It was a brilliant finish to what has been brewing in my mind for a potential blogpost since May.
Which brings us to the word that has seemed to define 2011 for me thus far: Faith.
The Apostle Paul taught that "faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Alma made a similar statement: "If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21). Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see.
In deciding to quit my job back in the spring, there were a three things that (I will admit) scared me a bit.
1) Would I even have an identity anymore?? (I think it's safe to say that I resolved that one on my own)
2) I (and therefore my family) would not have my awesomesauce insurance after August.
3) I would no longer be adding to the income of our family.
In those first few months of 2011, when I struggled so much and wrestled with that decision, I prayed. I pondered. It made sense in my mind. But most importantly, in my heart I knew it was the right thing to do. Since that time I have occasionally doubted my choice, especially with the difficulty of Mr. D's job hunt these past few months. I'm a mom and a wife and no longer a provider, so I stress out. But then I remember:
As our darling neighbor Jen would remind me at every visit,
When Noah built the Ark, there was no rain, much less a flood.
When Moses was told he could cross the Red Sea, he had no idea how it would happen.
When Ruth's husband passed away, I am sure she must have felt that she would never have a family again, other than her mother-in-law Naomi.
But the flood did come. Moses crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. And Ruth became ancestor of the man who would be known in all the world... Jesus Christ, would take upon him the sins of all the earth. And how? We do not know. Only that it is so. We do not follow because we are blind, we follow because we SEE.
And through the last few months, Mr. D and I have been blessed more than we can even explain. We still have no idea what or where our future will hold, but I am at peace with whatever the Lord wants for us. I can think of nothing better I could ask from him at this time in our lives.
"And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him." (Helaman 12:3)
It is so easy to get caught up in our daily lives and think we have things "all figured out" and don't need a higher power's help... but we are wrong. We feel we don't "need" to pray, read our scriptures, go to church and for awhile maybe, we can live without it. But the time will come and does come when we realize we DO need him. Sometimes it is a death in the family, or a famine, or a job loss, or a drastic change in circumstance. And sometimes (as it was the case for me) we realize that we are living daily in FEAR. Fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. And do you know what??? It is really difficult to have faith AND hope AND to have a want to WAIT when we have that fear clouding everything else out.
I cannot fully express how grateful I am to have the complete, perfect, restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and I have my wonderful parents to thank for that. To have had it my whole life, and unfortunately I sometimes take it for granted. But it is through our trials that we are building character... and I am now trying my hardest to build my character after Him. Mr. D and I are doing all we can that we feel is good and right, and are content to know that whatever happens in the next few weeks, months, or years, we are in His hands and he loves us as a Father (or mother) loves his (or her) children. We will never be forgotten.
Maybe that is why it was so fitting that in one of the closing lines of the CoMC, even though Edmond (the main character) has suffered and lost all, then has a rapid change of good fortune for which he chooses to bless the lives of others, he writes, "...never forget that, until the day comes when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these words: Wait and hope!"
President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has quoted President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) as saying, “You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and perhaps a few steps into the darkness, and you will find that the light will appear and move ahead of you.” 2 We develop our faith in the word of God through our experience.
So here we are, still in the dark. And with Faith unwavering in our God, wait and hope we shall do, until the Lord sees fit to let us in on his plan.