Last night I was typing this post, and this little miss came out of bed to find me. She was upset and told me that something had moved her bed. I stood up and told her we'd go check it out. I took her hand in mine, we made our way down the hallway and I snuggled her back in her bed. I leaned down and kissed her and told her that everything was okay. And in that moment, I found myself feeling a little chastised for sometimes questioning that on a grander scale, for sometimes wondering if God will help my heart feel okay where I feel scared or sad or worried or discontent.
Sometimes this thing called faith is hard. It seems to be pulling me beyond myself, testing me, taunting me, requiring me to walk in the dark.
Sometimes things happen and you don't know why.
This past month and a half I've had myself a bit of a whys fest.
I've swallowed hard, I've chewed and chewed on it, I've cried.
And sometimes a big part of the why is what might be behind it -- what does it mean? What if this isn't what I wanted? What if it doesn't turn out the way I want it to? (Isn't that really what it's about?)
I am reminded of one of the things I loved from Pres. Uchtdorf's message last week. There are lots of things that we can forget, and that I am forgetting. Maybe it isn't that I'm forgetting. Maybe it's that I have to have faith even if I can't see the way ahead.
He talked about being happy now despite the whys of life, because we all have them. Even when the answer seems unclear, murky, or too far in the distance. Even when it seems a wish away that somehow isn't being whispered with enough urgency. If you could just be understood or heard, your pleadings might be what you hoped them to be, the outcome may have been persuaded.
Real faith is not to persuade and get things how you always want them, but accepting how they come, and looking for God's hand in it all the while. Being meek and trusting enough to feel His love and know He is caring all the time. His hand is stretched out still, our walls continually before Him (Isaiah 49:16).
Pres. Uchtdorf offered this:
In the beloved children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka hides a golden ticket in five of his candy bars and announces that whoever finds one of the tickets wins a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Written on each golden ticket is this message: “Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket … ! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! … Mystic and marvelous surprises … will … delight, … astonish, and perplex you.”3
In this classic children’s story, people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket.
So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry.
There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings—we hope and seek after things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.”4 The problem comes when we put our happiness on hold as we wait for some future event—our golden ticket—to appear....
The lesson here is that if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.
This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.
The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy. ---Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, for full remarks see here
I love this counsel -- even though it is challenging and requiring my faith, too.
My golden ticket.
It has already been purchased...I'm already on the train! I'm trying to understand that. If I know I'm holding it, the flip side of that means recognizing that my destination will be exactly where I should end up.
I'm trying to rejoice about this specific why even though I don't know what the end destination will be.