Last night my three-year-old son woke up and couldn’t fall right back to sleep. So he cuddled with me for a little bit to calm down. After he went back to sleep I remembered times in my life in which I felt hopeless, stranded, alone and didn’t know what else to do. Those times included when I received the answer that I would not be able to serve a full-time mission, when I decided that I would follow the commandments of God and stay active in the church, and when I really wanted to get married but didn’t know how this could actually work for me. During those times I sometimes wished that I could have had someone close to me to give me the comfort a father gives his child or a friend gives to another friend.
I have a wonderful dad who was and still is there for me and helps me along the way with wise counsel and guidance. But living in Germany was hard sometimes as I didn’t have someone close to me who knew how it feels like to go through such a trial.
However, I found comfort and peace along the way through the following quote that a dear friend of mine gave me 13 years ago from Orson F. Whitney:
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God.”
I knew that all I needed to do was to not give up and to put all my trust into Heavenly Father’s timetable, trusting that He knows me better than anyone, and He knows what I need. Once I put my faith in my Heavenly Father, I chose to never give up and I realized that I needed to move forward one step at a time.
Michael Ende, a well known author in Germany, wrote in his book Momo:
“It’s like this: sometimes, when you’ve a very long street ahead of you, you think how terribly long it is and feel sure you’ll never get it swept. And then you start to hurry. You work faster and faster and every time you look up there seems to be just as much left to sweep as before, and you try even harder, and you panic, and in the end you’re out of breath and have to stop–and still the street stretches away in front of you. That’s not the way to do it.
“You must never think of the whole street at once, understand? You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else. That way you enjoy your work, which is important, because then you make a good job of it. And that’s how it ought to be.
“And all at once, before you know it, you find you’ve swept the whole street clean, bit by bit. What’s more, you aren’t out of breath. That’s important, too” (p. 28-29)
I have realized that when I put my best foot forward and I take it one step at a time, I will never be alone. In addition, when times get tough and I feel like I am on my own I try to remember this quote from the poem “Footprints in the Sand”:
“During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father are always there for me and will never give up on me. All I have to do is to listen.
Our Heavenly Father does not want us to be alone. That’s why He sent each of us into a family so that we can grow and learn to develop relationships with family and friends along the way to strengthen and walk with us.
I am grateful for my family and friends who I love very much. I will never give up so that I can one day return to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I look forward to the day when I can look into their eyes and say that I have done all that they asked of me and that I tried my best to follow Their examples.
Let us all be there for each other and never forget that we are not alone.