Sunday’s Sundae: Faith-Perfecting

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A few months back, I received news that the newborn baby of a friend of mine was very ill. It seemed likely that the baby would not live and would be called home to Heaven at a very young age.

The status of this sweet baby brought hundreds of people to their knees. Family and friends pleaded with Heavenly Father in the child’s behalf; and fasted for hours upon hours that he might be made whole.

And he was! He took a drastic turn for the better, and now, all these months later, he continues to be strong and healthy.

I prayed for this child right along side with so many others. I too wanted him to stay with his Earthly family and especially hoped that they could avoid the heartache of losing their precious child.

Many times, after experiences such as these, it is said, “it is because of our faith, prayers, and fasting that this blessing was granted us.” Which is certainly true. But what of the times when equal faith and prayers are expended, and the blessing is not granted?

Recently I was skimming through the April 2011 edition of the Ensign. There was an article entitled “Faith and Infertility”. At first glance, I considered skipping the article because I didn’t think it would apply to me. I was reminded, however, of several people who I know and love who are currently longing for children, but are unable to have them, and I realized it was important for me to read the article.

Certainly, while I was reading, my sympathy was strengthened for those who are yearning to have children. I wasn’t expecting, however, for the message to reach me on such a personal level. One woman shared the confusion and hurt she felt when she heard new mothers say, “God trusted me with this child”. She acknowledged that it was a fair statement, but she couldn’t help but think “God doesn’t trust me.”

Upon reading this, I remembered all the times when someone had said that it was faith and prayers that made their dying child healthy and whole, and I had wondered why my faith and prayers hadn’t made my dying child healthy and whole.

The article goes on to say, “sometimes faith means trusting in and listening to the Lord even when we are not cured. What we want won’t always match what He has planned for us…

…When someone has an ailment or an illness and they are healed, their faith is being strengthened. But for those who are not healed, but continue faithful, their faith is being perfected. The first is a faith-promoting experience. The second is faith-perfecting.”

We will all have experiences in our life where what we want most, however righteous the desire, will not be granted. And likewise, we will all have to standby and watch someone else be granted the same righteous desire we are denied: for no apparent reason. It’s not a matter of being trusted more, or being more faithful, or more loved. It’s all about being refined, perfected, and prepared for what is to come.

“Everyone has different trials, and Heavenly Father is aware of those. If we are humble enough to follow the plan He has for us, we’ll be happy…

…His gifts are the best gifts. He loves us so much. What I have planned for our life would pale in comparison to what He has given us. We need to trust and know that He will give to us immeasurably. What He has in mind for His children is better than anything we could ever design.”

What a comfort it is to know that God knows me, and knows how I need to be reshaped and refined in order to receive all His choicest blessings. I truly pray that my faith might continue to be strengthened and perfected.

And I am totally excited for the day when His plan is revealed.

I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty awe-some.

The full article, “Faith and Infertility” by Melissa Merrill, can be found: here.

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7 responses »

  1. Im so glad to hear you talk about this. I read the article too and that SAME quote hit me. Being on the side of the “blessings granted” I often wonder WHY ME? I use to ask WHY ME when dr.s told me time and time again I could never have children, but then they came. It was a paradigm shift for sure, one I still don’t understand, but am so grateful for. I have friends tell me, “you have so much faith”, but it makes me feel weird, I know it was nothing I did, there were requirements for sure, but it was God’s plan, all of it. Infertility is heart wrenching and scary and confusing and miserable, but having to return a living breathing child to Heavenly Father has got to amplify those feelings a million times. May God keep blessing you, and know how grateful I am for your faith and your determination to serve Him, and perfect your faith all while sharing it. You’re awesome!

  2. I loved that article, too. We’re really enjoying reading your blog, as always. We love you guys and love Miss Jane already!

  3. I was just talking to my kids about this this morning during our family scripture study. If we could only see things through Heavenly Father’s eyes, we would see that the mother of the unhealed baby is just as blessed as the mother of the healed one. I thought of this recently when a friend of mine, who lost a baby boy at birth, said “As I watch my teenage son struggle through the temptations and demands of growing up, I just feel so grateful that I have another son who never has to go through this. It really is such a blessing to me that he is where he is and is already guaranteed eternal life.” I just thought it was amazing that her trial had brought her to such gratitude FOR the trial! Anyway, thanks as always, for sharing your insights and faith. By the way, my sister’s being induced right now. She’s only 36 weeks, but given her previous stillbirth and other risk factors, they’re just trying to get the baby here.

  4. Thanks Elizabeth for your insight. Your blog makes me so happy and I wantt o be a better person after reading it. 🙂

  5. This is a beautiful post. I read that article while waiting at an appointment and I, too, was struck by that exact quote. Not that many months after Isaac’s death, I read of a young child just a few months older than he was who experienced essentially the same exact accident yet not only lived, but was completely and miraculously healed. Although I was grateful for his healing and happy that his family will have the blessing of rearing their son, I was also shaken by the question, “But why couldn’t this have happened for Isaac, too? Why was one child healed when ours wasn’t? Why do so many others die?” I still don’t know, but the idea expressed in the article gives me hope.

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