Thursday, June 11, 2009

More on Trust

There is one other thing about the scripture we looked at in the last post. Whenever we are worried or fretting about the future or when we are confronted with a future we don’t want and never planned on, this trust is more important than ever. It is the hope we can cling to in order to help us live in Truth.

Let me share an experience that taught me this. Two hours before our second daughter was born, my husband was drafted into the army at the height of the Vietnam War. I had prayed fervently and with all the faith I could muster for two years that Carl wouldn’t be drafted and I was devastated. I thought my world had ended. When he left I found myself not only dealing with being alone, but with trying to understand why God had forsaken me. Why hadn’t he answered my prayers?

It was difficult and lonely caring for a 14 month old and a newborn baby all by myself. I had a lot of time to think and the thoughts always took me back to negative feelings that challenged my faith. But after five months, things got a little better when the children and I were able to join Carl while he finished his training as an operating room technician. Then came the fateful day when we were told that he was to report the next morning to receive orders as to where he would be stationed. Everyone we knew who had been drafted was sent to Nam and a cousin of mine that I was very close to had been killed in Nam. I cried a lot that night. I also prayed a lot that night, but the thoughts of previous prayers being unanswered haunted me and filled me with doubt rather than faith.

The next morning Carl gathered in a room with 300 other men and the sergeant began to instruct everyone as to what they needed to do before they shipped out to Nam. About ten minutes into his instruction he stopped and said, “I forgot. Five of you are not going to Nam. If you address is an APO address instead of an FPO, you are excused. We’ll give you instructions later.” Carl looked at his written orders and to his surprise discovered he was one of the five. He was going to Germany and since it was a non-combat zone, I was able to go with him.

But there is something more to this story. From the time I was young I wanted to visit Europe. I’d read about it and fallen in love with all the old things Europe offered. During high school I made myself a promise that I was going to graduate from college and then go live in Europe for a time before I settled down. I didn’t want to be a tourist. I wanted to live there so I could get a feel for the culture and the essence of the real place. But I married half way through college and figured I had given up on my dream.

When Carl came home and told me that we were going to Germany, I suddenly realized that while I thought God had forsaken me, He instead was fulfilling my dreams. From that point on I’ve been much better at trusting in Him.

10 comments:

Debbie Feller said...

Sherrie what a beautiful story!! My story about Chelan is similar...I was so HEART BROKEN when she got sick & yet she has turned into one of my GREATEST blessings...Heavenly Father knows what we need & mercifully provides it!!! Bless your heart!! You are AMAZING!!! Still savoring that yummy cookie...thanks so much!!!

Anonymous said...

Mom-
Thanks for the post! This is something I have learned recently (as you know) and hope to remember for the rest of my life!!!
Thank you for your example!!
Patrea

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Debbie,It is incredible how what may seem like tragedy can become such a blessing in our lives. We just need to remember that fact! Thank you!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Patrea, You will remember it because I'll keep reminding you. I love you!

Emma and Dan said...

What an amazing story. I remember when Carl told it to us years ago, we thought that it was incredible. However, reading it just now from the wife's point of view really gave me (Emma) a different perspective. It really hit home how loved we all are by our Heavenly Father! His wisdom is so infinitely superior to our own.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Emma, It is amazing. I often wonder if there are times that we fight against what God is trying to do for us so much that we stop it from happening!

Connie said...

Thanks for this story...so many times we pray so hard for one thing and we end up with something so much better!!!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Connie, It is so true. I saw your new puppy. So cute!

Julie said...

I prayed my son and daughter would not leave the faith. Both did. However, as I went to the temple and filled my life with more truth, and faith, my heart was changed, and my understanding of the Atonement for me, and for them, for all of us individually grew. My happy ending is we still have a wonderful relationship, and Heavenly Father taught me how to love as He loves. It was amazing.

SMJ said...

Julie, Thanks for sharing and never give up hope,especially if the realtionship is still good there is always hope!