A few months ago, I was talking with an old friend and learned of some significant trials in her life that prompted a lot of pondering. She already experienced some difficulties during pregnancy and was under close watch by doctors. Shortly into her 22nd week, her and her husband were to travel to Florida, from Utah where her doctors were located, for a trip. The doctors cleared and she went. The trip was suddenly halted as she went into pre-term labor and subsequently delivered a baby girl. She was not well and had to be put on feeding tubes, a ventilator and other hookups to sustain her life. I connected with her not knowing that all of this had recently transpired in her life. A prompting for sure to reach out!
She described her feelings/actions through all of it and it was uplifting, hopeful and faith-filled. She had to stay in Florida with the baby, for nearly 17 weeks, while her husband would travel back and forth to care for the other children and his new baby and wife. What a daunting task for the provider of the family to be torn so much. The trials this sweet child and her family faced will carry them throughout the rest of their lives and encourage others to reflect on their fighting strength to endure, My friend is enduring and invited me (without knowing it) to look for the little details in my life to show that God is there through it all, whether in trial or minimal hangups throughout our day.
My husband has struggled with his health since before we were married. As one issue would resolve, something else would slowly follow. He has been persistent in doing his best to take care of himself, seeking the care of doctors, experimenting and doing his own research on supplements, diet changes, etc. One of the hardest hits to his health came shortly after exposing himself to the weakness of pornography years ago.
He was spiritually struggling as his addiction was overtaking him. He was looking for the oppronity to tell me, but the shame kept him from doing so. One day, I was working on a Facebook group for my new Beachbody Coaching business and his account was accidentally still on the screen. I was mortified at what I saw. I immediately let him know that I knew and the wonderful healing that we both feel now began. We met with our Bishop for minor counseling, we attended group meetings to meet our individual needs separately. Within a short amount of time, he was experiencing true healing. His lifestyle changed, he was more productive, more attentive and more engaged with those all around him; he was truly a new man.
You ask him to this day and he will tell you that he didn't do it alone. He prayed that I would find out so that he could fully start down the path of recovery and healing. Although I wasn't too happy about his prayer request, I am grateful that he was willing to change and make every effort to do so. As the weeks, months and years have gone on, he has only become stronger, with the help of friends, family and the Savior, Jesus Christ. We really thought that nothing could drag us down as much as this trial did.......and then he got really, really, really sick.
We became very frustrated when this sickness hit as we were finally starting to feel whole again and experience the joy before the pornography exposure. His sickness led us to many doctors who kept sending us elsewhere and 'trying' different ways to relieve his symptoms. After 6 months of heartache, lots of back and forth all day appts, and terrifying days without any answers, we found a doctor who wanted to try one more test that she was confident would lead us to the right answers, and she found it! Although we were scared of the results, it wasn't the "c" word that everyone fears and she reassured us that people live with this illness with a mostly normal lifestyle. His illness was referred to as PNH (really long and really rare, go check it out and learn more yourself).
Fast forward almost 2 years and we have been in treatment and doing he's doing a lot better. It has truly taken this long for him to feel like himself again.
One of the blessings of being a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to prepare for and serve in the temple of our God. Jeremy has served in the temple for almost as long as he has been diagnosed with PNH. He has functioned better than most with the illness, but still not where he wants to be. With much thought and research, he knew that he would be able to experience the same kind of healing with his physical illness as he did with his spiritual illness. Repeated service in the temple allows for self reflection, prayer and selfless service, which invites further promptings. Without giving personal, spiritual details, he sought for a blessing asking for specifics.
The scriptures teach us that He that has faith shall be made whole again. The experiences that we have had surrounding his blessing have been nothing short of miracles in our lives. God is in all the details of everything that we do. Without the initial spiritual illness of the pornography addiction, it wouldn't have led us to group meetings to meet someone that would lead us to the right doctors, which wouldn't have led me to learning more about health and nutrition, which wouldn't have afforded me the opportunity to look into listening to podcasts, which wouldn't have led Jeremy to studying the brain and how to coach others to be more clear and productive, which wouldn't have led us to seeking more and more blessings according do our faith AND works.
God wants us to have that which we desire, yet he wants us to show our faith by acting. He wants to know that we are serious about the requests that we put at His feet. We can't ask to be financially safe and sit on the couch and never lift a finger to work. We can't be bystanders of our pleas before God. We must proceed in faith knowing that His will be done and that we have done all that we can to receive such blessings.
While I choose not to share the intimate details of his blessing, I will share that God is in all the details of our lives. The counsel that was shared was actionable items that will help in his physical healing. As we do our part, God is bound to do His.
I am so grateful for the trials that lead us to the Savior to ask for His help and guidance. All too frequently, we spend too much time doing what we want that we forget to ask what He wants us to do. Then when times get hard, we're ready to ask.
Let us be a people full of faith and hope that no matter the day, whether it be good or bad, we show thanks and gratitude for His presence in the details.