Last New Year’s we were living in Arizona and we were right in the middle of the longest and hardest trial we have had to go through thus far. I had gotten laid off months previous due to budget cuts. And since I was working remotely, they couldn’t renew my contract and I was one of the first to go.
Come New Year’s we had been living off of our savings for 5 months already and it was quickly dwindling away right in front of our eyes. It was hard to plan and enjoy anything when we couldn’t do anything. The anxiety of not knowing what will happen when it’s all gone when you have a family is so painful. And if that wasn’t hard enough, I was pregnant with Christian and we didn’t have money for health insurance. I went 75% of my pregnancy not going to the doctors because we couldn’t afford it. The fear of not knowing if everything was ok with him was almost unbearable for me at the time. I’d find myself every day just randomly bursting into tears.
Despite our best efforts every day, neither of us could find work. It really sucked. Every day left us exhausted from fear and from trying so hard and to feel like we had nothing to show for our efforts. You can read more about this trial, here. (I blogged about this while it was happening, called, “Finding Strength During Trials.”)
So come the start of 2016, I was beyond bummed we had to bring this trial along with us. How much of it was really a “new, fresh start,” when we were bringing the same burden and same struggle with us that we wanted nothing to do with?
I spent a lot of time pondering what the new year could bring to our family at a time when hope was very dim and at a time where our trial didn’t seem like the end was going to come any time soon. I spent a lot of time pondering to earlier times when things were easier and better and wished to go back.
But no matter how dim things seemed, God spoke peace to me. But it wasn’t during the time I was yelling at Him wondering where He was. And it wasn’t during the time I was pleading for things to be over or things to be different. It was the time where I was laying on the floor in prayer, exhausted, in silence. The spirit always speaks, but it’s up to us to listen. And not just listen for what we want to hear.
God reminded of the talk by Holland about Lot’s wife where he said, “She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind. …Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us.”
Then my soul was pierced with energy as I thought of Elder Holland’s wife, grabbing him by the collars— at a time where they, too, were questioning their situation, their future and giving up— as she looked him square in the eye, and spoke boldly, without blinking I picture it—“the future holds everything for us.”
My heart started to race and I felt this jolt of energy run through my body, but it wasn’t energy, it was my soul coming ALIVE for the first time in months, it seemed. It was almost as if God Himself was grabbing me by the collars, looking me in the eyes and telling me boldly that truly, the future holds everything for us.
So you know what, yeah maybe things really suck for you right now. Yeah, maybe you wish you were starting out the New Year differently. But you know what, the future holds everything for you.
And you want to know what else? The start of a year isn’t the only time you can have a fresh start. Every day is a fresh start and a new beginning because of Christ. Because of Him, every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around!
I’ve spent too much time literally yelling at God because things were hard or confusing. And too much time asking where He was because what I was asking for wasn’t happening and it was important. What a waste that’s all been. Because it was all of those situations I was complaining about that always led me to even better things than I even knew was available.
It may be a slow process, but giving up wont get you there any sooner. If we give up, then there won’t be anything for Heavenly Father to help us with. Have faith in the future and have faith in your God. Have faith knowing that you are in the best hands. Have faith knowing that your struggles are leading you to better places and a better you. Let’s all vow to quit questioning His plan for us and allow ourselves to LET Him show us how great our God truly is.
Let’s all just loosen up a bit and laugh a lot more and exercise faith in a perfect God who profoundly makes no mistakes. We may not have all the answers we want about our future, but we know enough. We are led by an all-powerful, all loving God. Our trials and our change of course will never alter the unchanging truth that He is taking care of us.
“Shall we not go on in so great a cause? go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!” (D&C 128:22).
“This is a test to determine if we want to be part of the kingdom of God more than anything else.” —Sheri Dew