just a split second of consciousness in the spirit world, and we are very willing to endure it.”
Our trials give us the opportunity to make new choices that we otherwise might not, and as we endure and overcome them, we are strengthened and find new growth. Continuing on page 69:
“Under the guidance of the Savior I learned that it was important for me to accept all experience as potentially good. I needed to accept my purpose and station in life. I could take the negative thing that had happened to me and try to overcome their effects. I could forgive my enemies, even love them, and thereby nullify any bad influence they may have had on me. I could seek good thoughts and kind words, and thus bring healing ointment to my own soul, as well as to others. I saw that I could begin to heal myself, spiritually first, then emotionally, mentally, and physically. I saw that I could spare myself the corrosive effects of despair. I had a right to live fully.”
Even our mistakes can help us find greater spiritual growth, and in looking back, we will see what they have taught us. I talk about “falling down” on page 70:
“When we fall down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off, and get moving again. If we fall down again, even a million times, we still need to keep going; we're growing more than we think. . . . We are here to learn, to experiment, to make mistakes. We don't need to judge ourselves harshly; we just need to take life one step at a time, not worrying about other people's judgment of us, nor measuring ourselves by their measuring sticks. We need to forgive ourselves and be grateful for the things that help us grow. Our most severe challenges will one day reveal themselves to be our greatest teachers.”
I believe it helps to remember that the problems we have or that we watch our loved ones go through are there for a reason.
My friend, “Speaking Wind,” a Native American Shaman, would encourage us to say to our problem, “Hello my friend, welcome. What gifts have you brought me today?”