We moved two weeks ago. Two weeks seems like nothing and forever at the same time. Matt is at his new job; he likes it. My boys will be home from school soon. Natalie is watching Maggie and the Ferocious Beast (it’s a preschool cartoon), and I’ve been hanging out at the computer desk for longer than I should have today. The last 12 days or so have been a frenzy of unpacking boxes and putting every thing in its new place. Somehow during this same time, the boys convinced Matt that they needed to buy some guinea pigs since they had to leave their beloved fish, Colors, behind in Minnesota. Don’t ask me how I feel about the new pets.
My bedroom is the last room to unpack, except for some “storage” boxes in the basement. I can’t bring myself to do it; I’ve been avoiding those last dozen boxes or so for about 3 days. At first I thought it was because I was just feeling tired and a little bit lazy, and who likes to organize a closet anyway? (I know some of you might actually like that kind of thing, and all I can say about that is: How much do you charge?) However, after a little bit of gloom today and a little bit of reflection, it dawned on me:
I don’t want to finish unpacking because then I live here. Really live here.
And then I realized that the thought terrifies me a little bit. That seems ridiculous because, hello, I’m already here, but everything happened so fast. I’m not sure I ever really got a chance to process it all. I think I might be afraid.
People, even important prophet-like people, say that faith and fear cannot exist at the same time. Today that just doesn’t feel right to me. I have faith that this is where we are supposed to be. I believe that God’s hand has been in all the details of this move and even worked miracles to make it all happen. I know it’s not a mistake, and yet . . .
I’m afraid of starting over again. Afraid I may not make new friends with deep connections like many of those I’ve left behind. Afraid I might not find the right pediatrician for my children. Afraid I may never be needed in my new ward that’s the size of my old Stake. Afraid that unless I make some huge extra efforts, my children may grow up closed-minded without an appreciation for religious and cultural diversity. Afraid that I might not find a cheap place to buy my canned goods since there’s no Aldi here (I realize that’s a dumb fear, but still.). Afraid that the new school and new teachers won’t pick up where our great Minnesota elementary school left off. . . . .
I guess I have faith that God put me where I’m supposed to be, but I don’t know yet what I’m supposed to do. Perhaps that’s not technically fear, but it feels a little scary to me.
“Let’s rid ourselves of the “what ifs” and the “if onlys” and “cast [our] burden upon the Lord.”… Let’s just do the best we can every day and allow the Lord to make up the difference for us. That is one of the promises He has made to us.” ~ Kathleen H. Hughes
“I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlys for which there likely will be given no answers in mortality. To receive the Lord’s comfort, we must exercise faith. The questions Why me? Why our family? Why now? are usually unanswerable questions. These questions detract from our spirituality and can destroy our faith. We need to spend our time and energy building our faith by turning to the Lord and asking for strength to overcome the pains and trials of this world and to endure to the end for greater understanding.” ~ Elder Robert D. Hales
“We do not fear the future for ourselves or for our children. … Our young people in many ways are much stronger and better than we were. They and we should not be afraid of what is ahead. … As a grandfather who has lived a long time, I counsel you to have faith. Things have a way of working out. Stay close to the Church. Keep your children close to the Church. … Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor.” ~ President Boyd K. Packer
“I promise you in the name of the Lord whose servant I am that God will always protect and care for his people. We will have our difficulties the way every generation and people have had difficulties. But with the gospel of Jesus Christ, you have every hope and promise and reassurance. The Lord has power over his Saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for his people. When we have faith in God we can hope for a better world—for us personally, and for all mankind.” ~ President Howard W. Hunter (I know this is directed at those who fear a “doomsday” future, but it still spoke to me about my more “simple” concerns.)
And lastly, I found this quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland that brought tears to my eyes. I LOVE Elder Holland.
“Every person in every era has had to walk by faith into what has always been some uncertainty. This is the plan. Just be faithful. God is in charge. He knows your name and He knows your need.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—that is the first principle of the gospel. We must go forward. God expects you to have enough faith, determination, and trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. He expects you not simply to face the future; He expects you to embrace and shape the future—to love it, rejoice in it, and delight in your opportunities.
God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.”
The boys will be off the bus soon. I believe I’ll finish unpacking tomorrow.