God’s love is always within reach when you’re going through trials and tribulations. He is there, and here are 5 special ways you can witness God’s love when you struggle with your faith during times of trial.
“I can’t do this to the family. We’re done.”
My heart sank.
It was less than a week before Christmas and my husband poured his heart about how he was feeling. He was done.
We moved to Mississippi in the late summer of 2017 when the cicadas were still drumming away on those humid nights, so my husband could attend law school.
He loves law and our family was thrilled with this new chapter in our lives.
Little did we know that our 3-year plan would turn upside down and mowed over by God’s heavenly tractor and crumble at our feet.
He was done with law school, but not because of his stress, but for other reasons that I’ll explain.
This trial in our lives carried us on a journey that’s still molding us, today.
And while we are in the trenches, we have witnessed 5 special ways God’s love is present and active in our lives, even when we feel like we’re drowning.
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1 – Remembering This Promise God Made To You
There is a difference between trials and tribulations.
I always thought the words trial and tribulation were synonymous.
Apparently, a trial is an opportunity to test something (our faith, loyalty, or patience), whereas a tribulation is an adversity or trying period or event in our lives (the experience).
For example, with Job, a period of his life was full of tribulations (or events), but his test was to see if he would remain faithful to the Lord.
Even in our own lives, God knows what He is doing, even if we might not see the path He is leading us down.
For our family, law school wasn’t a choice we made lightly. We felt God calling us to the South, so we packed up our family and my husband left his job with the State of Utah.
When he prayerfully made the choice to leave law school because of the stress this was causing our young children, he knew he would rather give up his law career than ask his little ones to keep enduring this hardship.
Our children were struggling beyond anything we could imagine and Travis couldn’t ask them to go through this for another two and a half years.
But, we also had no backup plan.
The night Travis told me he was leaving law school, I curled up into a ball as small as my pregnant belly would let me, and I cried myself to sleep that night.
Little did I know God was working unseen miracles and angels would be coming soon.
2 – God Will Always Send This When You Least Expect It
I want you to know how aware God is of you in your life and how important you are in His plan.
Because, if it wasn’t for the good people willing to listen to His sweet promptings, my family wouldn’t have had food after those first couple of weeks.
“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”President Spencer W. Kimball, Small Acts of Service
We told the children Daddy wasn’t going to school anymore in the New Year. Our oldest was 5 and we knew she would understand the most out of our three littles.
Our family knew we didn’t want to live permanently in Mississippi since we were thousands of miles away from our family. Travis was honest with this when he was searching for work, and because of his honesty, a lot of doors were shut.
When our pantry became bare and I found myself thinking of creative ways to make a decent meal from a can of gravy, a few onions, and some eggs, there was a knock on our door.
A woman from church came into our home and said, “The Spirit won’t leave me alone. You’ve been on my mind so much that I need a rest, but where can I put everything?”
She then brought in enough groceries to feed my growing family for weeks. There were treats for the kids, food for our home, and this generosity and the heaven-sent gift is still felt in our hearts.
This miracle was a springboard for the blessings God would begin to pour because God can do miracles, but it’s often through us that those miracles happen.
Even though these simple acts might seem mundane to you, they can be someone else’s lifeline.
3 – Your Progress and growth in your trials and tribulations Is More Important Than This
Eventually, we welcomed our “little magnolia” into our home. Evelyn was born in the summer, 8 weeks before we moved across the country to live with family, so Travis could start work in Washington.
Our family still didn’t know what God was doing with us, but we knew as long as we did the work He was guiding our family to where we could do the most good.
Your progress through your trials and tribulations is more important than your speed.
For us, this experience has been over a year of decisions, heartbreak, growth, and miracles. For you, your trials and tribulations might last a lifetime.
But, I can promise that there is good in our darkest hours because Christ made having peace and hope possible.
4 – Your Struggles Is Not Evidence To What Others Might Be Saying
There were those closest to Travis and me who judge from their outside knowledge of our experience.
“You chose to go to law school. You did this to yourself.”
“Why can’t he stop going to school and get a job like everyone else?”
“I knew all along your decision to go wouldn’t work.”
“He never could do school, why did he even try?”
“Jesus has chosen, even in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, to retain for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in his hands and in his feet and in his side – signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect; signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you; signs, if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours.Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, pg. 20 “Created For Greater Things”
Trials in our life are not evidence of God’s punishment and tribulations are not evidence that He doesn’t love us.
Even Christ, in his greatest moment of pain and suffering, cried out, “Father, why has thou forsaken me?” And he was perfect.
5 – This Is Not Found In The World, But Found In Christ
Through our family’s refiners fire and transition we didn’t have answers, and I hate not knowing what’s happening next.
The one thing we do know is the inexpressible and unexplainable peace that continues to touch our hearts.
Since this trial, our little family has been living with extended family for the past year, giving us time to resecure our finances, find our forever home, and get our feet back on the ground. Another story for another time.
Never Forget This In Your Trials and tribulations
I don’t know God’s “why” but I do know His love. This is the same love that saved all of us when He allowed His perfect son to suffer and die on the cross.
God loves you and He is very aware of the struggles you’re facing.
He knows the monster trials you face and the tears you shed each night.
And I promise he will not leave you comfortless.
All the tears you shed, the heartbreaks you endure, and the trials you face will give you the experience you need to be a miracle for our loving Father in Heaven.
God’s love during our trials is there, friend. How have you seen it?