Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Impossible Is Possible

Due to my mother’s condition and their relative poverty, my parents always assumed they would be unable to serve as a senior missionary couple. After talking for a long time about how they might be able to do so, my parents turned in papers to serve a mission at Cove Fort - something that my mother “could do” without much stress and that was possible with their limited budget. They had discussed it with their bishop, who explained my mother’s special circumstances and their financial situation in his endorsement. In everyone’s mind, it was a done deal.

They were called to South Carolina, to be active proselyting missionaries. They were speechless and very concerned, but they decided to accept the call - knowing they couldn’t afford it and not sure how my mom would handle it.

They left home on a five day drive. Three days later, while they still were two days from the mission, an elderly sister called the Mission President and told him that she had felt an incredibly strong impression to donate her house, free of charge, to the Church for use by the Mission for any senior couple who might need it. She would move in with her daughter and son-in-law for however long the house was needed. My parents lived in that house for 10 months, which allowed them to serve the entire 18 month mission on the money they had available.

My mother’s health issues subsided while they served and only surfaced again after they returned home. They made deep and lasting friendships, and they wouldn’t change it for the world.

God's hand operates all around us - not always in such visible and undeniable ways as my parents' mission, but powerfully, nonetheless. The thing that strikes me most deeply about my parents' experience is that they had no idea how they would be able to do what they had been called to do. It literally was impossible without the direct and active participation of the Lord, and it took them stepping out into the darkness and committing to do something they knew they couldn't do for it to happen. They literally had to drive over a thousand miles from home on an impossible mission before the solution to their situation was revealed - before it became possible.

Often, it is important to approach senior missions as my parents did - researching the options and applying for a specific assignment. However, the “factory mill” of mission callings that many members imagine (filling slots with whoever submits papers at the time) isn’t the case. I have no idea who made the decision to ignore my parents’ and their bishop’s carefully considered and articulated plans, but my parents and I will bless them eternally for being prompted to do so.


Rob and Crys said...

That was your folks! When I read it on the other blog I wondered who Bro. R was and if we knew him. This story should help Michelle right now.

Anonymous said...

So good to be reminded of this -- and this week in my life it has suddenly become very urgent to trust the Lord's promises concerning faith. It's always so much easier to rely on faith when we expect not to have to *really* rely on faith, isn't it?

Mama D said...

It's the steps into the darkness before you know the total outcome that is difficult for me. Hindsight offers so much clarity to faith experiences! It makes the direct hand of the Lord more obvious.

I have learned a lot from the faith and obedience of Mom and Dad D. Crystal is right - this reminder comes at an opportune time for me.

Papa D said...

"It's always so much easier to rely on faith when we expect not to have to *really* rely on faith, isn't it?"

Yes, Anonymous, it really is. "Having faith" is one thing; "living by faith" is quite another altogether.

Stephen said...

That was a great post, thank you for sharing that.

Tasha said...

I miss you! I could really use your cool head and endless faith. or maybe even just someone to trust in my "tinyer" than a mustard seed faith right now, so i could keep from losing it all together.
love you and thanks for the great reminders.