Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Solemn stillness

Tonight I was driving to an appointment to get my Temple recommend renewed, and I spent a great deal of the drive pondering in deep thought.

The sky was lovely today. It was filled with quiet, dark blue clouds. The day was warm but not terribly humid at the time. As I drove, I just felt something I can only describe as solemn stillness. Not a heavy or frightening feeling, but a solemn feeling of anticipation, a feeling of quiet while knowing that something is coming, that something will change. My thoughts were on our lives right now. We have been trying to make so many decisions, and have had so many "where do we go from here?" thoughts, and some "I feel that something is coming but I can't tell what" thoughts. The whole world seemed to reflect that feeling tonight.

After our interviews, an immense storm broke out. It was raining and storming so hard that I was concerned about driving the 35 minutes home with the girls. I decided to wait until it let up. The girls were starving and tired, and so at the first sign of it getting lighter, we left.

But no sooner had we left than it came down tremendously hard again. I have never driven in weather so bad at night before. The wipers, which were brand new, thank goodness, couldn't come close to keeping up. The girls were terrified. Lightning struck all around us, and thunder shook the van. The roads were rushing with water, and it felt as though someone were literally throwing barrels of water at the windshield. I couldn't see. I had to pull over and wait a few times because it got so bad. But every time there was a lull enough to get back out there, it just came thundering back down once we were on the road. I was so worried that thoughts and second-guesses came pouring through my head every time I'd start to make a move in any direction.

I just couldn't see...I prayed fervently for help. My mind was going so crazy I felt like I wasn't hearing the still small voice I needed. My planned route home was flooded out and I had to take a way unfamiliar to me. I was scared, the babies were crying, it was very dark, the roads were swimming, and I was lost. I had a distinct impression come to my mind: "Trust the GPS." Matt had given me the GPS before he left. I turned it on and told it to take me home. It took me forever to get home. It was so dark and rainy that I couldn't see the road, let alone signs. The GPS took me all over the place...0.2 miles here, 0.4 miles there, it was insane. But the girls and I shouted for joy when we saw the lights of our little home glittering through the rain. The half-hour trip took us an hour and a half, but we were home!

As I thought about it later tonight, I realized that our journey tonight paralleled so much what our actual life journey is right now. Right now, at this very moment, I do feel that solemn stillness in my heart...the feeling that I know something is coming and change will happen, but I cannot imagine how. I do fear that storms lay ahead, as they must, in order for us to grow. But if we will just TRUST the guidance that we are given, through scripture and revelation through prayer, we will be guided safely home to where we are supposed to be. It may not be the route that we envision, but it will be the right one!


kannie said...

Oh wow. Thank you so, so much for sharing that tonight... so glad you made it home safely, and thank you for sharing your journey in such a faith-building way. It's definitely appreciated tonight :-).

Nicole said...

ann, that was awesome... i love the still moments that teach us.

chantilita said...

I had that same feeling yesterday. We had this brooding storm coming that passed with a few sprinkles and a gust of wind, but I could feel the change coming. In my case, it was exciting--something is coming, something good, and storms are always God's way of telling me He's there.

Your story brings to mind 2 favorite quotes of mine [although truthfully, which quotes are not favorites of mine? :0)]

"The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm." Willa Cather

I love and appreciate how you always find something from every situation, something to lift you up and bring you closer. You've always been such a good example to me that way.

Tara and Dan Stewart said...

Those midwestern storms can be nasty!! I remember pulling over several times during storms- scary! I'm so glad you made it home safely. Sometimes pulling over and "resting" can be the best thing for us when we are in life's storms, eh? It helps us get our bearings straight and our feet on the ground.

You should submit stories like this to the Ensign or the Friend. My grandmother has stories printed like this all the time. She just sends them in and they eventually get printed, whether it's a few months down the road or a few years. Anyway, this would be a perfect story and would touch a lot of peopl! Something to think about...