When thorns catch hold of us, scratch us, or cut us to the core, we can look to God continually and with absolute trust, and He will lead us to peace.
Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
As a twenty-five-year-old senior at BYU who has changed her major three times; as a faithful member of the Church who loves God with her whole heart, but who never served a mission; as a girl battling depression and social anxiety on a daily basis, perpetually single and once self-proclaimed unlovable; I have endured many unexpected and unwelcome trials.
I always thought that life would get easier in tandem with my testimony getting stronger. But, if anything, my experiences have informed me that God seems to think that I’ve proven myself capable of facing harder endeavors because I have fought (most of) my smaller battles in life, armed until the bitter end with trust and unshakable hope. Facing those trials with faith has not been easy, and I have lost countless battles along the way as the thorns in my life have threatened to pierce me from all sides. But still, I bear my cross.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
On one particularly awful day when fighting my battles felt pointless and giving up sounded like relief, I was in bed listening to conference talk after conference talk, hymn after hymn, and begging God to take away just a couple of my trials—or to put them on hold for a few months. It was too much, too fast, I thought. And I wasn’t strong enough.
“Leave to thy God,” the hymn sounded, “to order and provide.” The realization struck me like lightning: God did not want me to be alone in my battles. He wanted to fight with me, trusting that I would rely on his strength. Even though I had a strong testimony, I had been trying to face my trials alone, and I was breaking. That is not how life is meant to be. We are not meant to be lone soldiers in an army of one.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
After this realization, I was left in bed, pleading with God—not to take my trials away nor to put them on hold, but to help me trudge my way through them. I knew that beyond the thorns, peace and joy lay ahead. Understanding that God was with me—and always had been—changed everything for me. He made what seemed entirely impossible to me something I could do with his help; even if I had just one spark of hope, that was enough to lead me to my joyful end.
Source: LDS Hymnbook
—Nicole Terry, Mormon Insights Contributor
FEATURE IMAGE BY MARKUS SPISKE
Find more insights
See how facing adversity with faith can build our trust in God and give us the strength to endure by watching Spiritual Whirlwinds.
Ponder short uplifting messages about remaining strong during trials.
Read from Elder Ulisses Soares about how the Lord “will increase our capacity to raise ourselves above the challenges of life” in his talk “Confide in God Unwaveringly.”
Learn how we can avoid traps in life as we endure trials of our faith.