PROVO, Utah — Some of life's greatest lessons are learned when adversity and disaster are at their worst. The key to coping is not asking why me but looking for the lesson and getting on the same page with the Lord.

That was a message shared by Kathy Headlee Miner at BYU Campus Education Week in late August.

With a hundred or so people scattered around a room in the Jesse Knight Building, Miner shared photos and personal experience from her journeys to destitute countries like Indonesia and Haiti to elaborate on the topic of finding "Having Hope Amidst Hardship: Lessons We Learn from Life's Disasters."

"We have developed a belief that life is supposed to be easy, happy, good and worry free. When something goes wrong, we have to fix it," Miner said. "We miss out on a lot of really amazing, Godly, learning and understanding. … You can have hope in Christ at all times. … It doesn't depend upon your circumstances."

As the founder and CEO of Mothers Without Borders, as well as an international aid worker, Miner has seen first hand the suffering and adversity experienced by others around the globe. The former seminary teacher traveled with people and resources to Indonesia and Haiti following natural disasters in an effort to help. What she witnessed and experienced taught her lessons of a lifetime.

"Heavenly Father was tutoring me," Miner said.

One principle taught repeatedly in the scriptures is that "All things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28). When calamity and chaos invade life, this teaching may seem incompressible, Miner said.

"When I look at a small girl who has been defiled and contracted HIV and suffers as a result, and think, 'All these things work together for our good,' I want to weep," she said. "I don't understand it, but God is in the heavens, and he is in control."

Miner, also a motivational speaker, shared the remarkable story of how she and others overcame big obstacles to travel to Indonesia, made survival kits and offered service to people in Indonesia after the destructive tsunami washed over the people a few years ago. The earthquake in Haiti earlier this year was much worse, she said, but the lessons she learned and the memories gained will remain with her always.

Among the lessons Miner suggested people can learn from the disasters of life include the following: "We are each uniquely qualified to deal with challenges; If you just get moving, and put yourself in the place where the Lord can answer your prayers — He will; Sift through the rubble to find what is of value; We are not in control — thank goodness; He who is in control is always with us — Christ is our hope."

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