Monday, August 22, 2011

My tapestry is amazing!

For those of you who know me well, you understand that this journey into the unknown has been probably the most exhilarating, exhausting, troubling, exciting, concerning, spiritually intensifying, healing, depressing, gratifying experiences of my life. I cannot begin describe the emotional roller coaster I have been on. Right now, I am not at a point where I can admit that I would do it all over again....I am not quite there. But for now, I am curious - indeed, curious to know why I am still here in Virginia.

After 7 months of unemployment with wonderful lifeguarding, substituting and internship training, and after months of working my tail off to find a job in education policy, I got a job somewhere unexpected....and am curious to see where it leads. The fight between passion and skill survives in my heart. BUT my survival instinct, recognition of divine intervention and my crazy propensity for challenging situations proves victorious....nay, undeafeatable (just go with this new word).

And so, this is where I am. I am bruised, but not broken. And here are some things that have struck me on the way to healing and growth:
  • In order to focus on progression in the eternal sense, and besides the gospel of Jesus Christ, there are four things one needs: water, clothing, shelter and food. If you don't have these essential elements, you will be so worried about surviving that you won't have anything else to focus on, including those other things that Heavenly Father really needs you to focus others.

  • Spoiler Alert: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. The leader of this young, brilliant boy isolated him throughout his learning experience. The explanation was perfect for what I have felt during my isolation/growing experience. I found some interesting similarities in my trial by fire, just like Ender did in his....but also realize I am no Savior, just a girl who is healing from her little personal Gethsamane.

    "Graff had isolated Ender to make him struggle....It made him a better soldier than he would ever have been otherwise....I'm hurting you to make you a better soldier in every way. To sharpen your wit. To intensify your effort. To keep you off balance, never sure what's going to happen next, so you always have to be ready for anything, ready to improvise, determined to win no matter what."

    "All he had to do was watch the game and understand how things worked, and then he could use the system, and even excel....It was waiting and watching that cost the most. For during that time he had to endure."

  • From Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein: "Can the flowers decide not to bloom or the birds decline to sing again because the winter was harsh? No. But I don't know how they do it-how they keep growing."

  • From the Kings James Bible by God, Acts 20:22 Paul speaking to the Ephesians: "(22) And now behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: (23) Save the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. (24) But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

  • Agency and self-reliance are intricately connected.

  • Elder Hollands talk, An High Priest of Good Things to Come:

    "I know some of you do truly feel at sea, in the most frightening sense of that term. Out in troubled waters, you may even now be crying with the poet:

    It darkens. I have lost the ford.
    There is a change on all things made.
    The rocks have evil faces, Lord,
    And I am [sore] afraid.

    No, it is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm."

    "My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened.” 3 It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo’s reach, we say, “What light through yonder window breaks?” It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun. 4 To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His “more excellent ministry” with a future of “better promises.” He is your “high priest of good things to come.”

  • Yesterday at church this woman spoke of her experience at the National Art Gallery in DC. While touring with her mother who is a docent there, they came across a painting that seemed to her to be big blobs of paint that looked like they had been splattered on the canvas. The woman said that at first she didn't like it, but when her mother described its meaning, she felt differently about it. From first glance, the painting looked like one big, destructive mess. While it looked destructive, the artist conveyed the force and impact of its creativity, thus why it looked the way it did. Its design also depicts the intricacy and delicacy of its creation. During this talk I couldn't help but draw some similarities to my own canvas of life.

    There is this familiar and typical Mormon comparison that most of what we on earth can see of God's plan for us can be likened to the bottom-side of a tapestry, with all the threads meshing together to look like one jumbled mess. In this description God sees the top of the tapestry and sees its development and intricate detail that makes up a complex and beautiful piece. I remember joking with a friend that my tapestry must look amazing from God's perspective.
These are only a couple things that have struck me on this journey. There are so many more....and for that I am grateful.