Sister Patricia Holland has said, "Some of you wonder whether God even knows you exist, or if he does know, does he care that you exist? He ... knows every one of you and loves you dearly and can call each of you by name.
He knows that all people struggle with fears and anxieties and problems. He wants so much for us to know that. If we will but come to him, he will comfort and reassure us. And he will carry us in his arms until we are able to walk by ourselves.
For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." [Isaiah 41:13, 10]
As I ponder over the struggles of my friends, I pray for them and seek out ways that I can be of comfort to them. The words that come to mind are from Jacob, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, who taught his people "the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul." (Jacob 2:8)
I take comfort in the prophetic counsel of President Howard W Hunter when he declared: "I promise you tonight in the name of the Lord whose servant I am that God will always protect and care for his people. We will have our difficulties the way every generation and people have had difficulties. ... But with the gospel of Jesus Christ you have every hope and promise and reassurance. The Lord has power over his Saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for his people. When we have faith in God we can hope for a better world—for us personally and for all mankind."
I know in my own life I have been overwhelmed by the things that are placed in my path. There are times when I have become discouraged and feel like I can't do what the Lord is asking of me. Jonathan G. Sandberg, a therapist and instructor at BYU, said he had a client tell him “I used to feel guilty for getting mad at God. Then I realized He can handle it.” Brother Sandberg adds "And, unlike other humans, [God] does not punish me when I am mad or hold a grudge or remind me of it the next time my heart is right and I ask for His help."
I find that to be very comforting!
When I first got married, my husband and I were very excited to begin our family. But that wasn't the plan Heavenly Father had for us. I experienced miscarriage and then struggled with getting pregnant. Several years later we were blessed with our first son. My husband and I grew up in large families and didn't want our son to be an only child. We prayed for God to bless us with more children. Several years went by, and with that countless visits to doctors and specialists who told us they didn't know why we were not conceiving. It was such a difficult time for me. I hated having people ask when are we going to have more kids. It was painful to see everyone around me able to bear children but I couldn't. I was angry with God that he was preventing me from having children, and then I would get angry at myself for thinking that way about God. It was a vicious downhill cycle.
In my time of sadness and despair, I remember turning to the scriptures and finding comfort.
Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. [Ether 12:4]
Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost. [Doctrine and Covenants 50: 40-42]
I was overwhelmed and angry, but these words spoke peace to me. I had to cling to my faith which I was struggling with, and trust that Heavenly Father would help me through these challenges. I couldn't do it on my own. I needed to be nurtured by Him. I had to let him heal my heart.
"Healing is much more than “getting better” or “having our problems go away.” Healing is growth, development, and maturation. In a word, healing is change. It takes time and energy and struggle, but healing teaches us. ... [And] remember, even with all that beauty and growth and grace, healing does hurt."
In the Old Testament is found the story of Ruth. She forsake everything she knew to follow her mother-in-law to something better. Ruth had become converted to the gospel under the loving care of Naomi. She gave up all that she had in pursuit of eternal life. As we go through these experiences in life, will we show Heavenly Father how much we trust Him and know that his plan is much greater than the plan we can conceive for ourselves? Will we choose to turn to him and use the atonement to heal ourselves? Then shall we know as Nephi that "the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love." [2 Nephi 1:15]