Sunday, June 22, 2008

Former Friends and Birth

This is an entry I made at a group blog called Life Lessons, where we are striving to use new media to share our testimony. But I thought I'd include it here as well.

I am currently living in New York City. Some people think it's the opportunity of a lifetime, I would trade places with them in an instant. It is a very hard place to live with a little one, and even harder when you are terrified of crowds, small enclosed spaces, and crowded small enclosed spaces. I've had a hard time connecting with people here. We live in 560 square feet and pay over 1300 dollars a month for it (which is a steal). We rely on public transportation, so I have to decide if the outing is worth carrying the stroller up two flights of stairs before I go. I could go on about the down sides.

The upside is, my husband is getting a glorious education, and will be employable when he is done. He is meeting people, and enjoying glimpses into the professional life that he would not be able to get anywhere else. I get to go to art museums, and free concerts in the park, and every once in a while a concert at Carnegie Hall, or a Broadway show.

But, mostly I've been pretty much hating most of my time here. And today I had an epiphany. We were singing O My Father, and my current situation suddenly seemed to be a mirror of a much bigger and scarier move.

We believe that our Heavenly Father called a meeting and told us of his plan to create an earth for us, to send us there so we could be tested and enjoy a mortal life, and return to Him to be like Him. Jesus Christ offered himself up so that we could all return to that heavenly home, and we accepted that plan. We watched as our friends and family left to earth, while waiting for our turn. And, now we are here, enjoying our time on earth, and hopefully striving to return to that heavenly home we left.

My time in New York was presented to me as a plan. My husband was accepted to a great school, and he told me "We'll move to New York, be tested, enjoy our time there, and then we will leave."

So, back to my epiphany. I was singing the second verse, "For a wise and glorious purpose Thou hast placed me here on earth and withheld the recollection of my former friends and birth..." I was swept with gratitude that I could not remember those friends and birth. I knew how I felt about missing my friends and life in the other "normal" places I have lived. I knew that if I remembered my former life in heaven it would be very hard to tolerate this mortality. Sure, it is hard on our faith not to remember those aspects of who and where we came from, but I think it is a blessing that we are allowed to live this life without the memory of how much nicer the other life was.

It has to be that way, because coming to earth is the only way that we can progress. It is the only way that we will be deserving of all the blessings God has in store to give to his children. We have to live like this so we can move on.

I wouldn't want to be stuck working entry level jobs, while trying to balance my family, and dealing with a husband who has to work jobs that don't utilize his talents or interests. I wouldn't want that "comfortable" life that I am so desperately missing for the rest of my life. And that is why we are here.


Tammy Lorna said...

Really lovely insight Brecken. I enjoyed reading it. I especially liked your thoughts about being blessed with forgetfulness. I hadn't thought of it in that light before, but if I was anything there, like what I am here, then I think you've probably stumbled on to something :)

I'd probably have spent half this life complaining that I was here :)

xo Tammy

Kevin said...

Thanks for sharing your epiphany. I've also found that, as we look at things from an eternal perspective, the situations in which we find ourselves are easier to understand. Easier said that done. Enjoy New York while you can! You'll miss it (hopefully) when you move away.

charrette said...

Great epiphany, Brecken! While I love our idyllic acre in north Provo, I find myself wistfully missing my friends and my surrogate family and my Zion ward in Los Angeles a little too often. I had never thought of that veil of forgetfulness as a blessing -- more of a challenge -- but I think you're right. Thanks for sharing that insight.