We had a lot uncertainty and it was a year of endurance spiritually, financially, and emotionally. As 2013 came to a close, we were hoping to start the new year off on a different foot, but we received some news just before Christmas that threw everything off track again. As January 1st rolled around, I had a pit in my stomach. I couldn't handle another year like we just experienced. My heart was feeling rather hard toward any inclining of the spiritual nature, and everything from my soul to squishy thighs I mentioned here felt unbalanced.
One night two weeks ago I was sitting in my parents garage, hovering over my sewing machine and stitching bags for my shop (I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but I've been crazy busy with my new business Swankaroo! It's been one of the better and more promising parts of 2013), when I listened to a BYU devotional given by Jeffrey Holland, an apostle of Jesus Christ today, entitled "cast not away therefore your confidence." Drawing parallels from Moses' experience on the Mount, and leading the children of Israel across the Red Sea, and then wandering in the wilderness, Holland's message is full of many wonderful insights, but my favorite excerpts are these:
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. . . . The Lord shall fight for you.”
In confirmation the great Jehovah said to Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:13–15; emphasis added)...
After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, “go forward.” Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine. You may, like Alma going to Ammonihah, have to find a route that leads an unusual way, but that is exactly what the Lord was doing here for the children of Israel. Nobody had ever crossed the Red Sea this way, but so what? There’s always a first time. With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet. In the words of Joseph Smith, “Brethren [and, I would add, sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!”
I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose. In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul was trying to encourage new members who had just joined the Church, who undoubtedly had had spiritual experiences and had received the pure light of testimony, only to discover that not only had their troubles not ended, but that some of them had only begun....
The reminder is that we cannot sign on for a moment of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight—a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless. Paul said to those who thought a new testimony, a personal conversion, or a spiritual baptismal experience would put them beyond trouble, “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions” (Hebrews 10:32; emphasis added).
Then came this tremendous counsel:
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. . . .
. . . If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. . . .
. . . We are not of them who draw back unto perdition." [Hebrews 10:35–36, 38–39]
In 40 minutes I was taught how to soften my heart, which I had been attempting to do for a whole year. I felt a huge burden lifted as I just... gave it all over to the Lord. I never fully used or understood Christ's invitation to "take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" [Matt 11:29-30], but I suppose that is what happened that night. Not that I gave up my concern for our future and became whimiscal about anything, but I just trusted and chose to learn from our experience as much as I could.
Not more than a week later, Jared got a job offer. He got hired on the spot! We will be relocating to Sacramento this weekend! Jared will be the Security Operations Manager for Johnson & Johnson at one of their pharmacutical facilities. We are feeling very humbled, blessed, and excited for this opportunity. We still have some other balls up in the air, but we are feeling the most optimistic we've felt in years. I have learned to "cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence for reward."