Monday, August 1, 2011

Deep water.

un.cer.tain.ty [un surt'ntee]

1. fact of being uncertain: the quality or state of being uncertain

2. unpredictable thing: something that nobody can predict or guarantee

synonyms: doubt, indecision, hesitation, vagueness, ambiguity, insecurity

There's something about it that captures me, excites me even. A year ago, I grasped the idea of faith being akin to walking in the dark. I'm scared of the dark, truly. Sometimes I feel like I'm still a 5-year-old child in a red brick house in Sugar House that clings tightly to my stuffed bear, Stanley, for the few seconds it takes for daddy to walk from my bed covers, that he just tucked in, all the way to the electrical outlet in the wall, where he picks up the night light we bought from the dollar store and firmly plugs it into the wall. Those seconds used to feel like hours. And sometimes as I'm taking hesitant steps forward, feeling my way through the darkness of mortality, the days of darkness feel like months and years. Sometimes they are months and years, but in the vast concept of eternity they are comparable to just a few seconds of holding tight to dear Stanley.

But.. Something has changed about my perspective in the last year. I have been climbing mountain after mountain, and the higher I climb, the better the view and the more I can see. Fear of the dark becomes nothing more than a silly temptation the more I realize that faith dispels it entirely each time I choose to rely on my perfect Savior in lieu of my flawed and prideful self.

I have been saying that I feel as though I have been tossed back into the middle of the ocean. I'm just treading water and drifting slowly until I can see the shore again. I feel like I'm back in deep water with only a spiritual Liahona to tell me which direction to swim in. It takes tremendous faith to stay afloat and paddle diligently onward with no immediate or tangible results.

But! As Joseph Smith said "Deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me." More than just second nature though, I have come to discover joy in uncertainty.

Some sliver of a waver (or wave!) excites me. Something about the unknown is terribly beckoning. Some mystery of a story's ending arouses a twisted kind of confidence in me. A confidence in a Creator who creates exhilarating waves and sends them crashing in my direction, an omnipotent Author who ultimately generates a more edifying plot than I could ever imagine with the powers of my own limited being.

More than that, He gives me the power to create my own destiny. Much like a thrilling roller coaster with dives and loops designed to enlighten, His path stretches ahead of me, should I choose to trust in His intimidating construction.

So what am I saying here with all of this over-the-top imagery? Well, I once told my dad (in reference to my mother and me): "Women like us aren't comfortable unless we're uncomfortable." Somehow, through a series of trials designed to test my patience and faith, I have gained an appreciation for the deep water I get thrown into every now and then. Sometimes it smells so strongly of salt that I forget how savory the moments are when I must rely solely on my spiritual senses to direct me. But without the consistent use of my swimming muscles, I'd never get anywhere anyway. So the real idea here is as simple as an oft-quoted memory-deprived fish named Dory from a children's movie:

Just keep swimming.