Last night, my husband and I were reading our scriptures together. This particular passage really stuck out to me as I read it aloud.
1 Nephi 20: For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
This simple sentence gave me comfort that God is completely aware when we are overwhelmed, exhausted, depressed, or hurt in some other way. When you are in your "furnaces of affliction" or, simply translated, in a heart-breaking trial that is forcing you to change, God has "chosen" you, knowing you will overcome it and become a more refined human being. He will make you a more excellent person.
I texted this verse to a friend who has been going through her own Gethsemane. I am sure she has asked God if there was no other way, anything other than to just surviving through her series of heartbreaks. She is so admirable in how she has kept her face looking towards God, even through an unfaithful husband, searching for work, a mess of court meetings, etc. Through it all, she's kept a positive attitude, allowing herself to mourn the hard things, but moving forward in her life.
It's not fair. It hurts. It's rough.
And yet, it's not by accident.
As I thought about those who are hurting, this video came to mind and it feels appropriate to share it here.
(Here's the YouTube link if it doesn't load)
After watching that video of that sweet woman, my heart was swollen with so many emotions. With tears in my eyes (which is probably surprising the man sitting next to me as I type this out) these are the feelings I've had for those who are going through personal Gethsemane's or those who are going through the refiner's fire.
Your life is a very unique one to work through. It is unique only to you. I can only think that there will be a really incredible outcome that will be very special when you have overcome your personal battle. It will be especially remarkable to those who will eventually face similar hardships, because you will be proof that heartbreak comes to an end.
I hope you know how amazing and strong you are for handling these trials. You are special. There are good times and good things ahead. Prove to God that you're not giving up on Him, because He's not going to give up on you. He is on the move to eventually make things better.
A hard part of the trial is wondering "Why me?" or "Why right now? Why not later?" I wouldn't know the full answer to this, but I think that God trusts you a lot more than you realize. He trusts that you can do this.
Finally, although my heart is full of sympathy and compassion for you, I cannot fully understand what you are suffering. I know from experience that oftentimes the hardest part of a trial is the feeling of loneliness that nobody could possibly relate to me. From personal experience, I know that I want people to understand my suffering. I don't know why, but I just need somebody to really know how I feel.
If you really believe in Christ, and really believe that He lives, and you believe that when he went through the literal Gethsemane of suffering for all of mankind, not only to atone for their sins, but to feel their heartbreaking divorces, and frightening seizures, and the regret of choosing to make a mistake, and worries of a wayward sibling, and sufferings of all kinds, then you know that there is quite literally one person who understands your pain.
He lived it for you. He knows exactly what you suffer. You are, in every essence, never alone in the trials you face.
He may be very quiet to hear, but He is never silent. Listen and look carefully. He may not speak in words, but in feelings, or through small occurrences that make you look up and smile at Heaven, because you know He was hoping you would notice.
He is there.
I'm going to leave you with this video that fills my heart with something fantastic every time I hear it play.
(YouTube link is here)
Please give it a listen. Know that you can rise above that furnace of affliction. Good things are soon to come.
With much love,