"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Mist of Darkness

At church I teach the 15-16 year old Sunday school class. I LOVE it! In fact this is quite possibly the best kept secret in the church. I get to spend time with the wonderful, fun, and smart youth of our ward. But still, they don't know as much as me and my weeknights are free. It's perfect! I don't get nervous or feel intimidated. I actually enjoy and look forward to the time we spend together.

As this year started out our lesson was on Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. Oh brother...Haven't we all heard this one a million times. Oh well, what do you do? I taught the lesson. I drew each object on the board. We talked about what they represented. Lesson complete! Let's move on.

Then it happened. A month or so ago I had an experience that I will never forget. I woke up at about 2:00 a.m. and I could see it, my chalkboard, cartoon drawing of Lehi's vision. Why didn't I get it before? The iron rod went right through the mist of darkness, not around it, not over it, but right through it. To make it to the Tree of Life (eternal life) we ALL must make it through the mist of darkness. Why did this matter? I was in the mist!

Last October my oldest son Jordan received his mission call. Yippie!! Our family was so excited. This is what we had been anticipating for his whole life. We couldn't have been happier. We all got busy preparing for his departure. But then, a month and a half later the bubble popped. He "changed his mind". He decided that he was scared and wasn't sure of what he was doing. He wanted time to think about it, and he was moving out. What? I couldn't believe what was happening. I felt helpless, scared, worried, mad, confused, embarrassed, devastated, etc. I didn't know what to do, or how to help. We prayed, fasted and attended the temple. And then he left. It was the darkest time of my life. How could God let this happen to my sweet son?

I continued with the normal routine. But, I was being overcome by doubt. We had tried to hold regular Family Home Evenings. We had been reading the scriptures together. We had been praying, and attending church as a family. Now I wondered why we bothered? What was the point if this was going to be the outcome? I was loosing my grip on the rod.

I have learned a lesson. Life is not going to be an easy ride. Not for anyone! We all have to make it through the yucky, scary mist. I am not the same person I was six months ago. Our family is stronger, our prayers have purpose, we are learning to rely on the Lord and as long as we can hold on, we are going to be okay.

"Oh thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt." matthew 14:31


Marla said...

Beautiful post Lynell. It is a good reminder for me. And for the record, I think Jordan is awesome none-the-less. He is a good kid. There is a TON of hope because he has been taught well at home. Sometimes it takes a little longer to figure out on your own, but he'll get there.

Grammy S. said...

Dear Daughter,
Like you my heart has been so sad over Jordan's decision. I'm sad for you and I am sad for Jordan because I love him so much and I know he is on a road that will deny him blessings that he would have had he taken a different path. However, I know that Jordan is a great kid. I believe that he just needs to find himself. We know who he is. God knows who he is. Jordan just needs to find out who he is. I have confidence that in time, he will. Love, Mom

Erin said...

We love you Lynell... and we love Jordan too. You have such sweet insight and perspective. Our prayers are with you and your entire family.

Kelsi Ackley said...

Lynell, That was a beautiful post! you are such a good Mom, It is to bad we don't always have controll over our children whether it is a 2yr old tantrum in the store, or a 19 with a change of plans. We all have moments when we would like to crawl into a hole and sometimes never come out! At least until it stops. One thought I had was the saying, Train a child in the way he should go and he will no depart from it. I also thought of one of my favorite thougts... It is wise to remember that no success or failure is final. Your son could change his mind. My husband did not go until he was over 20. Well here I am giving you advice and it should be the other way around. I think it is so fun to meet someone like you! It is a small world, I believe that there are no accidents in life, like me meeting you! Have a good day!, love Kelsi

Chris said...

Thank you so much for this great reminder Lynell!I think we often forget that we are here to gain experience, not just sail through easily..and we actively defended this option.