Sunday, May 24, 2015

Faith is for the Future

“There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

C. S. Lewis

Yesterday, I traveled back to my college town to visit friends and attend my high school's graduation. It was a good day. I had lunch with Sister M and Sister D2, went to graduation, and visited my surrogate parents. I so enjoyed seeing everyone. When I said goodbye to the sisters, I said "Oh man, this is like leaving all over again." It was almost like ripping open a healing wound. Today, I have thought of them and Sister A constantly. I miss all three of them. I'm not thriving in my new ward as I was before; I don't know anyone, I don't feel at home. I loved them, I loved spending time with them, I was home in that city.

Today, I was reading in Genesis. I came across the story of Lot's wife. I remembered a talk on my "to read" list by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Faith is for the Future: 'Remember Lot's Wife.'" In Genesis 19, God commanded Lot and his family to flee Sodom, to leave a lot of things behind in that city. And Lot's wife looked back. "She wasn't just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back. . . . It is possible that Lot’s wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind. We certainly know that Laman and Lemuel were resentful when Lehi and his family were commanded to leave Jerusalem. So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. . . . I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. . . . she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had."

I have been looking back. I have been longing to return to the past, to the days in my college town with Sister A and Sister M and Sister D2. I have been resentful. My attachment to the past, though it was a very good time, has caused me to forget the glorious future that God has planned for me. Elder Holland was talking to me when he said "she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had." I have been doubting God's ability to bring me something better than I have had. But I know that He brought me here for a wonderful purpose, here with my family.

Today, I'm looking forward. Faith is for the future. God has promised to transform us and bring us a future better than anything we've had before, better than anything we can imagine. Though I have had good things in my past, I have to remember that things will only get better as long as I am following the Lord's plan for my life.

In his address, Elder Holland shared a story from early in his marriage. Money was tight, he and his wife worked all the time, and he wondered if finishing college was worth it. His wife, smart woman that she is, said: "We are not going back. We are not going home. The future holds everything for us." I am taking Sister Holland's advice. I am not going back to those days with Sister A and Sister M. I am not going back to my college town. I am not going back to my home ward. I am moving forward. "Faith is for the future." I am trusting in God's plan for my future.

"Live to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, or trust and divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow, and forever. . . . I leave a blessing on you--every one of you--to be able to do so and to be happy, in the name of Him who makes it all possible, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

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