Wednesday, February 22, 2006
New generation pioneersIn a journey that paralleled the Great Pioneer Trek, I made it to Zion this week. Monday I started a new job in Logan, Utah.
The job hunt has been a long and arduous one, starting in August. My wife and I spent a lot of time on our knees in fasting and prayer to find the right place for our family and the right job for me. It's been a huge spiritual growth experience for me. This is by far the biggest decision I've made since joining the Church 13 years ago, one that completely changes almost every aspect of our lives. I had to learn to really seek Divine direction and trust my own faith in personal revelation in ways far beyond anything I had ever done. The Lord in his great loving way has gently guided me here.
My wife asked for a blessing about the whole situation a while back, and in the blessing the Lord told her that he was preparing "a place of inheritance" for us, and that she should look to the pioneers for ways to build her faith. To me this has really been similar in many ways to what the early Saints experienced.
The first and obvious similarity is that we're converts who joined the Church in the Midwest, and not without some disapproval and flak from our families. We left home to "join the Saints" out west, again disappointing many family members.
The early Saints traveled without really knowing where they would end up, or even how far they would walk each particular day. The emotional side of our journey was like that, we didn't know when any of the pieces would get put together. We had to keep moving forward spiritually, with the really know what was at the end, or where the end would be.
Every since I started working for myself, I had to learn how to rely on the Lord for everything. Food, clothing, shelter, clients, all came from the Lord, many times in miraculous ways. I had a feeling in the back of my mind that something was going to happen after the first of the year, but it was nothing more than a feeling. Since I didn't want to be in the situation of taking on a new full-time job when I had a plate full of client work, I stopped pounding the pavement for new work and just kept the few clients that had open projects at the time. It was financially tight, but again, we relied on the Lord for our sustenance and he provided just enough for our needs.
The physical journey itself was reminiscent of the pioneer's travels. Everything from bitter cold (I stayed one night in a hotel with barely any heat when the temp was -20 F), to the car breaking down multiple times (broken oxcart wheels, anyone?) and me slipping into illness and fever. This all happened on the way from Michigan to Logan.
All in all, this has been a period of immense spiritual growth for me and I've gained a closer relationship with my Father in Heaven. And now I live within minutes of the temple, instead of half a day!