What Do We Learn Through Trials?

By Spencer W.

In the summer of 2012 I learned that I had a brain tumor on the left side of my brain. When I found out I broke down completely. I had always been a healthy, active, normal kid. Now I was a normal kid with a brain tumor at age 18.

I went into brain surgery 3 days later and when I woke up I couldn’t move my right arm at all. Although I was able to think coherent thoughts, I could not speak.

Before this experience I had always been an independent person. I did not share my emotions much with others and I relied mostly on myself to overcome the various trials that were placed before me. However, with this experience I was forced to rely on everybody but myself. For the first time in my life, I had to rely on God exclusively, as well as on my family. It was the beginning of a long journey to learn how to completely rely on him.

Of course the fears that I had about my recovery were not completely eliminated. From that point on I struggled to perform the most mundane tasks such as walking, speaking or even writing my name. There were some days that I felt that I could simply not move forward and lost hope. That was when I remembered my Savior Jesus Christ. I remembered that he had gone through everything I was experiencing and could support me in this trial. He knew my frustrations and physical limitations perfectly. When I realized this, I started to rely on him through fervent prayer and study of the scriptures. As I learned more about Jesus Christ, I began to sense that he knew me more than I knew myself. I prayed and felt comfort directly from God. I read the scriptures and found solace in the words of Jesus Christ. I learned how he had helped the blind see, the lame walk and the dumb speak. I knew that the same miracles could happen to me if I turned to him completely.

Even through all the trials that followed after, including blood clots, radiation, exhaustion, seizures, and physical limitations, I tried to keep in mind that Jesus Christ knew exactly what I was going through, and because he went through the same things, I didn’t have to go through anything alone. Sometimes I faltered and wondered if I would ever return to my former self.

It took me a long time to realize that I did not want to return to my former self. God taught me a lot during this time. He has taught me empathy for others, gratitude, and most importantly, he taught me how to hope for a better future. These are all gifts I didn’t have before my experience with cancer and I don’t believe I could have learned them any other way. These trials have allowed God to mold me over this past year and has helped me grow closer to him. He has supported me and been by my side through every trial and every hardship. And he knows how to support and carry us through the most daunting trials.

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One thought on “What Do We Learn Through Trials?

  1. Lori Forsyth says:

    I really admire the way you’ve been able to consider the challenges you’ve experienced and see the growth that has come to you because you’ve had to rely on God to get through them. I’ve heard others describe similar experiences, and I’ve even had some myself. But I admit that I hope it’s a long time until my next direct experience with something that dire, even though the blessings are huge. I guess I need to work harder at being able to trust that the Lord knows what’s best for me. Genuinely feeling that, deep down, is a big step!

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