Sunday, May 24, 2009

The principle of the wilderness...

It was Monday December 1st 2008.

Our Bishop and His wife, our good friends, were sitting in our Utah living room, providing counsel and comfort.

It was the evening of Joseph's Layoff...

Emotions had ran high on both side of the spectrum.

After some inspired words of counsel through a priesthood blessing, we were sitting around discussing the circumstances of life, when Bishop Swanson brought up something I had never quite considered: the "principle of the wilderness"..

Over the last 6 months I have been pondering on that subject a lot. Through my rough patches and my good ones too.

In the beginning I thought that once the job situation was resolved, the "wilderness" would be over. I was at a point in my life where things were good. I knew things were so good because we were being infinitely blessed by our Father in heaven. I loved being where I was. I knew who I was, my purpose, my responsibilities, what was expected of me and I had lots of amazing people around me that I not only loved, but loved me back.

Somehow the "wilderness" wasn't so bad for me then. My faith was strong. I had no doubt that the Lord was watching over us, that we would be blessed through this hardship.

And we were.

When Joseph received the Job offer here in Houston, we were thrilled! We had prayed about the options before hand, we knew that if it was to come through it was where we should go.

Through that week of intense packing and goodbyes, I was grateful, thrilled and also a little scared, but I couldn't help but feel everything would be okay.

My "wilderness" started after we settled everything in our new home.

I was lost. My once busy life was suddenly not so busy. I didn't have a group of young women to care for anymore, I didn't have to be by myself in our church pew anymore since Joseph was sitting with us once again...

As I read a lot about Nephi, I came to realize that he must have gone through the same things as I did.

Nephi was a good young man. He was strong, and most of all, he had great faith. I can only imagine him going through all the hardships of the "actual wilderness", crossing the desert, enduring all kinds of trials, to arrive to the land of Bountiful and find out he now had to build a ship to cross the seas. I know I would have felt like my wilderness would be over if I could only get to the land of Bountiful...

There are a few things I have come to realize.

The first one being that even if I thought I was alone in my "wilderness" I wasn't.

In first Nephi, chapter 2 verse 4 we read:

" And it came to pass that he *departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness. "

Then in verse 15 we read:

" And my father dwelt in a tent"

Obviously, Lehi was a comfortable man, yet he also had to sacrifice and live in a tent.

I realized that I wasn't alone. That although I was the one struggling, My Husband also had to sacrifice. Watching me go through it wasn't a fun thing for him. I wasn't the only one to leave cherished responsibilities and loved ones behind.

We all have periods of "wilderness" in our lives.

Most times they are designed to prepare us for what is coming ahead.

The "wilderness" in our lives are designed to make us stronger, more faithful, but mostly to bring us closer to our Maker.

I know my "wilderness" had a purpose, even if I still do not know what it is.

I know that in those dark hours when I was struggling, I was not alone.

I know my Savior was carrying me through.


Emilie Ahern said...

What a wonderful post.
It is so interesting that your personal Wilderness was after your move.

It's amazing what different situations cause each of us to struggle and at the same time knowing that know matter what our struggle, the Savior can comfort us each on a personal level.

Yay for the Gospel!
Thanks for sharing this post.

emily said...

This was so well said, Maude. When I was 12 and we moved from MD back to Albuquerque I had to give a talk. My dad wrote one about the wilderness (comparing him to Lehi, dragging our family to the wilderness, just until we got comfortable and then dragged us back). I can't think of this story without comparing it to mine.