Monday, October 10, 2011

unabashed devotion

Sometimes I wish I could be the girl I was at 17. I can still see my bedroom, definitively mine as the walls were papered with favorite scriptures, quotes, and pictures -- anything I found soothing, really. I was sheltered there, from everyone, from a future that was much more like straw to be turned to gold than anything. There, I found fearlessness. Not that I lived a life without fear, but just that there were much more important things to think about, and with the importance came the joy.

Now and then I still have that; I remember that those days were the beginning of my testimony, not the extent of it. Those days were good not because they were easy, but because I unabashedly fled to the Lord for solace. I didn't expect Him to fix things, just to help me be okay, and to respond to my life as He would.

I think it's time I devoted my life to that again -- to taking every inquietude to the Lord, without shame. He can do so much more with them than I can. When my heart cries out, "Wait, what? Is that really what you have in mind for me? Are you sure You want to make my life that hard??" my Heavenly Father can say, "well, yes, but remember the blessings you have in store, my child, and remember what the pain has turned you into." It's turned me into someone who can know peace, despite anyone else's choices. (I just wish I remembered that more often.)

The joy of earthly relationships is undeniable, but neither is the heartbreak. So, they function as a means to an end as they turn us to Christ. As a teenager, Christ and I became acquainted because there were people in my life that I had to be okay with. In more recent years, I clung to Christ despite the dead-end relationships in which I insisted on entangling myself. Now, I'd like to know Him better and love Him more as I try to be more me -- more the girl He's counting on to do His work. Whatever that work may be.

As previously mentioned, I think that work right now may in part be giving up my "Isaac" just enjoy serving in small ways, to take copious mental notes (and some literal ones) on how to create a Christ-centered home. Maybe that's enough for now, even if it's not flashy. Maybe I just need to be okay with that. After all, is there any grander purpose than motherhood? Is there any nobler goal than a temple-like home? Grad school, an active career, anything, ought to pale in comparison to that. Not that they're mutually exclusive, either -- just that they certainly fit on a hierarchy, and "homemaker" is at the top.

Homemaking, though, is a task of steadiness and moderation -- of constancy. I can't work myself dry every day and then go home and crash for the evening, nor can I give a half-hearted effort. No, I want to be a homemaker who works hard, with her whole heart in it, and one who finds the work a joyful and rewarding thing. And maybe, just maybe, Heavenly Father would like me to learn that sooner rather than later. I'm just glad He's in charge of the timing and not me. Timing has a delicate balance; it's easy to do things too soon or too late. ...Far too much for my puny mortal self to handle.

What I can handle is repenting, turning to my Savior with every moment of fear and heartbreak or grumpiness and apathy. And, for that matter, every dream I have for myself that is nothing compared to His for me. Therefore, I hope to seek employment with greater humility. I hope to find something that does not preclude, but rather enables the work that Heavenly Father has for me these days: learning how to make my own temple-like home, and Christ-centered life, regardless of when or with whom that comes about.

I find the task a bit daunting, I'll be honest. The heart-happy girl I was at 17 didn't have the grown up problems of a 24 year old. But Heavenly Father is still perfectly wise, powerful, and loving, even if I'm a confused twenty-something and not an indignant teenager. He can handle my grown up problems.

And, somehow, I can let Him.

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