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Thursday, May 9, 2013

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT -- The Center of His Will

A few months ago, Ronald Frandsen, my stake president, said something so profound and touching that it has changed the way I view my life.  He said, "The safest place to be is in the center of God's will."

Since that time I have thought many times about the way I am living my own life.  Am I doing the things that God would have me do?  Am I allowing His Spirit to guide my daily decisions, big and small?  Am I aware of His commandments?  Am I keeping them?  Am I communicating daily, asking for further guidance each step of the way?

Several years ago, Tyler had a very good job with a locally based engineering company.  We were very happy with him working there.  The pay was good, the benefits were fine, and his coworkers all felt like a family to us.  We were very happy.  Then, a bigger, national engineering company moved to town.  We researched this new company, knowing that Tyler was highly qualified to work there, wondering if it was time to move on from his current position.  As we conducted this research, we found that the benefits package for this bigger company was very impressive, including attractive and very large bonuses, profit sharing, top-notch health care, tuition reimbursement for the whole family, etc.  We soon had dollar signs in our eyes and Tyler applied for the new company.  Soon, he had interviewed with the new company and one day was offered a position.

I remember that day well.  Tyler asked the supervisor if he might have a few hours to discuss the offer with me, and then he would call back.  We sat in the living room, on the couch, and prayed and discussed the offer.  We felt guided to tell the new company no and to stay put.  Tyler called the supervisor back and kindly thanked him, then rejected the offer.  The supervisor knew that Tyler was highly qualified and wouldn't take no for an answer.  He offered Tyler more money.  As I sat there, listening to only half of the conversation, I began to sense Tyler's excitement as the wage offered to him increased again and again.  Finally, I nodded my head, and Tyler accepted the offer.  It was too good to refuse.

Long story short, after over two years of a very stressful set of circumstances, Tyler's employment with this company was terminated.  It was a very difficult lesson for our family about the importance of living within God's will and trusting His omniscience.

It has now been three and a half years since Tyler lost his job.  In that time, his employment has been transient.  He has worked at a local juvenile detention facility since then, and has also worked several other jobs to help make ends meet.  I have also worked at two different insurance offices, trying to make up the difference.  We have gone to making about one third of what we used to make.  Now, Tyler is a full-time student AND a full-time employee (Superman!)

From these experiences, we have learned several lessons which we may not have learned any other way, so although the road has been rocky, in a way, I am grateful for the detour.  First, we have developed unwavering trust in God's will.  We have learned not to counsel Him, but to take counsel from His hand.  We have learned that there is power in loyalty.  We have learned to appreciate the things that matter most:  faith and family.  We have learned to appreciate each other, to listen to each other, and to show gratitude to each other.  We have learned to accept help from others during the very hardest times.  We have learned many lessons on thrift.  We have a greater desire to live frugally and desire to be temporally independent.  We have learned to act on and trust the promptings of the Spirit, trying hard not to doubt or fear, sometimes without seeing the wisdom in the promptings until much later.  We have learned to appreciate service from others and to look forward to opportunities to serve whenever they come.  We have learned to be more compassionate and forgiving, realizing that there are no charmed lives and that everyone has trials at one point or another.  We have learned to find beauty and magic in life's ordinary moments.

I love that God has taken a mistake and has transformed it into a tapestry of lessons learned, testimony gained, and wisdom garnered.  He has readily forgiven us for our follies and has made us wiser.  We now know that there is safety in living in the center of His will.  By the grace and goodness of our loving Heavenly Father, we have found growth and possibility as we have wandered in our own wilderness.  He is so very good.  I thank and praise Him for His everlasting lovingkindness.


Tamaran said...

Thank you for posting this. I was wondering what all had happened. We are 1 year from Jon having his degree (BS) and going to find ourselves having to make these decisions. Thank you for the reminder to trust Him in all things.