Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The rain came down and the floods came up...

"Okay, here's some honesty: I was seriously an emotional roller coaster today."
"A cause de moi?"
"Life mostly... it was like I went from feeling relieved that you and I had resolved everything, to grateful for Heavenly Father trying to warn me, to sad about our friendship's inevitable demise."
"Inevitable demise... sounds grave.  We will always be friends."
"Yes I know that.  But you know what I mean and don't pretend otherwise."
"Well yes.  I do know."

The title of my blog today is the first thing that came to my head.  I didn't want to use it at first because it is a kind of gloomy phrase.  But upon singing the rest of the song in my head, I realized that it was PERFECT.

Except the rain part.  I was in Washington from Thursday to Monday morning, and I saw hardly ANY rain.  Riddle me that one, Batman.

Speaking of Batman, I met a really interesting girl on Thursday night.  We went to get froyo, and the girl at the counter had some sweet paraphernalia on.  I asked her opinion on a comic and I think she talked to me for like twenty minutes.  Ben later brought the experience up as an example of how good at making friends I am.  He is a man who gives me more credit than I deserve.  Well, in all proud honesty, not TOO much more credit than I deserve :).


So, the point of this blog is to share a story 'bout a man named Jedd... gosh I hope some of you get that.  If not, then I am writing for the wrong audience.  This story is actually about a girl named Soeur Barros and how she was blessed by the Lord.  Actually, this starts before I was set apart.  You see, there was this topic that came into my heart right before I left.  It was a topic that would plague me my WHOLE mission and even to this day.  But, the Lord being merciful, decided to give me a heads up.  I had a dream and then an inspiration during my scripture study the next day about this topic, telling me that I wouldn't have to deal with it until AFTER I was released from missionary service.  Okay, COOL!

Famous last words.
Within a week of being in the MTC, I saw this topic sneak back into my heart.  And the only way I fought off the anxiety that came with it was to remind myself that it wouldn't be an issue till after my mission.  Unfortunately, I let this thing consume a portion of my attention and emotion for the first nine months of my mission.  Until one night, the Lord told me (without my asking, by the way) that "No.  That is NOT the path you will take."

Wait.  Why not?  I LIKE that path!

Nope.  It's not what you're going to do.

Aw mannnnnnn.......

I was okay with that though.  It put the topic back in the recesses of my mind for nearly six months.  Until one of my companions brought up the fact that I would be leaving my mission relatively soon, and that the path God told me I wouldn't take was being presented to me.

"No it's not."
"yes it is.  Look, I know these things.  It is DEFINITELY an option.  I am POSITIVE."
"No, it can't be."  I started to cry.  "God told me NO!"
"Did He say 'no' or 'not now'?  Because sometimes He tells us what we need to hear at a certain time.  And all I can say is no matter what Heavenly Father told you before, this path is being given to you as an option, and you will have to decide to take it or not."

I'd love to say she was wrong.  But she wasn't.  Which sent me into a tailspin of questioning.  Did I imagine that revelation?  Did I read it wrong?  It was one of the most clear revelations I had EVER received!  What was I doing wrong?  Why would God change His mind?  I used to get on Ben Pitman's case about how God doesn't change His mind.  And here I was starting to ascribe to that theory.  It felt so weird.  It continued to for my next three transfers, especially at the end.  The time was drawing nearer when this topic could finally begin to unravel.  I had such anxiety about it, which didn't improve upon my return to life.  Several paths were given to me, each one leading somewhere I KINDA wanted to go, but not really. I had the revelation that Heavenly Father wasn't saying NO to the path I wanted; just that I wasn't going to take it.  Also, that I might not even CHOOSE that path if it were presented. But I still wanted that path that my companion said was an option.  Eventually I let go of that forbidden path, and tried to move on with another one.  Until I came to a cross roads.  Not only was the path there, but the gate was unlocked and a welcome mat was placed at the entrance.  Holy crap.  Do I go down the path I want, even though the Lord warned me it wouldn't work out?  Or do I continue down the path I was on, a path that I knew wasn't right for me.  In reality, I had a third option, of blazing my own trail.  But I wanted that one path sooooo badly... so I took it, firmly abandoning my current road.

The time came to walk down the road, and I did.  Everything seemed to be working out perfectly!  Until the moment came to pay the toll.  Now when you pay the toll on this road, that means you're on it for a while, and you're making a sacrifice.  I had successfully dodged three toll roads already.  But I was eager to meet this one and be done with this kind of path once and for all!  But once I got there... it wasn't right.  It was almost right... but the path wasn't exactly what I'd hope... in some very important ways.  So after some thought and prayer, I had to close the toll gate and walk away.

Here's the deal:  to me, it's sad.  I'm quite sad about it because it means that eventually, what I have now will be gone.  C'est la vie.  But I'm relieved!  Instead of second guessing what I thought was revelation, all my inspirations were confirmed!  I made the choice to back away from this path!  No toll for Kacey!  Not yet anyway.  I haven't found the right path.  In all honesty, now I have the chance to blaze a new trail.  That's freaking me out a little bit.  I don't remember how to do that.  I mean, I've been hoping to take this path for a very long time.  And now, all of a sudden, it's closed.  Yes, I helped close it.  I chose to abandon this road.  That doesn't change how many adjustments, mentally and emotionally, I have to make.

I still feel a sense of loss.  Is that dumb?

I don't completely understand, and I don't have to or expect to.  But now I am here, in the middle of the forest, with a ginormous machete in my hand.  I'd love to say that I'm poised and ready to beat down my own trail.  But mostly I'm just standing here, keeping a grip on my tool, hoping that the conviction, strength, and assurance I felt when I closed that gate stays with me.

It's time for faith, ladies and gentlemen.  And boy, do I LOVE faith building experiences.

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father that loves me enough to warn me, then let me do it my way.  You see, during my mission all I asked for was a chance to walk down that path and decide on my own if I wanted it or not.  Well, after warning me that it wouldn't work, He still gave me the opportunity to eat my cake.  He gave me what I wanted, what I prayed for in faith and in the name of Jesus Christ.  It all worked out more perfectly than I could have ever anticipated.  And it still AWES me how much the Lord showed me His love through all of this.
The day after I got off the path, I went through my emotional roller coaster, referred to in the beginning of this post.  At one point, I just cried, wondering if I'll ever be on the right path, or if I'll have to keep getting pulled on the one I'm on.  And a warmth I can't describe filled my entire being.  I knew that I would stumble upon this path.  That everything would work out.  That I really was alllllll that and a bag of chips.  That another choice will be presented to me.

It's hard to believe sometimes.  But... I choose to do it anyway.

We'll see what adventures lie in store for me now!

The rain came down, and the floods came up.
The rain came down, and the floods came up.
The rain came down, and the floods came up,
But the house on the rock stood firm.

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon thearock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

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