Wednesday, April 30, 2014

And it's time.

What an adventure this has all been. I am so grateful to God for giving me the time I had on my mission. Those 10+ months I had, are and always will be some of the most influential of my life. I came home a different person with more eternal friends, a bigger heart and my faith has grown substantially. It has continued to grow from this experience of coming home. The past 4 months have been some of the hardest I have endured in my life but every step of the way I have had incredible support from both seen and unseen angels. The people I am surrounded with and the love that has been shown was more than I could ever have hoped for. I received the news yesterday from the missionary department that I have officially been released. I put my papers in again wanting to give it my all, and I have. My Heavenly Father let me know a long time ago I think that it was over as a full-time missionary but that there was still much missionary work ahead of me. I have seen on so many occasions how the Lord has used me here in the Burley, Idaho mission as a member missionary. My testimony has only grown stronger. I also recognize the many tender mercies that have come from being released. I would have missed seeing my little brother by only a few days if I had never come home, as he is leaving to the Kumasi, Ghana mission on July 24th. I have been able to grow closer to him and help him get ready for his own missionary service. Since coming home I have had the revelation that it was for the best in coming home. Since stepping off the plane that terrible, not so happy day I have learned to understand my body on a greater scale. It has been a long and difficult journey. I have been sick almost every day for the last four months. I have learned patience, more about the precious gift of grace and the great power in priesthood blessings from the bulging disc in my L5 to going gluten and lactose free to steroid shots in my SI joints and to the knee surgery I now face. It has been one thing after another..quite literally. I have done my best to remain positive and happy but I truly have struggled from all this chronic pain that continues to plague my once-healthy body and many nights I have layed awake asking my Heavenly Father...why? 
He answered every time..."wait." 

by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait." 

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign. 

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply." 

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?" 

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

I love this poem. I am always convinced by it. I am such an impatient person. What a downfall! What an area of my life in which I must grow! I want answers from God, and I want them on my terms and my time. I have found that I often learn more from the journey of waiting for the answer than I do from the answer itself. God is speaking to me. If I received the answers that I demand right now, I would never learn from the journey. One of my favorites lines in the poem is this: "But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart." I want to know the depth of the beat of His heart. That desire alone stirs something in me that says, "Emily, the wait will be worth it." I trust that God will carry me though the journey, while I wait ever longingly for His answers.

AND to top it all off...I got some awesome pictures from the mission this week. Two of my favorite missionaries, Elder Godinez and Hermana Adams doing the famous "Hermana Silva peace sign"...sigh, how I miss them...and doing my peace sign all the time.
*tender mercies in pictures


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