Over a year ago now [pretty crazy to think of], I was blessed with the trial of leaving Waipahu, my greenie area of the mission. It was a difficult, heart-wrenching change, and in true broken-hearted fashion, I was sure that I would never love so deeply and completely ever again. Waipahu and me will forever be soul mates.
However, thankfully, and much to my disbelief, God blessed me with a few new soul mates. My companion, Sister Macey Lane: I recognized her as kindred spirit within seconds of our uniting. Once, at our favorite acai bowl hub, I honestly considered that I might need to receive a priesthood blessing so that we could begin to control our apparently inexplicable laughter.
Our house, too. That top floor of Aunty Lola’s? If I could go back and live there forever, for real I just might. In fact, was just daydreaming earlier today about climbing out and writing in my journal on that roof. The jalousies, no windows, were all I could ever have asked for. And man, I really miss the uber-giant picture of Jesus that hung by a chain and crashed against the wall above my bed any time a breeze came through. Breezes were always coming through.
Truth-be-told, my heart healed far faster than I ever could have imagined. Though at the time it felt hecka slow, Kaneohe and all the people there very quickly became an inseparable piece of my life. This was a time of immense growth and gaining of wisdom and understanding and faith, but it was not a painless process.
My companion and I so easily and often slipped into soul-searching conversations. I will forever love her for the part of me that she was able to bring to the surface. One of the many things we agreed upon, a topic that resurfaced frequently throughout our ups and downs, is the importance of staying needy.
This phrase was one we used often in different forms. It brought peace to my soul and gave me faith that God had good reasons for making me diligently press onward with a thirsty, dried-up, tired spirit for longer than I knew I could.
Over time I developed a deep appreciation for these bouts of difficulty because the only source from which consolation and encouragement could be drawn was from God and from the Savior. Sometimes these periods of stretching left me feeling pretty tortured, but I knew that they were blessings from a loving Heavenly father reminding me that He, not anyone else, is who I must depend upon.
In 3 Nephi 1, we experience this process with those of the Nephites who risked their own lives as they faithfully awaited the signs of the Savior’s birth and death. They, just as so many of us do today, were obedient and righteous, counting on God to do his part to fulfill his promises and prophecies. However, they couldn’t wait any longer.
11 And it came to pass that [the prophet Nephi] went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.
12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
God knew long before Nephi even began this prayer—years before, millennia before, eternity before—yet he still suffered Nephi to cry mightily all the day long before blessing him, and all others who were indubitably calling upon Him, with the assurance that all was going to be okay.
I know that this stretching out, drying out, wringing out of our souls is for our own good, and if we remain faithful through the end of the process, we will emerge with even greater capacity to believe and trust and create miracles by our faith than we had before the spiritual drought. Truly, God does love us more than to provide us with comfort at every hour of our lives. He has all wisdom and knows that we cannot obtain our own wisdom without experiences such as these that remind us to rely always and only on Him.