I've heard the words "I am a child of God" ever since I can remember. I sung them over and over and over again in primary, but despite the countless number of times I heard them, I don't think I ever really understood their true meaning. I didn't understand what they truly entail, the blessings that they bring, and the potential that they promise me.
Until I came on my mission.
If you ask me what has been the greatest lesson that I've learned on my mission or the greatest miracle that I've had, I would tell you: "Learning what it really means to be a child of God."
It seems like such a simple lesson, doesn't it? Something so ordinary, something that everyone knows. But for me, it took 19 years to believe. 19 years to come to really know. 19 years that were catalyzed by my 14 months here in Honduras. I used to ask myself, "Why Honduras? Why Honduras with the terribly hot weather and the scary men and the frequent power shortages and the fatty food and the Spanish and the everything? Why, Heavenly Father?" And it took a little while, but I don't ask why anymore. Because now I know why. I know that God sent me here because He knew that only here, in the Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission, could I really grow to understand who He is. Only here could I learn and discover who I really am. Only here could He make me who He wants me to be.
God loves every one of us, but because we're not the same, He talks with each one of us in a different way. And part of our job here on earth is to discover how He communicates with us. And sometimes it's a little difficult. It's like trying to figure out what exactly that smiley face means in the text that that one guy just sent you.
Lol, I mean.......kind of.
These past couple of weeks have been difficult: our appointments have been falling through, our investigators have been disappearing, and our baptismal dates have been pushed back or even entirely cancelled.
And when things get rough, I do the only thing that I know to do: I pray.
And these past couple of weeks, I've prayed.
And I've felt like God hasn't heard me.
And one night this week, I was laying in bed, thinking about everything and stressing out about everything. I felt alone. I felt forgotten. I felt ignored and unimportant. Basically I felt all the things that you don't want to feel. And I was just thinking, "God, where are you?"
And then I realized that I'm not the first one who's asked that question.
Someone a lot bigger than me asked it as well, while he was suffering for me and for you on the cross of Calvary:
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" - Matt. 27:46
I'm not the first and I will not be the last to ask that question. But there is an answer. An answer that's sometimes hard to understand. Sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers in the way that we want Him to. Sometimes He let's us figure things out on our own. And He doesn't do it because He wants to see us suffer, He does it because He wants to see us grow. A good teacher doesn't give the student all of the answers. A good teacher helps the student to figure it out for themselves.
And God does the same with us.
If He doesn't give us the answers right away, it's because He trusts us enough to let us decide. Silence is golden.
And that's what I learned this week.
And it's been the biggest miracle that I could have asked for.