• Anna Brooksby

BLOG: (February 21-27) Genesis 24-27, "I Will Go" and Trusting in the Lord's Timing

I love the story of Isaac and Rebekah. I marvel at Rebekah’s courage. It must have taken a great deal of faith to set out for an unknown future in the company of someone she had barely met, and yet, when she was asked to go, she was ready. “And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.” And she was eternally blessed for that courage: “and Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” I have come to believe that anything worth having requires courage to obtain. We must be willing to take a step into the darkness before the Lord will shine His light on our path.

I had an experience recently that taught me this lesson. I had been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years when I was prompted to seek employment with an education company. I worked for them part-time from home for a year, and then had the opportunity to switch to a full-time position immediately after giving birth to my seventh baby. I was totally overwhelmed. I knew it was right, I knew it was what the Lord wanted me to do, but oh, the timing was difficult! On Christmas Eve in 2020, as I drove to town to do some last-minute shopping that I simply had not had time for earlier, so bone-weary that all I wanted was to park by the side of the road and sleep, I prayed in desperation,Why NOW??? If I could have waited until my children were older, or if they had been in school [I was homeschooling most of them at the time too], or if my mom wasn’t on a mission and could have helped me, it would have been so much easier…but this timing is really hard!” The answer I received was, “‘Now’ is when I needed you.” That answer changed my perspective. I realized what a gift it was to be entrusted with the Lord’s work of helping His children, whether I thought I was ready or not. I was supporting God’s children in their roles as parents and homeschoolers and He needed ME, right then. This was during the 2020-2021 school year, when Covid had driven so many families to homeschool for the first time ever. My team was responsible for supporting these wonderful parents as they learned to guide their children’s education in a very stressful time. I have no doubt that our support in that time of need made a difference to many, many families. It was not convenient, but I am so glad that when I was called I was willing and able to say “I will go.” As hard as it was - and there were days/weeks/months when I was stretched so tight I felt like I would break - I am so grateful for this experience. It was a refiner’s fire for me, and it blessed and changed me, for good.

In her book, The Heavens are Open, Wendy Watson Nelson tells the story of how she came to meet Elder Russell M. Nelson, who later became her husband. She was living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada when she received a prompting to apply for a position at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She was startled, but thought to herself: “Wendy, you can’t pray “lead me, guide me” and then say “just kidding” when a thought you never expected, and never wanted, comes to your mind.” So she applied, and was surprised when a call came two weeks later to present at BYU that weekend, when she would be in Utah for her sister’s graduation. She prayed for help, accepted the invitation to present, and after a whirlwind weekend, was ultimately selected for the job. Her road to BYU was not easy. It took several months to work out all the details. She had to leave a well-established role as a university professor in Calgary to move to another country and essentially start over, but she moved forward with faith, and the Lord “open[ed] an effectual door” for her. Eventually she understood why it was so important for her to move forward according to the Lord’s timing. “Fourteen years later, I would finally participate in the reason the Lord brought me to BYU. Indeed, it was not about the job. It was about marrying Elder Russell M. Nelson and being sealed as husband and wife in the Salt Lake Temple on April 6, 2006, by President Gordon B. Hinckley.” Her “I will go,” like Rebekah’s, changed her course for eternity.

As J. Richard Clarke put it, “If we are to walk in the steps of the Savior, we cannot do it without personal sacrifice and sincere involvement. It is rarely convenient; but love extends beyond convenience for those who have conditioned themselves to look for opportunities to serve.” (Source) When opportunity knocks, we need to be ready to open the door and let it in! Think of all the blessings Rebekah would have missed if she hadn’t been willing to say “I will go.” Think about the eternal opportunities that have come for Sister Nelson because she followed the prompting to apply to teach at BYU. The Lord’s timing is rarely convenient, but when we are willing to say “I will go,” He blesses us abundantly. We will never regret trusting in the Lord and in His timing.

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