Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Window Wondering

One of my favorite quotes from The Sound of Music is when Maria says to Liesl, "When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." Every time I watched The Sound of Music, that line stayed in my head and I pondered it for days.

When I became older, and had several of my little family's moves under my belt, I continually noticed windows in paintings. Anytime I saw a window, I wondered, "Where does the window lead?", and pondered that idea for a while. Most often, I envisioned beautiful scenery that couldn't be seen from the perspective of the painting's current view.

One particular Sunday in Texas, while sitting in a quiet moment of Ward Council, I became slightly fixated on a painting in our bishop's office. It was a painting I had seen at least a hundred times during my life. I found out later that the title of the painting is, Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda, by the artist, Carl Heinrich Bloch. (I would include a copy of it here, but I don't have the copyright to do so, and I'd rather avoid legal trouble! Please click on the artist's link above to see the painting.) To clarify, I'm guessing the "windows" in Mr. Bloch's painting are most likely open pillar doorways, but to me and the situation I found myself in, I absolutely considered them windows. :)

During subsequent Ward Council meetings, my mind would at times drift again (only during quiet times, or when my opinion wasn't needed), thinking about all that was going on outside the pool of Bethesda during Jesus' time. I wondered what people you could see coming to find Jesus, to be healed by Him. I thought about the dirt, dust, smells of the time, and was immediately grateful for our modern conveniences! I also wondered where those blessed souls went after they were healed...

The other reason I wondered about the Bethesda painting at that time in my life, had everything to do with my family's then-current situation of uncertainty (we were still renting out our house in Utah, and had no current option of settling down permanently in Texas), and Maria's quote from The Sound of Music. I endlessly wondered what would happen to our family.

I knew our "door" had definitely and purposely been closed by the Lord at that time...we weren't going anywhere! For two years and nearly three months, I felt completely stuck with zero clue as to where we were going to end up. Thus began my fascination with windows. I wondered where on earth my family's window was. Seriously! Yet even if/when we found it, where would our window lead? At times, that unknown path scared me more than anything. For me, our uncertainty was probably the hardest part of our ordeal. Yes, uncertainty can be a beast of a trial.

Thankfully, my window wondering eventually came to an end. One day, literally out of the bright blue sky, the Lord showed Greg our family's window. The Lord beautifully threw it open with such magnificent, caring, loving and omnipotent strength! The most glorious, refreshing, and sweet-smelling wind came rushing through our tiny, cramped room of life. The fresh air we were given cleared away all the dusty cobwebs of doubt and frustration. There are still no adequate words to describe the joy we felt the day of our window discovery. :)

As time went on, our window grew in size. It became the door to my little family's new life. I was able to walk through our window-door with peace, security and happiness. That doesn't mean that our new window-path was (or is) easy, but we had the knowledge we needed—and the determination and love—to get us to where we were going.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I never imagined we'd be blessed enough to end up back in our cute little Utah house, surrounded by our family and friends. (Even though I wish our family members were a little closer in proximity to us, I'm not complaining!) During all of my window wondering, I never imagined a path leading back to our long-lost 70s home! Never! :)

Thus, I feel the need to tell anyone reading this post:
Don't give up on finding your open window. Even though the door may have been slammed shut in your face, there is a window just waiting to be opened for you. You might not know where your window is right now, and you might not see it for a long time, but rest assured, your window is there—it is being crafted just for you and your situation. Don't be stressed about how you're going to open it, for your window will be opened in exactly the right manner and time. It's impossible to know when, where, or how the Lord will introduce your window, but you can be certain that it will eventually open. I promise you'll be stunned and amazed to see where your window will lead! (Well, maybe some of you won't be stunned. Maybe some of you will say, "Oh, that was so predictable." That's okay too!)
Alas, my time is up for today. I just want to say, one more time, that I'm a firm believer that our Heavenly Father is in charge. He is truly in the details, of the details, of the details, of our lives. (I got that nifty quote {not verbatim} from the Salt Lake City Mission President, Stephen W. Hansen, during our Stake Conference this past Sunday!) Even though things might not turn out exactly the way we want, we need to have faith that when we are doing everything within our power to do what is right, things always work out. That said, I believe that even when we're not doing every single thing we can, things still work out because we're trying our best! Through the Lord, all things are possible!

Yes, this scripture describes my feelings perfectly, "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." – Mark 9:23.

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