A number of scriptures talk about the faith to move mountains (Ether 12:30, Mormon 8:24, 1 Corinthians 13:2, Matthew 17:20, etc. The first two are found in the Book of Mormon, the others in the New Testament) I have always taken these literally since they use language like "He said unto the mountain, remove! And it was removed," or "They could move mountains and cause the earth to shake." Those seem pretty literal, right? And I always thought, "man, that would take a lot of faith. I probably will never have that sort of faith." But like all things scriptural, there are literal meanings and there are figurative meanings. So, I started thinking, "Have any figurative mountains been moved in my life?" And the answer to that was yes!
After I came home from my mission, I had plans. My plans were to attend graduate school studying fish ecology, and then perhaps find some guy (any random one would do!) and marry him. And for those who have been long-time readers, you know that I did that. Go me! However, that was not right after my mission. It took three years, three separate application processes, and a cross-country move to achieve that goal. Now, in retrospect, three years doesn't seem too long.......except when you really want something to happen. Then, three years seems like an eternity. I was working a bunch of random jobs (environmental activist, medical biller, administrative assistant, field technician, environmental consultant) and felt like my life was in a holding pattern. After my mission, I moved down to California to live with my sister while she finished a post-doctorate, and then when she got a faculty position in New Jersey, I followed her there. I had repeated, heated arguments with God about the inefficiency of the whole process.
Three years later, I was finally accepted into a graduate program. And do you know what? It was perfect. The project was a perfect fit for my interests. My lab mates were the very best and so supportive. My advisor was awesome, approachable, and not at all scary. Both of my sisters were within a days drive from me, and we were able to be there for each other when we were all starting New Phases in our lives. And if that weren't enough, I was able to meet Mr. F. despite being in a really remote location with No Prospects. At that time, I was looking for a small rock to move: graduate school. However, Heavenly Father was moving a mountain: graduate school, new friendships, perfect master's project, family support, and a husband to top it all off.
My sister is a geology professor who studies, as it happens, mountain formations among other things. She would be the first one to tell you that mountains take time to move and form. Her units of measurements are kilometers and thousands of years. So, while Heavenly Father can do things a lot quicker when he needs to, it still takes time. Three years now doesn't seem a long time when you are talking about moving a mountain.
For at least two years (if not more), I have felt a strong need to move from our current location. When I thought of my children growing up here......I felt ill. So, so ill. Also, I have not been happy here. Mr. F. has a great job that he loves, but that is the only benefit. The area is really transient; people stay for only a few years before moving again. Because of that, there is minimal infrastructure to support raising a family. The medical professionals are incompetent. And to top it off, I can't stand the summers with the heat and humidity. Despite all that, I would have stayed here forever, because I dislike change more than I dislike anything else, it seems. But when you hear the call to move, you just need to move.
So, Mr. F and I talked about moving. We discussed about where we wanted to live (not farther South, not California, no dessert, Northwest would be ideal, Northeast would be o.k.) I hounded Mr. F. to put his application on the search engine. I nagged him about applying for jobs. (It is very difficult to know that you are supposed to move but then have no control over the actual process.) And the frustration! Because despite all of our efforts, nothing seemed to change. But then.......after two years, it appears as though the mountain is moving.
To be continued.......