When we are faced with tough trials, we are given two choices: we can draw closer to God, or we can decide He doesn't exist or doesn't care, thus creating distance between ourselves and God. We may even experience a combination of those two choices. There are many reasons we might withdraw from God (and many reasons I have withdrawn from God on occasion), but the joys of coming closer to Him are tremendous.
I remember a time when anger was a constant in my body. I was angry with God for encouraging me to marry Ben. I was angry that Ben had betrayed me on so many levels. I was angry that I couldn't see the future and know what would happen. I was angry that I felt so lost and alone. I was angry that I was living this reality. Because this anger was in constant existence in my body, I started having panic attacks and losing the ability to cope with anything, really. I also stopped reading my scriptures and saying heartfelt prayers for a time.
I couldn't tell you how long that phase lasted. I just remember it being there, and it was a growing experience for me. When I look back and think of where I was versus where I am now, there is such a shift. Yes, I still have panic attacks, and I'm not that great at dealing with stress and change. Yes, I feel angry, lost, alone, and confused sometimes. And yes, I have the worst depression I've ever experienced. BUT, I see God every day. Despite all the negatives in my life, God is now my constant, and I find more joy and peace than I ever have before.
Without a doubt, I know God lives. I don't know how He works, and I don't understand everything (or anything, really), but I know He is there. As I study scripture and gain a strength in my understanding and security of my relationship with Him through prayer, it is becoming easier to recognize that He is there, and He always has been (even when I withdrew). When bad things happen, I no longer question the plan (well, okay, I question the plan. But I no longer try to change the plan or think God isn't mindful of me just because things aren't going according to my plan). Rather than questioning His plan, I am trying to embrace it. I am really trying to turn my will over to Him and let things happen as they should.
I'm finding that God knows best. He's always known best. Occasionally He gives us little glimpses into eternity so we can see that His plan is working. On those occasions in my life, I see and feel that things shouldn't be happening any other way, and I see how beautiful His plan really is.
I know that no matter what, God is with me.
I know that salvation is free.
I know that it is His grace that enables me and gives me strength.
I know that the mercy and love of Jesus Christ are what is healing me. I know I could do nothing without Him.
I know that this same grace and mercy allows my husband to repent and me to forgive him.
I know that I will be raised up in immortality if I keep true to God: if I emulate Him, seek His will, and live with charity in my heart.
I have so much hope. I know that divorce is an option now, but I have hope in my marriage. I really do. Because I have hope in the power of repentance and forgiveness through the Atonement, I have hope in my marriage. But even if my marriage doesn't work out, I have hope in the power of healing from this trauma through the Atonement. I have a general hope for my own personal peace and happiness in the future. I have hope that I will enter God's presence again, and for that moment, I jump for joy.