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Someone is Directing this Symphony

Haven ?t we each had times in our life where we can feel God ?s hand directing our actions? More even than our actions, at times I have felt him directing even those around me, like a symphony that He is orchestrating and conducting where all of the individual sounds come together to make something that sounds beautiful.

I don ?t always feel it – sometimes it seems that God will just let things go as they may, creating a cacophony of noise that really makes no sense. Other times, it seems more directed by a divine source. It ?s kind of like you feel out of control, but in a good way. This is exactly how I have been feeling lately.

Several months ago, a job transfer possibility came up in a place where my husband and I have often talked about living at some point. When he first told me the job was open, I was very excited and wanted him to apply. And yet, as we talked and prayed about it, we felt that it just wasn ?t the right time. The housing market is not great, we owe more on our home than it ?s currently worth — financially it just seemed like it was not the best time to move. We decided to let this opening pass us up, and not consider another opening for at least another year.

Imagine my surprise then, when not more than two weeks later, my husband was asked to relocate — to a place where we had never considered living. Had the opening been posted before we heard about it, we never would have even thought about applying. But somehow, from the beginning, it just seemed that it was the right thing, even though on paper there was no reason it would be a good decision. It was not necessarily the convenient thing, but we could feel the ultimate Conductor telling us it was time.

Since that time, it is amazing how things have fallen into place. There is no reason our home should have sold in less than a week, but it did. Homes all around us have been on the market much longer, and yet ours was the one ? for someone. The Conductor did not change the market for us — we are still losing money on this home. However, He wrote in other parts who would come in and support us to create a way to make this move happen as painless as possible for us. Money has come from unexpected places to make up the difference. An amazing deal in our new location fell into place in the nick of time. I can ?t even explain all of the little things that have come together. It has been a testimony to me that this move is supposed to happen.

Which begs the question — Why? Who really cares if we are here or there? Apparently, someone does. The three years we have lived in our current location, I ?ve wondered why. It hasn ?t been an especially happy place for me, I haven ?t felt like I was making a difference for anyone, nor that anyone really was impacting my life enough to make it worth the move. I did not have clarity on this issue until just this past Monday night. Some members of our ward hosted a family home evening for our going away, and person after person came up to my husband and told him how much he had done for them. I have seen great growth in my husband since we ?ve been here, and it ?s become apparent that others have needed him, and that ?s why we ?ve been here. God knew that my girls and myself could handle it, and that it was where my husband needed to be. Not that I haven ?t learned anything, or grown through the process, but I don ?t feel like I ?m the primary reason we were here.

Likewise, I don ?t know why at this time it ?s time to move on to somewhere else. Is my husband going to change the situation at his work enough to impact someone ?s life in a way no one else can? Do my girls need to be in this new place for some reason? Is it me who needs this time to grow? I have a few hunches, but when it comes down to it, I really don ?t know. Yes, I feel out of control, but in a good way.

In a few days we ?ll tune our instruments and start playing without necessarily knowing anything about the piece . It seems that my part is written for me, and I don ?t really how it will sound or even if I ?ll be able to play it well. But the One who wrote it knows, and He knows that even with bumps in the road, this is all going to come together to make something that sounds beautiful. And that ?s enough for me.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Tinkerbell June 21, 2009, 7:03 pm

    I really identify with this post. I know exactly what you mean about everything falling into place and feeling like the Lord set it all up for you. I felt that way when my husband graduated and we got this job. The house fell into place, everything worked out. I’ve always known that the reason we were here was for my brother. He needed a safe place (in many ways, not just physical, but emotional, etc.) to finish high school. Ever since he left, I am feeling itchy like I am not sure why we are still here, but I am not sure where else we should be instead. When I was YW Pres, I felt strongly that there were girls that I was meant to help. But, ever since my husband got called into the Bishopric, I’ve felt largely useless. Reading your description of your husband and his experience causes me to realize that I have seen a lot of growth in my husband, too. He is very shy and non-confrontational. He’s grown leaps and bounds through his interactions. Perhaps I need to realize that the world is about more than just me. 🙂 And, yet, I still feel like this isn’t our permanent place. I am not sure what the Lord’s plan is for us, but I am trying to be prepared for whenever He chooses to let me know. (Oh, and the other night my 8 year old told me that he wants to stay here until he graduates from high school. I thought it is a little sad that I want to leave so bad when he wants to stay. Just another reminder that the world doesn’t revolve around me).

