There is no such thing as a free pass or get-out-of-jail card after the death of a child or any loved one for that matter. As much as I want to believe that somehow I have “earned” a reprieve from life’s challenges because of Dallin’s death, it just isn’t so. Sometimes . . . LIFE IS HARD. Trials, challenges and heartaches surround us and often feel relentless. Sometimes our tribulations come by our own hand, as we lose sight of who we are and are drawn to the “carnal, sensual, devilish” things of this world “KNOWING evil from good, (yet still) subjecting ourselves to the devil.” – Mosiah 16:3. We also experience sorrow when we stubbornly and pridefully try to make it through this life, on our own, without God’s hand. Other times some of our greatest heartaches come from the hands of others when they exercise their agency and make choices that hurt, not only themselves but also those who love them. Sometimes our trials come to us unexpectedly, in personalized packages, by the hand of God, to strengthen, humble and refine us. ” I give unto men weakness (limitations) that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” – Ether 12:27. Regardless of where our troubles come from, they are *sigh* an essential part of our lives and more importantly part of Heavenly Father’s plan. A plan designed to help us become more like Him and someday return to live with Him and our loved ones. In the Lord’s time these adversities and afflictions “are but a small moment” and we are promised “if we endure them well, He will exalt us on high and we shall triumph over all our foes.” –D&C 121: 7-8. We are told to “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen (our) hearts.” – Psalms 27:14. He tenderly encourages us, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. – Isaiah 41:10.
BUT . . . sometimes in the middle of all these challenges, especially when they feel like they are piling up, it is easy to forget the Lord is with us. We feel alone, forgotten and full of uncertainty. This is how I was feeling the other night on my way home. After a long emotional day, the weight of worry, disappointment and sorrow shackled my heart, and the tears flowed freely. Being in the car alone I began, as I often do when driving by myself, to talk to the Lord. This time my talking soon turned into anguished sobs, as I pleaded with the Lord, to release me from the prison of despair I found myself in. I wanted and needed big answers to the huge problems that weighed heavy on my mind and heart but truthfully I was willing to settle for a tiny glimmer of reassurance. Sometimes we just need to know everything will work out ok.
Heavenly Father speaks specifically to each of us in a language we can understand. Some hear a still small voice. For some, answers come through tangible feelings; to others a quiet understanding, still others experience dreams or visions. For me the Lord has often used music, both in uplifting lyrics and beautiful melodies to speak peace to my soul. As I continued driving I tried to listen to one of my favorite “go-to” instrumental CDs but it didn’t work; I was still inconsolable. I resigned myself to a long, hard drive home. Then I remembered a year ago my oldest son, knowing my love for music, gave me a thoughtful gift – a subscription to an app you can use to download music, create playlists and listen to personalized radio stations of your favorite artists and genres. I pulled the car over and opened the app, to the Hillary Weeks Radio Station, I had created a few of days earlier. Easing back onto the road, I waited for the music to start. The first song to surround me was “Greater Miracles” by Hillary Weeks. I wish I could describe in adequate words what happened next. It was as if this song, through the Holy Spirit, held within its lyrics, the very key to release my imprisoned heart. Its message wasn’t new. (See scripture references above.) I have known, many times over, that He can lift me up and make me whole, but this message was . . . So. Much. More. It’s one thing to read . . . His words and want to believe, with all your heart . . . His words, but it is quite another thing when you feel . . . His words, all the way down to your bones, all the way through your being. The message of this particular song, and more specifically, the fact it was the first song to come on, after I had been begging the Lord for direction and relief, bore a powerful and penetrating witness to me that He was listening! He heard my prayer and He was answering me, telling me, in a language I understood, to trust in Him, to put my faith in Him and . . . EVERYTHING will work out ok. Tears of sorrow were transformed into tears of joy. I felt so grateful! I was thinking about what a blessing it is to truly recognize and FEEL the Lord’s genuine concern for the details of my life and His healing love, when the second song began to play, “I Feel My Savior’s Love.” It was a soul-burning second witness! Mercifully . . . I had been delivered.
Psalms 32:7 “Thou are my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”