Today a memory from the past showed up on my Facebook Newsfeed. It said:
April 15, 2011
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.” After not getting any direction as to where the Lord wants us to be, we finally made a decision based on our best faculties, and told the Lord to bless it or tell us to stop. So far, only peace. Sacramento, here we come!!
Shiloh had just graduated from Brigham Young University, and we could finally leave Utah! But the Lord did tell us to stop, the morning of the move. We both felt unsettled that morning, and we drove out to Utah Lake to pray and see what we felt. We both felt impressed to stay in Utah, which for me I knew must have been the Lord because God knows how badly I wanted out.
I called the moving truck company and cancelled our reservation. Except now we had a new problem. We didn’t have a job or any money left to simply stay in Utah. That summer we did end up in Sacramento for a couple months to make some quick money in a seasonal position, and then we came back to Utah and moved onto a beautiful acre of land, learned how to farm a little, learned how to really make use of the land with animals, and struggled to pay the bills.
Miracles happened. And deep, deep trials. We moved again, we started and lost a few jobs and a business of our own, I finally gained a true testimony of tithing and volunteered at the temple, and Shiloh went through the CES teacher’s training course. We thought maybe working for the church was in our future.
But then again, last minute, a good friend of ours asked us to go with him to see about a new sales job. It would take us far away and seemed so crazy, but with much prayer and counsel from Shiloh’s CES instructor we decided to take the opportunity for the adventure. In 2014 we left for Nashville, it was a rollercoaster of trials in a beautiful land, and we grew a lot!
By the end of that year we were here, in Bakersfield, homeless but with a job lined up. We struggled to find a place to live but the Lord opened a window after many closed doors and we took a rental that wasn’t anywhere near the top of our list. Too expensive and too small, but apparently exactly where the Lord wanted us to be. We never felt cramped.
We quickly made good friends there in that ward and neighborhood, something we’ve never done that fast before. And looking back there was so much about that house that was a catalyst for decisions we made which have led us here. The jobs we have, so much of our faith, and the friendships that bless our lives every day, were forged while we lived in that house.
I’ll be eternally grateful that the Lord let us choose, let us walk out into the darkness, and then stopped us. Another 400 yards only to turn and choose a different path. The modus operandi for our lives together, and the way the Lord seems to work with us. We do a lot of groping in the dark, but the Lord trusts we’ll find the way. I’m grateful for that trust, and every trial along the way. All of it leads to greater opportunity to experience the divine and become like Father. There can be peace in the process, the perpetual pursuit of growth and development, if we remember what we are doing here. Why we make choices, and that all of these experiences will work together for our good. Don’t take each experience too seriously, each just a single stone in the magnificent cobble road to exaltation.
We have one life to live. One beautiful adventure, testing and trying the walls of darkness that surround us until we find the glorious light of our heavenly home. I’m glad we’ve never been content to just sit with what we already know. There have been seasons of rest, where it was necessary to wait, or to just enjoy the light where we are, but the glory of God has always called us from lofty heights to visions of grand mountains we have yet to climb. And we don’t shrink from it. Rest for a season, perhaps, but then keep climbing. There are beautiful pinnacles and vista views ahead.