  • agardner June 21, 2009, 7:50 pm

    Thanks! Your experience reminds me – I spent 4 years of my very formative years (ages 10-14) in a small town in Eastern Idaho. Loved, loved, loved it there. My mom, on the other hand, hated it. Years later we talked about it and she said that she really was miserable there, she hated the cold, hated the isolation of it, hated that everyone who lived there was connected and we were the “outsiders”. And yet, she could see that it’s exactly where I needed to be at that time in my life. It was such a great place for me to grow and gain confidence and good friendships. It was a Mormon town (at the time, although now not so much, it’s a ski town instead!) and most of us had similar values and backgrounds, it was just a wonderful place for me.

    It was followed by a place that was extremely hard for me, but better for other members of my family. But by that time, God seemed to know that I was strong enough to get through it, and it was where others in my family could flourish whereas maybe they couldn’t in the small Idaho town.

    I can look back at times in my life and see that I was in a certain place for a reason, or that another member of my family was. Even more than where we live, all the things that seem directed are such a testimony to me that God does know exactly what we need at the time, even if we don’t know it ourselves.

    I think also of the timing of my mission, for example. When I turned 21, I had planned on a mission for years. I really wanted to go – but I was in a fairly serious relationship, and when I prayed about a mission it just did not seem right. Nearly a year later, the relationship had ended, but it was not even a thought in my mind to go on a mission. By this time, my first brother was also leaving, and I knew it would be incredibly difficult for my parents financially if we were out together.

    Once again, God orchestrated the outcome. I had been endowed by that time, and lost my temple recommend. When I went in to get a new one, my bishop asked if I’d thought more about a mission. I told him I hadn’t really, that the money was a concern and that by now I was near graduation from BYU and just wanted to finish up, maybe go to grad school, and move on with life. He seemed to accept that, gave me the recommend, and I left.

    When I met with the stake, it was with one of the counselors that I didn’t know at all. It’s possible that the bishop had told the stake leaders of the conversation he’d had with me, but I doubt it. At any rate, he gave me my recommend and then looked me in the eye and asked if I’d considered a mission. Before I could even answer, he said, “You know, if finances are a concern, there is a lot of money in this stake that is just waiting for a missionary to use it.” I asked for more details and he said that a few parents had saved for their child’s mission, but their child didn’t go, so they donated the money. By this time, it seemed that maybe God was telling me that I needed to think about this some more. I went home and prayed about it, felt that I should go, and met with my bishop a few days later to start the process. Speaking of which, my process ended up being one of the fastest I’ve seen. My papers were in probably within a week or two (I don’t remember exactly, but it was quick). I had my final interview with the stake president on the day Bill Clinton was elected (lol, will always remember that!), and got my call a few weeks later on Thanksgiving weekend (at the BYU/Utah football game!). By January 10, I was in the MTC. So this all happened probably from mid-October it not even crossing my mind to January 10th being there. And the timing was perfect. I turned 22 my first day in the mission, challenged someone to get baptized that night (which I thought was a joke at first!)…and oddly enough this lady is someone I’ve stayed in touch with and who now lives in….DETROIT (where I’m moving). Weird how it all comes around, isn’t it?

    I’d love for others to share their experiences. They are so faith building to me.

