Why Must I Suffer So?

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Everyone struggles…like BIG struggles. Many suffer in silence. They put on a brave face and go about their day doing what they need to but inside they’re hurting, inside their heart is breaking. They sneak off every so often for a quiet moment to be alone so they can cry and feel what is consuming their thoughts and lives. Then mere minutes later they wipe their eyes, stand up straight, take a deep breath and they’re out in the world again and no one is the wiser as to what just transpired.

To you, to those who are suffering, to those of you who are aching inside I want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There is LIGHT coming soon. I’d like to offer you four things that can help sustain you during these dark and treacherous times.

First know, that you ARE NOT ALONE. You are NEVER, EVER, EVER ALONE. Sometimes it just helps to know that someone is there with you. That they believe in you. That you are loved and that you WILL get through this trial.

I accidentally stumbled upon this song a couple of years ago. I was going through one of my own heavy struggles and was caught by surprise at the song that popped up on Pandora. Read these lyrics: ( you can LISTEN here too)

“Hands, put your empty hands in mine
And scars, show me all the scars you hide
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine so yours can open too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes
And hurt, I know you’re hurting, but so am I
And love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine so yours can open too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you

Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you.”

I was feeling alone in my trial. I didn’t think anyone understood or even could understand what I was experiencing. So, I prayed for help, strength. I prayed for it to be GONE and instead I received tender mercy after tender mercy (reference here) including this song. I felt in this moment that I was indeed NOT alone. That even though others couldn’t understand my journey that my Savior did.

“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” -Alma 7:11-12

Even when others can’t understand, most of the time I’m struggling to understand too – I’m comforted to know I’m not alone. There is ONE that knows, that has experienced exactly what I’m going through – according to MY infirmities and my limitations and that He was able to overcome them. This gives me great peace, hope, and a deep, deep love for my Savior, Jesus Christ.

But still sometimes we have to ask WHY. Why is this SO HARD? Why must I suffer so?

This is the second step: Know that trials are necessary. They’re not fun. They don’t feel good. But somehow knowing they’re not supposed to be fun and that it will be okay can give us some relief. Trials offer us the opportunity to strengthen us so we can become refined and glorified.

Joseph B. Wirthlin once said,
“Consider a butterfly, wrapped tightly in its cocoon, the developing chrysalis must struggle with all its might to break its confinement. The butterfly might think, Why must I suffer so? Why cannot I simply, in the twinkling of an eye, become a butterfly?

…The struggle to break out of the cocoon develops the butterfly so it can fly. Without that adversity, the butterfly would never have the strength to achieve its destiny. It would never develop the strength to become something extraordinary…

Adversity can strengthen and refine us. As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people. Even when we are called to sail through troubled waters, we need to know the place of adversity in shaping our divine potential.

If only we would look beyond our present suffering and see our struggles as a temporary chrysalis. If only we would have the faith and trust in our Heavenly Father to see how, after a little season, then we can emerge from our trials more refined and glorious.”

We are supposed to experience trials. It’s part of the divine plan. How could we ever know how strong we are until we’re given an opportunity to prove it.

We have a loving Heavenly Father that will give us experiences in life or allow us to experience life so that we can become refined and stronger and glorified.

In these moments I cling to this quote by Richard G. Scott:

“You may not always know why your Father in Heaven does what He does, but you can know that He is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He would have you suffer no consequence, face no challenge, endure no burden that is superfluous to your good. He would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love.”

He would not have you suffer a MOMENT more than what is absolutely necessary for you. This trial as heavy as it feels is changing you, refining you, strengthening you. It’s only a tunnel. It’s not a cave. There IS light ad you will make it through.

The third thing that will help you through these times of suffering is to realize our potential. Sometimes it feels just too hard. There are times that you feel like you can’t take anymore and then something else happens and yet you still make it through. You are amazing. You can do hard things.

Wirthlin also said,
“You are stronger than you think. Your Heavenly Father, the Lord and Master of the universe, is your Creator. When I think of it, it makes my heart leap for joy. Our spirits are eternal, and eternal spirits have immeasurable capacity!

Our Father in Heaven does not wish us to cower. He does not want us to wallow in our misery. He expects us to square our shoulders, roll up our sleeves, and overcome our challenges.”

The last thing that will help as you endure these hard times is to know that it’s OKAY to feel what you need to feel. This is hugely important and a step that many people skip. For whatever reason we believe that we SHOULD always be HAPPY. So we pretend everything is okay. We smile and put on a brave face while inside you’re dying. You are given this large range of emotions for a reason. Let yourself feel what you need to feel. Don’t try to jump ship before you’re ready. Most of us resist feeling these negative feelings because they don’t “feel good” but that’s part of it. This is huge part of our growth and our learning. It’s OKAY to not be happy. It’s OKAY to feel negativity. We’re supposed to. It’s part of the opposition in all things. How can we truly appreciate the good times, the happiness if we don’t let ourselves experience the opposite?

Know that you’re not alone. You have the Savior that will walk with you, that will crawl with you, that will CARRY you when you can’t move.

1.) You’re not alone
2.) Trials are necessary
3.) You have unlimited potential and more strength that you realize.
4.) Don’t gloss over your feelings. Experience them. Let them stay, learn from them, they’ll help refine you.

Love, you are not alone. You can do this.


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Finding a safe harbor – Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stand by You– Rachel Platten

Tender Mercies – David A. Bednar

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