sadie's soapbox: when God's plan just isn't fair

recently, i've had a harder time than normal. i've always been able to just accept God's plan and roll with it. see, i've had a pretty easy life. i grew up in a home where the gospel of Jesus Christ was taught, loved, and accepted. i learned from a very young age (actually i can't even remember learning it because i was taught this lesson so young) that i am a child of God and that He has sent me here to earth to learn and grow. i feel lucky to have been taught that my whole life.

i finished high school while living in a small town where not only did my parents and family cheer me on, but so did an entire community of family friends and neighbors. sure, i made a few poor choices (my

seven fake teeth

can back me up there) but i've always been able to get back on course and bounce back from the tough things in life.

thank you facebook for the trip down memory lane....

i went to college for a year. i lived on my own for a good 12 months and felt very "adult-ish." in april of 2012, i decided that i wanted to serve a mission for my church. i wanted to teach people of the truths and knowledge of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ that i had learned to love over the course of my life. in october of 2012, the missionary age was lowered to 19 for young women and my path was clear. and in january of 2013, i was serving as missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Missouri St. Louis Mission.

fast forward 18 months. i returned home from my mission and set out on my next chapter in life. i learned who i was (again), learned to love myself, and learned to step outside my comfort zone and try new things. i made new friends. i went on adventures. i worked and went to school. i felt lonely. i felt depressed. i was unsure of my purpose. i went on a lot of first dates. and after a year of feeling weird and awkward, i went on a date with parker.

six months after our first date, parker and i were married in the salt lake temple. and since then we have grown in love, happiness, and best friendship. we have also struggled to know what we are supposed to do next. we would love to grow our family but that hasn't gone as well as we would have liked. we're not sure where we are supposed to end up or what we

really

 want to do with our lives (40 years of working a job that is mediocre at best is just not appealing to either of us). we pray and ask Heavenly Father what to do, but we are learning that sometimes, His answers don't come quickly or when we think they should.

i'll be honest, i don't think it's fair that people that do horrible things (like drugs & cases of rape & such) get pregnant. i don't think it's fair that sometimes mothers die in childbirth. i don't think it's fair that sometimes family members die. i don't think it is fair that some people can't have babies at all. i don't think it's fair that people get cancer. i don't think it is fair that some babies are born into really awful situations. i don't think it is fair that some kids (and adults) are abused (in any way).

i don't think a lot of things in this life are fair. 

in fact, a lot of things are NOT fair.

so what do we do? how do we cope? how to we respond?

again with honesty, writing the first part of this post was easy. i could write my story and say what i think is unfair. but coming up with an answer to those questions was hard. i honestly didn't have an answer. but then general conference happened. these questions were weighing on my heart and were most definitely questions that my soul longed for answers to. and this is what i came up with:

1. it is

more than okay

 to ask for relief. the Savior

himself

, asked for relief during His greatest trial. if the Savior can ask for relief, then SO. CAN. YOU. for a long time, as i have been struggling through my current biggest trial, i've felt guilty for desiring to ask for relief. it felt like every relief society lesson was about focusing on gratitude or joy despite our trials. i felt like i was drowning in the depths of sorrow and yet, i was supposed to simply be grateful? sometimes it feels like i'm just going through the motions of life-- with no real destination or end goal in sight-- just kind of here. i didn't feel relief or peace through those lessons. (i

did,

however, feel a lot of frustration) and then this quote from Elder C. Scott Grow's talk in general conference hit me like a ton of bricks & lifted the burden of gratitude from my heart: "

Ask for relief and then submit to God's will." 

2. "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he hath commanded them." [1 Nephi 3:7] God

does not

 give us commandments that are impossible for us to keep. He

will

 make it possible to keep the commandments that He has given us. the way is not always what we think, but there will be a way! trust that. 

for those who are also struggling with infertility: "

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT

 that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force." [A Proclamation to the World: The Family] God

will

 provide some sort of way for you to have a family,

because

 that commandment is still in force. (this is more for me than for anyone else, but i hope that it helps you!)

3. "but if not..." sometimes God

doesn't

 deliver us right away from our own personal furnace of affliction. when those times come, take notes from daniel: (daniel 3:17-18; emphasis added)

17 

If it be 

so,

our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnac

e, and he will deliver 

us

 out of thine hand

,

O king.

18 

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

we may not be asked to serve multiple gods or worship a golden image or be thrown into a fiery furnace. but we will be asked to go through hard trials and trust God. in

those

 moments, we have to say, "[my] God whom [i] serve is able to deliver [me] from [this trial] and he will deliver [me] from [this trial]... But if not, be it known... that [i] will not [_______], nor [________]" now, i can't say what you will fill in those blanks with, but for me, that last sentence reads, "But if not, be it known... that [i] will not [lose faith in God's plan], nor [be jealous of others who are receiving the blessings i desire]. 

sometimes God's plan just isn't fair. and that is so, so hard. but He is still good. trust in His plan AND His promises. seek out His direction and Spirit. know that He loves you. remember He hears and answers every child's prayer. heaven is not far away. there is no situation, sin, or experience that is beyond the help of the Savior. sometimes the Savior calms the sailor instead of the sea. we

can

 have peace in the midst of our trials. ask for relief and then submit to God's will. don't be afraid to ask if the Lord will "help thou, mine unbelief." God is good. He is SO, SO good. and he cares about

you

.