Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Child-Bride and Lot's Wife (Marnie)

At church I heard a talk given by a child-bride with her husband, who wasn't much older. Ok, they may have been more like 21 years old, but their "youngness" just oozed out of their mouths. After hearing about how they met and married - he pretended to be Canadian to "connect" with her - she got to the point of her talk. After hearing their love story, I had just about shut down to my "happy place" when she talked about something that was relevant.

I know! I was completely shocked!! Who knew a child-bride could come up with some wisdom??? I repented immediately for the sarcastic comments going off in my head and listened to what she had to say...because I needed it! Badly...and it really was an answer to a prayer. It was really very humbling. (And I'm being completely serious.)

This child-bride took her talk from Elder Jeffery Holland's address given at a BYU devotional last year, called "Remember Lot's Wife" - referring to the Old Testament story about Lot and his family.

The story goes that Lot, his wife, his daughters and sons-in-laws lived in Sodom. It was a really really REALLY wicked place. When he had some "angel" visitors come over to his house, Lot's neighbors basically threatened to break into his house and take them and his daughters and do to them what they wanted - and it wasn't to play Parcheesi! They wanted to do the most vile things to them and actually admitted it up front. These were NASTY people.

Well, the Almighty didn't take too kindly to that and felt it the last straw for Sodom and Gommorah (which was equally evil). Those angel visitors warned Lot to take his family and flee from the city because God was going to destroy it. Lot was only able to convince his wife and daughters to go with him. Before they took off, they were warned by the Lord to NOT look back at the city: "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee...escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." (Genesis 19:17).

Lot's wife apparently kinda liked life in Sodom and because she turned around, she instantly turned into a pillar of salt. I'm sure it had to have been a shock to Lot and his daughters. The threat of being "consumed" (i.e., turned to salt) couldn't have happened very often - even back then in Old Testament times. But the temptation to look back to Sodom was just too much for Lot's wife. And POOF! She was salt...

Elder Holland sums up Lot's wife's predicament too well for me to attempt to summarize:

"It is possible that Lot's wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind....it isn't just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future."

Elder Holland continues:
"So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterday however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future -- faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot's wife is to say she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord's ability to give her something better than she had. Apparently she thought, fatally as it turned out, that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."

And that, in a nut shell, is me!! I keep looking back right now. For some reason, I keep wishing for the past: wishing that my past relationship will somehow suddenly, magically change and be made perfect and I will get what my heart desires.

But it's not meant to be! I know deep down inside, it's time to move on. It's time to ditch this wonderful impossibility I keep thinking up in my head. I think it's hard because I haven't figured out why this particular guy was bad for me...why it was best for it to NOT work out? I often can tell after a few months after a break-up why I am so grateful a relationship ends. A sigh of relief often goes through my body when I think about who I might have married if I had had my way! God was wise and saved me from making some BIG mistakes by not giving me what I wanted!

But it's been months and I still can't figure out what was so wrong with this one? It seemed (and still seems) SO right!

And that's where I'm just not getting it. I say that I trust God - that I'm trying to accept God's plan. If I do, does it matter why it was such a bad situation? Does the Almighty REALLY have to explain to me the reason why? Shouldn't I just trust him? I mean, if I really did believe in God's Will for me - which is something I've been praying to do for 6 months now - does it really matter why it wasn't right? I should just know that God has a better plan for me. That the RIGHT guy - who isn't the last guy I've dated - is up ahead and I just need to keep trying, be prepared and have faith that God will send him in God's timing.

OH, but the temptation to look back is sometimes just too great and I forget all the logical reasons I've already processed (see above) and just wish that a Hollywood movie ending I've been dreaming up in my head will happen for me!

Silly girl. You'd think after all these years of being single I wouldn't be that bad of "hopeless romantic."

So now my new mantra is "Remember Lot's wife"(Luke 17: 32) I've complained before that I'm running out of precious time and by looking back these last few months I've been sabotaging myself!! I have GOT to look forward! I've got to stop wishing for the past because I know darn well that God will provide a better opportunity in the future, contingent on my faith in him. I can't give up now! I've come so far and changed so much these last 5 years! I'm so CLOSE I can feel it! I just need to endure and trust the only truly trustworthy person in my life: my Heavenly Father.


Duncan said...

Thank you for this post!

Leah said...

This reminds me of a certain doctor I once dated. I loved him. He ended things - "no more magic" - we stayed good friends. I couldn't understand what happened - I kept hoping magic would return. He married someone else. I still don't know why we weren't perfect for each other, but I can say I am happily married myself. I really really really appreciated the reminder, though, to look forward with faith. A good bishop once told me "get back on that horse, stop rehearsing the past" and it helped me move forward in the relationship that I'm still in. I need to stay on that horse and stay looking forward without fear or question or nostalgia for the past - only faith and hope in the future! And with much charity (after all, those three go together you know).

Chas Hathaway said...

I love the line, "Apparently she thought, fatally as it turned out, that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."

Isn't it bizarre how we all leave high school with that same feeling? Oh, the end of the good life!


It's more like the good life started once High-school finally circulated out of our system. So what on earth makes us think the same thing about later stages? It's so easy to think we've blown it, or that we are beyond the best opportunities.

The Lord knows what he's doing with is, and the best is always yet to come!