It’s pretty common to hear people talk about their trials.
Everyone has them.
Yet, when we combine the unique set of circumstances, and history, and severity, and emotional strength, and physical endurance (you get the idea), then each trial is different.
It really comes down to the fact that each of us is a unique and important child of our Heavenly Father.
The definition of the word trial actually helped this make even more sense to me.
A test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation; broadly: a source of vexation or annoyance
The action or process of trying or putting to the proof: a test
The formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue
A tryout or experiment to test quality, value or usefulness
One of a number of repetitions of an experiment
A trial also serves purpose to achieve a resolution to a dispute
We agree that each of these meanings apply to our personal journeys. I bet we’d all like the frequency of repetition of this experiment to diminish. Regardless, these are what we call trials of our faith.
But I think it would be the last explanation of a trial that we somehow miss as we travel through our suffering, our temptations, and all of our tests.
Let’s have a resolution of our dispute; which would also be resolution of a disagreement, argument, or debate. You know, a test.
Certainly I would be looking for a resolution to my trial of having mental illness. It disagrees with the rest of my mind and body for that matter. Let’s just end it.
What about a resolution of the temptation of same-sex attraction? Wouldn’t that be great to have it done with once and for all?
Think about your most dominant trial right now. What would you consider to be a great resolution to your particular vexation?
That it be gone? Over and done with? Out of your life forever?
Hard to accept sometimes, but we know that many of the things that test us now will be a part of us for as long as we are here, being tested.
That’s part of the test itself.
But there really is a resolution to the conflict that we can find right here, right now. There isn’t a need to wait until the problem has been disposed of.
It’s putting to rest the disagreement, argument, and debate WITHIN ourselves about our trial.
It’s making a decision about the unresolvable.
Many struggling with same-sex attraction simply keep struggling – not necessarily with acting on the feelings, but on deciding what it is they really want regarding this particular wiring.
And the inner debate rages on, leaving constant conflict.
It took me years, but I have firmly decided about that particular, potentially-exhausting trial. My own debates and arguments have been put to rest; over and done with, so to speak. These choices have brought me complete peace regarding the matter.
I’m still tempted, I still have the thoughts, I still struggle with the struggle; but I am at peace that the debate about what to do or what I want is truly over.
I’m not wasting energy over that anymore.
The mental illness, however, is still a tough one for me. There are days that I continue to fight the idea that I have the darn stuff in the first place. I am surprised anew when it gets in the way of what I want to get done.
I guess I still have the internal argument about whether or not I really understand that I’m bipolar and a nut job. I guess I fight accepting it as part of the journey and part of me hopes that it will go away. I still disagree with myself about what is reasonable to get done during the day and when to cut myself some slack about just getting through.
Okay, so I’m not totally Zen yet.
Now, the goal has become to find the same peace with the whole mental illness thing. Ann seems to have accepted it, and constantly reassures me.
And I love her eternally for it.
But to depend on her to constantly remind me isn’t the answer. It’s not fair to her; it would exhaust her and I would become one of her trials. It’s not really fair to me either; I don’t want a life of constant insecurity and worry.
My Heavenly Father has more in mind for me than that.
I have to find the way to have the peace now while I’m being tested, proving my value, enduring the constant repetitions. It simply is not good enough to think “I’m just going to hold on and find the peace about it in the next life.”
Sure, the peace in the next life about the termination of the constant struggle will be HUGE. I’ve already got my order in for a newer, better model – you know, Greg 2.0.
But securing for ourselves and our families the peace that comes from not letting it win while it still is part of our lives is possibly the more important part of being tested.
Proving our value while in the middle of the storm.
Our decisions really have the power to bring us peace; it just may not be in the way we had hoped with the end of the trial.
Peace can be chosen through internal resolution without dependence on external termination.
Or are you still debating?