Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding and happiness.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, May 2010, 58

The experience in my life that best fits this quote has to do with one of my greatest challenges as a parent. My husband and I were forced to admit that one of our daughters suffered from mental illness when her second grade teacher urged us to take our daughter to counseling. We followed the teacher’s advice, but by the time my daughter was in middle school, her depression had only deepened.

Her struggle with depression was very difficult for the whole family. Our home was filled with constant turmoil and contention. I felt like this daughter was always in trouble. I became obsessed with her condition which led to my own depression. We had no idea how to overcome this trial. Those were dark days.

Years later, I cannot express the joy I feel when I see this daughter laugh or smile. She still had days, like the rest of us, when she’s hard to be around, but for the most part, her depression is gone. Occasionally, we have issues with how she interacts with other members of the family, but other than that, I couldn’t ask for a more obedient child.

Now that this trial has past, I can look back and list the blessings we received from this experience. During that time, I began attending the Addiction Recover Group which has drastically changed my life for the better. In an effort to help her, we made changes in the way our family eats and that has benefited all of us. We were able to discover that my daughter is Autistic, a diagnosis which helped us significantly. We were now able to explain behaviors that before were hard to understand. This new knowledge helped us change how we parented which had a positive result. We received yet another witness that our prayers were heard and answered. This trial was very difficult to overcome, but it was worth it.