Why did this have to happen to me?
Why does it hurt so bad?
Why do I have to suffer?
Why do I feel so alone?
Why won't you take it away?
Thankfully, despite my fervent pleas, God doesn't always answer my prayers right away. People might think I am crazy for saying that. They may ask me, "How can you be grateful that God let you suffer?" They may wonder, "Wouldn't life be easier if you didn't have to go through this?" They may question my faith, "If you believed harder... if you prayed more... maybe your pain would be taken away."
It doesn't always work like that.
There is a bigger picture to life than I think we let ourselves see, ESPECIALLY when we are going through a hard trial. God doesn't delight in our pain, he doesn't feel joy when he sees his child struggle, and I personally believe that God wants so badly to remove our heartaches, sorrows, burdens and pain. But sometimes he doesn't. He sees a bigger picture, he knows what we can become, and he knows exactly what it takes for us to be like him. I am grateful for trials and pain, not because I enjoy them, but because I know that with each ache and each pain, God is shaping me to be like him. He loves me enough to allow me to go through hard things, He loves me enough to let me suffer, He loves me enough that he doesn't always give me what I want.
5 years ago my dad quit his job to start a business... which didn't end up falling into place like was planned. He quickly got a new job, and because of its location in Provo we moved to Highland, Utah. Soon after our move, for various reasons, he left his job. I began wondering why we had even moved for a job that didn't even exist anymore. We were left with a new house, in a new neighborhood, with a new school, and no income. For some reason though, this time around finding a job wasn't so easy. And so, for the past 5 years he has been trying to get another job. I remember that first year, feeling so angry. I was angry because I was scared. I was scared because I was selfish. I thought about all the things I couldn't do now, because we had to be careful with money. I almost resented my dad for "putting us through this." But, as the years past, I began to learn, and I began to grow. My fear turned into faith. The nights I used to stay up wondering what would come of us if my dad didn't get a job, turned into nights full of peace, knowing that sometime and somehow everything would work out. I remember the time, 3ish years into the job drought that my dad was offered a great position in Florida; a job that was everything you could hope for in a job. Great pay, great coworkers, beautiful area to live. He accepted the job, only a couple of days later to tell us that he didn't feel right about the job and had told them he wouldn't be taking it anymore. I did not understand. Everyone else in the family felt good about it, why didn't he? At the time, if I had my choice I would have made him accept the job, it made sense to me. Looking back I am grateful that God said no. Soon it became necessary for my mom to work. I know she faced many trials with the job she had, and at the end after all her hard work, she was treated poorly by the company. It made me sad to see my hard working mother get treated that way, especially when she didn't deserve it. It honestly felt like one bad thing just led to another. I know that everyone in my family at some point wondered if there would ever be an end to this trial. It seemed easy to ask why. Why did my dad get so many interviews, but no offers. Why wasn't my family getting blessed, we did everything right. We went to church, we prayed, we paid tithing. I can tell you from personal experience that it is easy to wonder when you are faced with a trial for such a long time. It is easy to worry. I am grateful for parents who taught me to have faith, to pray, to fast, to trust, and to not give up.
A couple days ago, 5 years after this all started my dad was offered a very good job. I often think about what my life would be like if all of this didn't happen. If I never moved to Highland, if I ended up moving to Florida, if my dad had got a job in the timing I would have liked him too. If all this were the case, my life would be extremely different. I would have never met Ash... I wouldn't be so close to my family... I wouldn't have as strong of faith... I would have missed out on so many of the experiences that have made me into the person I am today.
That is what I am trying to say. If God let me have the things I prayed for throughout those 5 years... I wouldn't have the things I needed. I am so grateful every day that God didn't take away my families trial. I am grateful for God's timing. I am grateful that God doesn't always answer our prayers right away. I am grateful that sometimes we have to wait. I am grateful for every disappointment, every heartache, and every pain that I have experienced because they have taught me lessons nothing else could have taught me, and they have made me into a person I couldn't have become any other way.
“I recognize that, on occasion, some of our most fervent prayers may seem to go unanswered. We wonder, ‘Why?’ I know that feeling! I know the fears and tears of such moments. But I also know that our prayers are never ignored. Our faith is never unappreciated. I know that an all-wise Heavenly Father’s perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time.”
—Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus Christ—the Master Healer,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 86