  • ksjarvis June 22, 2009, 6:24 am

    Angie that post was so beautiful. I can really relate to it as well. I have felt the Lord’s hand in my life so many times. Things seem to always fall in place for me. One time that is very special to me was how I came to meet my husband. I had just returned home from my mission. I had completed my degree before I left, so upon returning home I started putting my resume out there. Within a month, I had two very nice job offers. One only an hour away from my family and one at the otherside of the state. The one closer to home made much more sense, but I felt very strongly that I need to take the one in Jacksonville. So I did. Within three weeks I met my future husband and seven months later we were married. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!! My mother-in-law still jokes that she prayed me here. Who knows, maybe that stong prompting I felt to move here really was Heavenly Father answering her prayer.

  • Tinkerbell June 22, 2009, 1:48 pm

    When I was 20, I was preparing to go on a mission. I had wanted to serve one my whole life. But, I also started feeling like I should apply for business school “just in case”. I was really frustrated that I was having feelings about not going on a mission when I wanted to so bad. I asked my Uncle to give me a blessing, and in it, he said, “The Lord has a plan for you. You just need to be patient to find out what it is”. I ended up dating my husband-to-be more seriously and getting engaged. By that time the deadline for applying to school had passed, so it’s a good thing I had already done it! I was able to start my MBA a couple of weeks after getting married. I could totally see the hand of the Lord in guiding all of that.

    And then I got an internship working for Ford. My husband sweetly followed me out there with no internship lined up. He said he would work at a gas station if he had to (sweet, sweet man). He ended up getting an internship with a start-up pharma company that gave him great experience to put on his resume that I am pretty sure helped him get into graduate school.

    Looking back over my life, it is easy to see the Lord’s guiding hand in so many things, and it is good to remember and reflect upon that right now while I kind of feel like I am drowning. The Lord wouldn’t go to all those great lengths to prepare me to just fail at this point in my life.

  • agardner June 22, 2009, 3:25 pm

    The Lord wouldn’t go to all those great lengths to prepare me to just fail at this point in my life.

    I love that. Thanks.

    I was going to try to flesh out the other side of this a little more, but then I thought the article would be too long if I did so. But sometimes in life, I have felt the complete opposite as what I feel now. I guess I’ve felt directionless, or that I wasn’t getting clear answers about what path I should take. I’ve wondered – was it a worthiness issue with me, are some things just so pertinent (being in a certain place at a certain time, for example) that God will make it crystal clear and move mountains to make it happen, are some things just really not that important to God (i.e. living in one place or living in another would both be fine…go with whatever you feel best about), etc.?

    I think it can be any of those things, really. Sometimes when I’ve felt like I haven’t had the direction, I think it was just because any choice I made would be okay so God just “stayed out of it” so to speak and let me do what I would. Other times, maybe I was gearing so much for one answer that I couldn’t feel the promptings of what God was doing because my brain was screaming too loudly, “I’m going to do what I want!”. Maybe sometimes we are just supposed to learn a lesson by going through a process where we feel directionless and have to figure our way out of it.

    Anyway, interesting thoughts everyone. Keep em coming.

  • Michelle D June 22, 2009, 6:31 pm

    Great post, Angie. It is very timely for me, as well. I really like your analogy of the symphony. I’m grateful that the Conductor knows what we each need to play!

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Ray and I can look back and realize that each move and situation we have encountered has specifically benefited a particular family member or members. It isn’t always easy to see those benefits while one is “in the moment.”

    … It seems I should have something more profound to add, but it just isn’t coming right now. I’m exhausted tonight. It’s been a long, busy, good week. But three more weeks and then we will also be in our new location playing our new symphony!

  • facethemusic June 22, 2009, 8:55 pm

    Wow Angie— first, incredibly expressed. Just loved it. The fact that you used music as your metaphor made it all the better! 🙂
    Second, I really am very happy for you. It really is a wonderful thing how miraculously everything worked out.
    There truly is REAL peace when you KNOW something is right and working for your good. When you just KNOW that Heavenly Father is working in your life. It’s surely something to be immeasurably grateful for.

  • zooplace June 22, 2009, 9:28 pm

    i loved it too. Thanks for sharing this.

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