Fractal Relationships

The other night I was wrestling with what I thought was a difficult question and asking the Lord, “Why? Why is it this way?”

Instead of a direct answer, I saw a picture in my mind of my baby son crying. And I understood: my son’s relationship to me is like my relationship to my Heavenly Father.  The father in each case understands things the son does not, cannot understand yet.  I could try to explain to Baby why he has to go to bed, but it wouldn’t help much.  Sometimes all my Heavenly Father can tell me is “It’ll be okay, son.”

Baby’s only three months old, and I’m already learning so much from him.


Awaking from a Nightmare

A few days ago, I was sitting on my couch, pondering the deep things of life, and my thoughts turned to the past few years and all the changes that have happened to me.  I looked around the living room, my eyes rested on a picture of my wife and me standing in front of the temple on our wedding day, and above it a framed certificate that says “Marriage for Time and All Eternity,” and I couldn’t help feeling like I had awoken from a nightmare.

The most immediate part of the nightmare was school–no offense, professors–but school combined with a two-hours-one-way commute and a job in another county eventually broke me.  I spent the last days of my master’s degree in such a mad rush for the finish that I abandoned almost everything else (including scripture study, exercise, and date night), but I can’t take credit for finishing, since my professor ended up having to turn in my project for me.  As I sat on the plane to my wife’s parents’ house the next morning, I wept for joy at the thought that my master’s degree might be finished; I hadn’t yet opened myself to the possibility that everything might actually be done, for fear that it wasn’t and I’d have to sign up for two credits the following semester and finish my degree four months later than planned (while presumably working somewhere full-time, since we were all out of savings by this point).  It wasn’t until late that day, after two flights and a 2.5-hour drive into the soybeanfields that I was able to check my email and find out that, in fact, I was going to get a master’s degree.  I still didn’t quite believe it until the diploma came in the mail last week.  Okay, I still don’t quite believe it.

But going back farther, I thought about the years I spent just after my mission figuring out my sexuality: the sleepless nights, the tears, the prayers, the endless surfing of the internet trying to find someone who said the things I was afraid to say out loud to anyone; the abject fear that someone would find me out, or trying to figure out how gay I could be without anyone finding out; the feeling that no matter which way I went part of me was pulling the other way, until it felt like I would rip apart completely.  I still can’t figure out exactly how my life stopped being this way, except to say that I can’t really say I’m responsible for that part either.  It took years, but things gradually fell into place, and in the end all I can take credit for is letting God drag me into my current, excellent life.  If anyone had told me three years ago (cue Pink song) that I would be graduated, employed, married, expecting a little poo in a few months, and fully active in the Church, I probably would have laughed in their face (I probably wouldn’t “stand up and punch them out,” for the record).

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got the grumblies.  I’m hardly perfect–I’m daily humbled by the good things that happen to me, knowing that they usually happen in spite of my antisociality and self-centeredness of the day.  I’m sure that plenty of grumbly times are ahead.  But for now, I’m awake, I’m happy, and I can’t believe the bad dream is over.