Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Road Trips

I have had a few road trips in the last few weeks. One was to Logandale, Nevada, another was to Park City, Utah, and the third was to North Fork, Utah. All of the road trips changed my mind and heart in different ways and all have had some very similar themes.

The trip to Logandale was in support of the second ‘Anything for a Friend’ event, which was held for Cher Freeman. She was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago and had no health insurance. The tiny community turned out in droves for her support! It was an incredible display of love, support, and encouragement.

The trip to Park City was in response to an invitation by a non-profit organization called ‘Image Reborn’, which was set up by a two time breast cancer survivor and is in place to help with those who are dealing with the effects of breast cancer and its treatment. It was also an amazing display of love, support, and encouragement on a smaller scale.

The third trip was with our family to North Fork, where we camped over the Fourth of July weekend. It was full of food, dirt, and good times, and it was also a wonderful display of love, support, and encouragement on a personal scale.

I have reflected in my mind how these three different road trips, each unique and particular in their own right have evoked the same feelings for me of love, support, and encouragement. Why do these three elements work together to bring relief? I think it is because they are the healing balm needed to overcome despair, hopelessness, and discouragement.

Many of us have asked the question, “Why does God permit suffering?” And “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Both of these questions serve to subjugate the inquirer and it makes perfect sense that the author of such futility would be Satan, the father of all lies, deception, and confusion.

So if Satan authors such questions and we put that on the table as a known, what is the answer to these pressing questions?

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “…the tests given to us here are given not because God is in doubt as to the outcome, but because we need to grow in order to be able to serve with full effectiveness in the eternity to come…to be untested and unproven is also to be unaware of all that we are. To deprive ourselves of those experiences, much as we might momentarily like to, would be to deprive ourselves of the outcomes over which we shouted with anticipated joy when this life’s experiences were explained to us so long ago, in the world before we came here.”

It brings me a great deal of comfort to think about trial in this way! Heavenly Father already knows how it will turn out. He already knows if I will be valiant and brave or falter. He knows beginning from end, so the reality is that I am learning more about me and my abilities through trial. In that way, and quite possibly, only that way, I feel grateful for what I am going through and I feel blessed because of the love, support, and encouragement that I have received from those around me.

So what makes the road trips to Logandale, Park City, and North Fork connect in a related circle? It’s about the love and unconditional regard for another human being. I saw it with Cher’s friends and neighbors; I saw and felt it from the young survivors in Park City; and I was embraced by it in North Fork.

“…when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
 (Mosiah 2:17)

I hope and pray that as we on the “road trips” of life, where ever those roads may lead, we can all see our lives and trials for what they really are and glean love, support, and encouragement from those who have been placed in our paths.

Thank you to all of you who have loved me, supported me, and encouraged me through this process. You have made this particular “road trip” unbelievable.

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God.”

Orson F. Whitney


  1. Becky! My parents now live in Logandale, Nevada. They have for about the last 5 or 6 years. I will have to ask them if they know Cher Freeman. I'm glad you're doing well!

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences through your blog. It's been so uplifting to read your perspective and insights. I'm so glad that you are doing well! Love to you and your family!