I read this article yesterday morning. It brought a lot of thoughts to my mind that I wanted to share. I will let you read it first, so that you know where I'm coming from.
Spiritual Lightening – M. Catherine Thomas
“Although we bring personal weaknesses to our parenting that may provide real opposition for our children, we do not need to feel that all is lost. We remember that our Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning. (See Abr. 2:8.) He knew beforehand the ignorance, the failings, the confusion, and the spiritual infirmities of each of his children— including those who would become parents. Knowing all these things, the Lord prepared the gospel plan and allowed us the experiences of mortality, with certain compensations and blessings and talents available within the child or along life’s path that would help the child as he or she struggled with opposition. God provides ample opportunity to learn and recover from the opposition. (See 2 Ne. 2:11, 15; Ether 12:27, 37.)
Some of the learning experiences we undergo may cause us heartache. But fortunately, divine growth can be the outcome of the pain and opposition in anyone’s life.”
As for learning experiences that have caused me heartache. I've had my fair share in life. There was a time in the not so distant past that as I prayed, it was a prayer of “Please take this trial away.” “What have I done wrong now, to deserve this.” “Please make so-and-so stop hurting me.” “Please make things better, I'm doing the best I can.” Maybe you have prayed this prayer before and know what I'm talking about.
Every time I prayed like this, I was asking the Lord to stop blessing me, to stop refining me into the person He knows I am. I felt alone, and forsaken most of the time.
Through my recovery, and subsequent journey to find my Savior, I have been blessed to see that what Sister M. Catherine Thomas says is so true. The Lord really does send me certain compensations and blessings and talents to deal with the shortcomings of my parents, but also for me as a parent.
Now my prayers have become so different, they are full of gratitude for my trials, and struggles. I also know that as I pray and stay close to my Savior, He will sustain me during my trials and struggles. When my trials seem to become harder than I can bear, I am blessed to be able to pray for strengthening. Always, my prayers have been answered through an angel, someone on the Lord's arrand. Usually, that someone is someone in my family.
As I end this post, I want to offer my gratitude to our Savior for His love, kindness, and tender mercies on my behalf. I don't deserve them, never have, and never will, He still makes up all the difference.