Yet every time I walk it, it's changed me in some fundamental and permanent way. Each time I've journeyed into this darkness, I've found that I've become closer to my Savior and that I choose to walk closer to him. Each time I've lost one of my babies I've found that it draws me closer to the only one who truly understands my sorrow, my grief and my despair. This was a mountain that I didn't want to climb, a path I would have willingly turned away from if I could have, but I would have missed out on some of the most spiritual experiences, and greatest blessings I've ever had.
There is a price that must be paid to have the beautiful view from the mountain top, and that price is the journey there. A hard journey, for sure, full of difficulty, stumbling and even pain and anguish but once you reach the top and look out, suddenly you find that it was all worth it and that you wouldn't give it up.
If I'd been asked before losing Robert Allen if I wanted to go through this, my answer would have been a resounding "NO!" However, if you ask me now if I would change it if I could, it would be an equally fervent, "NO!" How could I go back? How could I take from Robert Allen the exaltation that is his? And how could I give up the things that I've learned and the person I've become? I'm a better person because of this and I'm closer to my Redeemer and Heavenly Father. Why would I throw it all away for the easier path? Yes, the path would be easier, but the glory at the end would be far less than what's at the end of this one.
At one point in my journey of heartbreak a wonderful home teacher from church felt inspired to share a quote with me that he'd come across. He said he didn't know why but after I read it I understood exactly why he'd been prompted to share because it gave an answer to questions I'd been asking the Lord about why He wouldn't just heal me and take my pain away. Although Philip Harrison, the author, was writing this in particular about addiction recovery it was perfectly applicable to me and all of us in our mortal journey:
It's taken me years to get here. YEARS! I didn't arrive here after losing Robert Allen, or after the first or second miscarriage. It has taken me 9 long years of working through the grief and anguish, asking "Why?" a million times, it has cost me oceans of tears and 5 babies to finally begin to understand what this may all be about. The journey into darkness isn't without a purpose! It's at least, in part, about me remembering to turn to my Savior, to go to Him and not forget that I need Him, daily, hourly, every single moment! It's about reminding me that with Him, everything is possible including overcoming the greatest trials and griefs that I experience. It is also about me becoming the person who He knows I am capable of being. He is not interested in me being "comfortable" at the expense of my eternal progression and salvation; That was never the plan. The plan, the one I agreed to before coming to this earth, is that I would grow and stretch, be tried and learn. This plan even involved pain and suffering but it was all to the end of becoming like my Savior whose suffering far surpassed anything that I can even fathom. And if it was necessary for Him, the epitome of perfection, to suffer, how could I expect to be exempt?One of the most powerful and most comforting witnesses I have received from the Lord in all this long, painful journey of recovery, is this: He misses me. Jesus is my older brother, who through eons of time has known and adored me. I trusted and adored Him. I sat at His knee in the eternal courts and learned from Him as one of my most influential teachers.I sense that, with great interest, Christ has watched me grow through all the long ages of preparation for this life. He has also sorrowfully watched me stumble and fall as I have gone through this mortal probation, and has ached with my pains and wept with my sorrows. And after all this, it is now time for me to come back to Him. He is calling me, inviting me. But He doesn’t want to just give me some quick help, so that once healed I can run off to play and never think of Him again. His power is real in my life, each and every time I ask for it, but it is designed to be short-lived in order to encourage me to reach for Him daily, to stay near Him and continue to learn directly from Him. He wants me, my entire person, to come to Him so that He can make me a new person.
I know that my Redeemer is my greatest ally, my greatest comfort and protector. He loves me in all my glorious imperfection while always encouraging me to be better and do better; always pushing me to become what he knows I am capable of. He has never given up on me, even when I've given up, whether on Him or myself. He sees the end from the beginning and guides me there, even when He knows that it will be hard because He also knows that struggles can purify. As fire purifies gold, so do trials purify the soul. I know that He stands ever ready to lift me, to console me, to advocate for me. I know that He lives and that through His atonement all of life's sorrows and trials, all of my sins and mistakes, will be made right.
I love my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father. I have felt them so close to me in all this, even in my greatest moments of anguish! They have carried me and this burden. It is through my suffering that I have come to know and love my Savior and Heavenly Father and that I have felt their love for me. This seemingly impossible climb has turned out to have the most astonishing view and it's been worth every heartbreak, every tear shed and every sacrifice I've made. I wouldn't go back, even if I could.