When He can but doesn’t

Cultivating emotional honesty has helped me set boundaries and learning to be authentic about both emotions and limits keeps me humble and helps me see my progress.  Up until the aforementioned day, I had relied solely on prayer, fasting, and the covenants I have made with God to help me manage the growing emotional balance I was carrying.  In effect, I was asking heaven to take the emotional debt I had racked up and pay it in full.  Please don’t misunderstand, I had many, many beautiful, grace-filled moments where my balance was paid down in response to my faith-filled devotion.  But I had long ago relinquished any valuable control of the situation (and consequently it’s outcome) and left the healing in the Savior’s hands, confident that I would be relieved of the burden I carried when He decided I was done.  I had asked “Why, me?” and “Please take this” and finally I figured it was my job to wait patiently with faith until the answer, the time, the whatever came and my circumstances changed taking the emotional toll with them.  As someone who has experienced the answer “Be still,” I know this is how the Savior works sometimes so this made sense to me.   But in this instance, I had hit a fairly substantial wall and without His direct intervention, I was left to consider that He may work in other ways too.  I began to wonder if I had fully utilized all of the resources that were available to me as a soul with the opportunity to make choices.   I now wonder if He was compassionately and patiently waiting for me to see that He had given me the opportunity to have a say in the outcome this time, to take part in writing this story as opposed to just playing a role that was handed to me.  Could it be that He was offering me the chance to work with Him to better understand my agency and mortality and to learn more about myself in the process?

Once I surmised that there was a more creative role available for me to play, my thinking changed and I began to see different ways to navigate this physical and emotional burden with Him.   And now, instead of waiting to to know Him when He eventually rescues me from my accumulated debt, I learn about Him as I see the way He shares the journey to solvency with me.    There are times when He feels so close and the weight of my struggle is small and I catch a glimpse of us working side by side towards the same ideals.   Sometimes I can only faintly grasp the principles He teaches and see them employed in my behalf.  Then there are other times when I am left to work alone for a while and my soul recognizes His absence.  I can move forward based on what He’s taught me, relying on my ability to choose resources to help me on my way coupled with the Spirit, which helps me discern between viable options.  And then there are other times when I distractedly wander off and I have to pick my way back to Him and make myself familiar with our work again.  Ultimately, I knew then and I know now, that the emotional and physical aspects of this struggle are things He can heal.  The beauty is coming to me as I witness His hand and personality and see my own soul with more clarity as He helps me play a conscious part in creating something from these ashes.

5 thoughts on “When He can but doesn’t

  1. First of all, I love the sub-heading you’ve added to your blog now: “Uncovering simple wisdom in everyday moments”. Brilliant.

    And, since I never did comment about it, I must add that I love in your post on “Personal Space” the line about functioning below your outer limits so you can be available and ready to help someone in great need. That is very wise.

    I love that in this post you write about the pull between faith and works. This concept has been something I’ve wrestled with for some time, especially lately. I trust in the healing power of Jesus Christ. I’ve seen His miracles during critical moments of my life, particularly in the dark struggles of the soul. Normally, those miracles have come after much prayer and days or months (or years in some cases) of seeking rather than after only a little thought and effort on my part. Yes, it does seem that God normally wants us to explore many, many options for our path of healing. Thankfully, He provides comfort and reassurance during the process which makes the waiting more bearable. All this being said, I have experienced dramatic, swift miracles in my life, particularly on one occasion when the power of the Priesthood literally turned the tide of an adverse event in our lives.

    Elder Bednar gave a CES fireside earlier this month which really touched me. It’s called “That We Might not Shrink”, and essentially he talks about the faith to not be healed. He quotes Orson F. Whitney in one of my favorite passages ever, “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility….It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education we come to acquire.”

    Write on, dear friend.

  2. Anne Marie, thank you for sharing your insightful perspective. I really appreciate those principles you’ve observed and I can relate to them, though I’ve never thought about them in quite that way. Oftentimes, I do just consider only the moment of the miracle, not the backstory and the years of hurt that led to it. I also appreciate that you said he “normally” wants us pursue many many options. You are so right. Some of the moments where I feel like I’ve really seen His hand are the ones that took quite a bit of orchestration over a long stretch. And then there are some that have been quick. It’s interesting how quickly I want a resolution. It seems normal to avoid wanting a conflicted soul but the quote about learning that you shared feels so true to me. Sometimes I would rather sit in stubbornness and demand a change rather than choosing to educate myself about this mortal journey. I would love to listen to that talk. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: The Need for Boundaries: Tougher examples | Extending Understanding

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