Monday morning dawned bright and early because we were in Snowflake and the girls had to be in St. Johns by 8 AM to start school. It was going to be their first day of school in our new town, living in our new home (that wasn’t ready for us yet). Emotionally, I was not doing well. I kept asking myself why we were doing this and what was ONE good thing coming from this? I couldn’t think of anything. As we got ready to leave, the girls were in the car and Lehi and I were standing in the kitchen. I was in tears, hating life. I asked him, “Can you tell me one good thing that’s coming from this?” His answer was simply that everything would be okay. I wasn’t so sure. I have to admit, though, that as I asked him that question an answer immediately came to mind, “You are closer as a couple; you’re better friends; you understand one another more; and you’re closer as a family. In the whole scheme of things—those are the things that matter most!” The most important things were coming from this experience. But I didn’t want to admit it!
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a devotional at BYU in 2009 entitled, “Remember Lot’s Wife. I love Elder Holland because of so many things, and one of those reasons is because he knows how to lovingly correct my imperfections. In this talk he shares why the Savior cautions, in Luke 17:32: “Remember Lot’s wife.” Apparently, what was wrong with Lot’s wife was not just that she looked back, but that she looked back longingly. She wanted to go back. Elder Holland said, “In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. . . . [F]aith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.” So, Lot’s wife didn’t have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. “Apparently she thought . . . that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind.”
Lehi and I were both overwhelmed. He had to finish loading the trailer, so I kissed him good-bye and got into the car, crying. My sweet, sweet girls then taught me. Eliza asked why I was crying. I told her, “I don’t want to do this! It’s too hard!” That was the first time they’d heard my opinion about moving to St. Johns; up until then I’d only said positive things to them even though I didn’t feel them inside. Eight-year-old Eliza’s response was amazing, “Mom, this is our pioneer experience. If they could do it so can we.” Kate picked up on that and said, “It was hard for them, too, but Heavenly Father helped them.” Then, Eliza said, “Yah, mom, He’ll help us.” My immediate thought was, “I don’t want to be a pioneer!” But, the Spirit quickly reminded me that our girls were helping me and that I was to learn from them. My tears changed from tears of fear and frustration to tears of joy and gratitude for a loving Father in Heaven and two wonderful daughters!”
This concept and fearing the future and not wanting to let go of the past even when the Lord asks us to is very profound for me. It’s happened more than once in my life, and I don’t seem to ever learn the lesson—that if He’s asking me to do something He’s doing it for my good. It may not be easy. It may go against the plans I have for my own life. It may interfere with the way I want to grow. But, He sees the whole picture. He knows who He wants me to be and who I can become. And, it’s being in St. Johns that will give me the opportunities to become more of that person. There’s a reason He wants me here.
That very difficult morning was three years ago this August. And, to be honest, it’s been a tough three years. I’m afraid I’ve been much like Lot’s wife, longingly looking back at the things I don’t have anymore, not really seeing the beauties that lie in front of me. I’ve been afraid of the lessons He would have me learn, but as I slowly let go of my pride and begin to trust Him I can see a little of who He’s helping me become. Do I want to be that person? Yes! Does it scare me? Yes! But, I trust that He has great things in store for me—and for whatever reason, I have to be in St. Johns for that to happen. For that reason, I am grateful to be here.
There are days now when I feel a little like Elsa in the movie, “Frozen,” when she sings: “It’s funny how some distance, makes everything seem small. And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all. It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through. Let it go, let it go. . . . Here I’ll stand, and here I’ll stay. Let the storm rage on. My power flurries through the air into the ground. My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around. And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast—I’m never going back; the past is in the past! Let it go, let it go. And I’ll rise like the break of dawn. Let it go, let it go. . . . Here I stand, in the light of day. Let the storm rage on. The [wind shouldn’t] bother me anyway.” With faith in the Lord, and the opportunities that living in St. Johns will continue to bring me, I look forward to the future.