I recently received a bit of inspiration from my bestie. She has been keeping up with this blog of mine and thought some inspired words would lift me as I continue this Happiness Project. I was glad for the bit of inspired wisdom, as there has been a rather huge and recent disappointment in my life. While I will not divulge the particulars of it quite yet, all I can say is that while I understand that the Lord has something in store for me, sometimes I want to recoil and say, "I did everything you said...why isn't this happening for us? I thought I was doing what you wanted me to do. I prayed, I received peace, I felt the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost....what's the deal?"
In the article That We Might "Not Shrink", Elder Bednar tells a story of a newly married couple who went through one of the hardest trials of their faith, as the husband was diagnosed with cancer after they were first married. In the story, Elder Bednar relates that the couple asked if he would give the husband a priesthood blessing. What followed was surprising to me, as I know it was to the couple and to Elder Bednar himself. The article says: " ...do you have the faith not to be healed? If it is the will of our
Heavenly Father that you are transferred by death in your youth to the
spirit world to continue your ministry, do you have the faith to submit
to His will and not be healed?”
As I apply that to my circumstance, did I have the faith not to get what I was hoping for? The article continues, "We recognized a principle that applies to every devoted disciple: strong
faith in the Savior is submissively accepting of His will and timing in
our lives—even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted."
As a response, the husband - John - relates, “Having the faith not to be healed seemed counter intuitive; but that
perspective changed the way my wife and I thought and allowed us to put
our trust fully in the Father’s plan for us. We learned we needed to
gain the faith that the Lord is in charge whatever the outcome may be,
and He will guide us from where we are to where we need to be. As we
prayed, our petitions changed from ‘Please make me whole’ to ‘Please
give me the faith to accept whatever outcome Thou hast planned for me.’"
In my natural tendency, I want to fight this and say, "But...my situation is different. In MY circumstance, everything led me, and my sweetheart to feel the witness of the Holy Ghost that what we were hoping for would certainly coming to pass." I related the experience to my dad, who happened to be in town. I told him that we had stirrings, promptings of the Spirit, and were led to this hope. My dad said that the Spirit will often provide peace that will 'hopefully' generate an understanding of the Lord's time and way.
In our particular instance, the Spirit was confirming that He and the Lord knew - that my sweetheart and I were doing our best, and that we would be taken care of. In fact, now I have no doubt of it. While it didn't make the unrealized hope any easier, and I continue to be disappointed in this arena, I am trying to overcome my natural feelings by reading such inspirational talks and gaining more knowledge of what "His will" and having faith really means.
I am glad for the article that has inspired me to ask better questions when I pray. My communication with Heavenly Father hasn't been up to par lately, something that I was going to make one of my Happiness Project items. This week at our congregational conference, we were challenged to read about prayer in our scriptures. This is one challenge I want to undertake that I know will contribute to my happiness. I am hoping that as I study about it, I will come to understand more about how Heavenly Father communicates with His children, so next time I can gracefully submit instead of getting so upset when things don't go the way I think they are supposed to go.