It has been over a month since our mission at the LDS Employment Resource Center was completed. We have learned a lot of new things. As we served we found there were skills needed that we hadn't anticipated but were made equal to. Sometimes the most important thing we could do was listen, offer encouragement and suggest new ideas.
One of the practices we have continued at home is the morning devotional. We would arrive at the office early so we could read a scripture, have a spiritual thought and prayer for the day. We often prayed specifically for those we were working with. We would pray for inspiration and guidance and that those who entered the office, whether member or nonmember, would feel the spirit of the Lord there.
We have recognized special blessings that have come to us as we served this mission. We were blessed to work with some wonderful brothers and sisters in the gospel. We formed special bonds with them. We love our former mission companion couple, Jeff and Jackie Behling. We felt love and compassion for all those who came to the office seeking our services.
As we were issued the call, I had a fleeting concern about affording the gas to travel to Moses Lake three times a week and sometimes four times if there were special meetings, or the need to visit individual wards for training specialists. It has been interesting to note how the Lord provided. Not only was our monthly gasoline bill SMALLER during our mission, but Phil was given MORE opportunities to work during our days off than he had in any of the previous years since retirement. Our cup literally "runneth over".
Learning to be confined in an office and using the computer was challenging and new to Phil while going back into an office again was challenging for me. Even though it was an unexpected calling that blindsided us a bit, it turned out to be the right timing for us, because it was the period prior to the introduction of the new website and the changing roles of the Resource Center. Phil learned enough about the computer to do his job during our mission and I survived the stress of coordinating the office, but the new changes require a lot more skills than previously. Again, saying "yes" to this call to serve was the right thing for us and the right timing.
Most important, perhaps, is we were able for the first time in over 50 years to spend time together. Phil has always had two jobs and was gone most of the time. The daily confinement took some adapting for both of us and we made each other crazy for awhile. Now I enjoy the opportunities we have to work on projects together...opportunities we never really had in the past.
It's been my experience over the years that the Lord tests us to see if we will "do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them". (Abraham 3:25) How often He calls us to serve Him just as we have made plans for, and are looking forward to, accomplishing something entirely different, something we have longed to do for a long time, and something our heart is set on. Therein lies the test. So often what He asks is NOT what I want to do and is always hard work, requiring me to grow in some new area I least desire to change. Submitting my will to His is not easy for me...leaving skid marks is the norm, but when I choose to follow His plan for me the resulting blessings have always been greater than they would have been if I had followed my own preferred path, and always not what I would have supposed. When I look back and acknowledge that truth, the pain, disappointment, feelings of loss, impatience, frustration and foot-stamping tantrums experienced prior to yielding my will become a source of private embarrassment. So, obedience is greater than sacrifice. The green path doesn't climb, neither does it strengthen us. It's that darn rocky, steep, uninviting one that He keeps pointing to! But He has always walked with me on that one...with me whining all the way!