Monday, January 2, 2017

Early Return LDS Missionary - The Importance of Waves

The Importance of Waves

After my son put his mission papers in and we were waiting for his mission call, I had a very spiritual and important dream.  In my dream, I saw the place where my son would serve his mission.  It was an island with a strong European influence.  It was so definite in my mind that I had absolutely no doubt he would be called to an island like that. The second important part of my dream was when I saw great giant waves in the ocean.  I had the feeling that these weren't literal waves but symbolic waves. At first I felt a sense of panic but then I had the strong and undeniable feeling that I should completely trust the Lord and turn everything over to Him.  Little did I know how important this dream would become to our family.

I know that Jesus Christ can calm all of our inward storms and He will help my son because He loves him and wants him to feel joy and grown and learn. My son ended up returning home from his mission earlier than expected. We are so proud of his desire to serve and all his hard work. A mission is a mission no matter how long you serve.

Here's an analogy that helps show how the Lord will help us through the stormy seas and help adversity be for our gain.

Tossed upon the Waves (click on title to read original article)

In the middle of my anxiety and despair, I reread the account of the Jaredites crossing the “great deep” (Ether 2:25). I can only imagine their anxious anticipation as they entered their barges. Their journey might be perilous, but they knew they were headed to “a land choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:15).

Of their journey, we read:

“The Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.

“And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.

“… When they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.

“And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind” (Ether 6:5–8).

These verses became personal to me. I felt that I was in my own barge, with winds of anxiety beating upon me and waves of depression swelling over me and burying me in the depths of despair. When I was “encompassed about” and would cry unto the Lord, I would break through the surface but would then be buried once more.

I read verse 8 again: “The wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land … and thus they were driven forth before the wind” (emphasis added). Then it hit me. The very wind that caused the mountainous waves to bury the barges also blessed the Jaredites on their journey. I had been pleading with Heavenly Father to calm the wind and waves, but without them, I might not reach whatever “promised land” He was leading me to.

These verses changed my outlook on life. My anxiety and depression had increased my reliance on Heavenly Father. Without the wind and waves, I might never have come to know God as I have—and the Jaredites might never have reached the promised land.

For now, a few years after this experience, my winds of anxiety are no longer gusting and my waves of depression have ceased to bury me. But if and when the tempest returns, I will call upon the Lord and be thankful, knowing that calm seas don’t carry barges to the promised land—stormy seas do.