Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Trouble With Darkness and the Joy of Light

We are in the middle of one of the greatest trials I think we have ever faced as a married couple. Remember when I said that we felt inspired to be full time writers? Well, here it is, we were inspired.... and it hasn't been working out for us. We have been trying and trying yet nothing seems to be working out. So, two months ago, Sean decided it was time for him to look for a "real" job, and guess what? That's not working out either. Nearly 200 applications later, he still hasn't found a job that will provide for our needs. So, for two months we have lived with no income.

I have to say that at first, I was angry. I was angry at Heavenly Father because we overwhelmingly felt the Spirit when we made the decision to leave Paradigm at the end of his teaching contract. We have faithfully paid our tithing, served in our callings, held family home evening, had family scripture study and family prayer. We have done everything right, yet things have never gone so wrong. I could not understand it, and I began to doubt whether or not it was the Spirit that we felt. I then began to doubt my ability to receive further revelation. I began to question the validity of promises given in the scriptures and then, the validity of God himself. I found myself in a very dark place. I am sure everyone reading this has had some moment in their life when they have experienced similar feelings. We all go through it. It's how we grow our faith, and it's how we are tested. But then I think about everything that happened to the Savior and Joseph Smith and every other prophet who did everything right and they still suffered unspeakable sorrow much greater than my own.  And they rarely complained rarely questioned and continued spreading their light to others. It made me think about our trials and whether we live them in darkness or light. I am ashamed to say, that more often than I would like to admit, I have been choosing to live out this trial in darkness.

The trouble with living out storms in darkness, though, is that when water and darkness get together, the only thing that comes from it is black mold, mildew, decaying and rotting wood, and things that lead to illness and death. Darkness is a very bad place to be in the time of a storm. The only companion you have is despair. Your heart is closed to the light and loneliness becomes very real, and very dangerous. For example, when I reached the very lowest I have ever been, I felt that if there were a train near-by, I would feel better if I just sat on the tracks and waited for a train to come. That is how dangerous living out a storm in darkness can be. I would never do it of course, but I am just describing how I am sure many of us feel when we choose to live our storms in darkness. It will destroy a person's faith which is why Satan would prefer it if this is where we chose to dwell.

Living out a storm in light, however, is a completely different experience. Water and sunshine bring life, not only do they bring life, but they sustain life. They beautify the earth and supply both food and water for man. Sunshine and rain bring rainbows and flowers, allowing us to find joy in our suffering. Living out a storm in the light allows us to feel the sun on our face, giving us the hope of a brighter tomorrow. By living out a storm in the light, we can dance in the rain because we can feel the joy that comes from living in the light. We can gain energy from the life-giving Son and we can find peace because even though we may not be able to see through the storm with our eyes, we are open and can still feel with our heart. Living out a storm in light will grow your faith, just like it grows a seed, until your faith becomes a perfect knowledge. It will be delightful.

So, today, and from now on, I have decided to live out my storms in the light. I feel so full of the light of Christ, that I even wrote a poem about it this morning. And here is what I am asking of you. I am going to share this poem, and if you enjoy it, and want to read more of my poetry, and would be willing to buy an e-book of it, for say, $2.99, let me know in the comments. Covenant has already said they won't publish books of poetry, but that doesn't mean that I can't. Maybe things aren't working out because I haven't been sharing the right thing. :)

Light That We May See

From the beginning both light and dark were important to God’s plan.
For in them God sends lessons to teach the hearts of man.

Darkness exists and it is real. But if we choose to make it our own
The road ahead we cannot see and we fail to make it home.

God saw goodness in the light. God’s light is real and true.
And if we choose it as our guide, we’ll safely make it through.

We cannot dwell in the path of darkness, for our only companion’s despair.
While choosing to walk in the pathway of light: love, peace, hope and our Savior are there.

Though the earth is filled with darkness, God left light for those who seek.
A hidden trail of mercy, for the humble and the meek.

When it rains, He gives us rainbows that we need not fret or mourn.
That we may focus on the blessings that have come due to the storm.

In the darkest night, he shines stars above that we may look up and look to him.
In prayer we’ll find sweet solace when our light begins to dim.

In a darkened room, we light a candle, giving us light that we may see.
Much like the whisperings of God’s Spirit, a light we carry internally.

On a stormy sea, we find a lighthouse, a symbol of strength and safety to all.
Inspiring us to keep pressing onward, when the storm threatens to make us fall.

For storms will come in both darkness and light, but the outcome will not be the same.
Water and darkness bring mold and decay, while each life needs both sunshine and rain.

And every storm that we walk in the sunlight will give us something we needed to know.
For our faith, just like a seed that is planted, must have the storms to grow.

So choose to walk out of the darkness and into God’s glorious light.
That you may shine like a lighthouse for the travelers who are lost in the night.

--Tiffany Fletcher


rebecca Dettinger said...

That was beautiful Tiffany. I would buy an e-book, just let me know when you get one out. Miss you. I wish you guys were in our ward down here. You are so so talented!

Amber Hill said...

I love it Tiff. I was so happy to run into tou and Sean. You were truly in my heart and on my mind. Love you forever. Of course I will buy your poetry!! Xoxo

Amber Gordon said...

I love it an i would so buy your poetry!!! its inspring!

Becky Morris said...

absolutely tiffany!!!u would buy one for me, and a few more for some other people I know could really be comforted in the beautiful way write,I do love you, and think you are amazing

Rob said...

I think I would buy it (I really LOVED your book) but my comment relates more to your and your husband's current situation. Your description of praying and feeling strongly that you should quit your jobs and write -- but then not having things work out the way you had hoped immediately reminded me of a story Elder Holland about coming to a fork in the road while traveling in the countryside with his son. Don't know if it will help but I thought it was an interesting perspective on answers to prayer.
Here it is:

The Right Road

"Elder and Sister Holland have three children. Their son Matt recalls that spiritual training was a part of everyday family life. On an outing when Matt was 12, he had his first experience with personal revelation.

"Returning from an exploring trip on backcountry roads, he and his father came to an unexpected fork and could not remember which road to take. It was late in the day, and darkness would soon be enveloping them. Seizing a teaching moment, Jeffrey Holland asked his son to pray for direction. Afterward, he asked his son what he felt, and Matt replied that he felt strongly they should go left. Replying that he had felt the same way, his father turned the truck to the left. Ten minutes later, they came to a dead end and returned to take the other route.

"Matt thought for a time and then asked his father why they would get that kind of answer to a prayer. His father replied that with the sun going down, that was undoubtedly the quickest way for the Lord to give them information—in this case, which one was the wrong road. Now, though the other road might not be familiar and could be difficult in places, they could proceed confidently, knowing it was the right one."

Kim said...

willing to buy an e-book of it, for say, $2.99, let me know in the comments.

Yes I am interested

Morgan said...

I just read this. It was deeply touching, so beautiflly written.

Danette Soelberg said...

Your poem and stories are so inspirational! I would love to purchase your e-book.

Anonymous said...

Love it!