Monday, March 5

My Trials Are No Different

I used to think that living with homosexuality was the worst possible trial that God could give someone. Level one trials were like having a bad day at work. Level two trials were like having a bad job in the first place. Level three, breaking up with a girlfriend. And so on, up and up the ladder of my brain until you reach the pinnacle of mortal trials.

I would have traded my life with anyone, because I honestly thought that I had the worst life in the world. Any trial would have been better. Cancer? At best, you live and are cancer-free. At worst, you die early or live a long, drawn out, painful life. Starvation? Same story. Abject poverty? More of the same. But nothing compared with my life. In my mind, no one could really understand or empathize because, in my mind, their trials were mundane.

And they had so much more help. Support groups, foundations, scholarships, 5K races, public service announcements, government programs, Church programs, charities, and a network of people who have been where they had been and could answer their questions. Name a problem, and there was a system put in place to help people overcome it, or at least find hope.

I had nothing, and my trial seemed impossible where nothing else was.

But I was wrong.

The realization came slowly, as I began to find meaning in my life and learned how I fit in God's Plan. Taken as a whole, my set of trials was different - as every trial is. But taken apart, I saw how the feelings and "micro-trials" I faced each day really weren't all that different from people all over the world.

When I feel confused about my place in God's Plan, I join millions of people looking for truth and seeking God's direction in their lives. When I feel frustration with dating, part of that frustration mirrors that felt by every other young single adult in the Church. When my mind wanders, I exercise the same willpower needed to overcome addictions. The hopelessness from fearing I'll never get married matches, in part, that felt by singles everywhere, but even more closely, those with severe physical or mental disabilities... and the same comparison happens with depression, needs in friendships, trouble understanding doctrinal applications, choosing direction in life... and every micro-trial that makes up same-sex attraction.

Every trial in life, in fact, is made up of micro-trials. I looked at everything the people around me were facing, and saw easily how decomposing their difficulties into the smallest pieces suddenly meant that I could relate to them... and that gave incredible meaning to the scripture I had read in Corinthians but never really believed.

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I had never believed it because I didn't understand what God meant. He didn't mean that someone else in the world was experiencing the exact same set of major trials that I was. My life, and its trials, were probably unique. But if I looked closely enough, I could find people everywhere who had individually lived, suffered, and overcome the micro-trials that composed my life...

And with that realization came another: my trials had been specifically chosen for me. God had a clean slate to send me into mortality. He could have sent me here with anything. But He didn't. He didn't send me with cancer or to struggle with alcoholism. He didn't send me to Africa or the Middle Ages. He created my life perfectly with the trials and blessings and talents and gifts that I needed to return to Him. And for that I am grateful.

I used to believe that my trials were impossible to understand. That no one could relate or give me useful advice. But the Lord taught that, looking closely at life, there hath no temptation [or micro-trial] taketh you but such as is common to man. Every temptation and trial can be overcome.

My trials are no different.


  1. just stumbled upon this blog. You are so strong and courageous! It is people like you that give me such hope, not only for the world, but for our church. You are a stalwart soldier, I am proud to have someone like you fighting for what is right.
    Shannon Thomas

  2. I totally hear what you are saying and I've felt the same way. Some trials are small. Some are at Abrahamic levels. Although I have looked at other struggles that people have had and wondered how they do it. I've looked at other people and wished I had their trials. I just figure we're given the ones that will help us grow the most, even if the growth is painful.

  3. I like what Viktor Frankl said on this subject:

    "...a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative.”

    1. That's an interesting thought. It makes me wonder if there's an "Ideal Trial Equation" like the ideal gas law they teach in a high school chemistry class. PV=nRT...?

  4. Thank you so much for this amazing blog. I don't know you personally but I love you. You are so amazing and such a great example. You give me strength and hope everytime I read your blog. Never give up, never give in. Stay strong and fight the good fight. You are definitely worth it!


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