I am a Sweetheart to One and a Mommy to Four Loveable Babes, one of which is smiling down on us from Heaven. I am learning to dance in the rain. Come with me on my journey as I make the most out of Life's mud puddles.

Put on your rain boots. Great adventure lies ahead.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Wagon Sprint


Today, a story was shared in church that penetrated my heart to the core. I've been thinking about it all day and I want to document it so that - years from now - my children can read it during their "wagon sprinting moments." The story is as follows.

During the Mormon Migration, many companies of Pioneers made the long and arduous trek from the Midwest to Utah. Many of those Saints started the journey after leaving everything they owned in foreign lands and making the long and expensive journey to the United States. The end result? Too many started the journey destitute and had to travel in "less than desirable" conditions. Many of those immigrants came by handcart.

One of the handcart companies was the Willie and Martin Handcart company. Quite recently, their story was beautifully depicted in the movie "17 Miracles." Many stories could be told of their faith, testimony, heartache and sacrifice but - for this post - this one will have to suffice.

After surviving starvation, exhaustion, bone chilling conditions and being overshadowed by the Spirit of Death, a young girl found herself among the survivors when the rescuers came from the Salt Lake Valley. Her hopes, however, were soon squelched when it was announced that the younger folk would still be asked to walk the remainder of the trek to allow for room in the wagons for the older and more feeble Saints. After hearing this, the girl and a friend made the decision to try and keep up with the wagons just in case there became room available onboard. They did so and - sure enough - they were soon asked by a man if they wanted to get on the wagon.

So, at this point, can you imagine what they were feeling? Relief, Gratitude, Hope that this nightmare would all be over. Right? That's what one would rightfully assume. Well . . .

As the Driver reached down for the girls, he asked them to hold on to the wagon. At that same moment, he signaled to his horses to speed up. Soon, the girls found themselves sprinting alongside the wagon, trying to run fast enough to not get trampled. In that instant, the girl thought to herself, "This is CERTAINLY the meanest man in the world! How COULD he do this to us after all we've been through!"

And then the teaching moment.

When she thought she couldn't go a step more, the gentleman stopped the wagon, pulled the girls onboard and continued on to the Salt Lake Valley. The Method to his Madness? The girls were nearly frozen to death and he knew that - in order to survive the voyage onboard - they would need to warm up their bodies through a brisk run. In essence, what appeared to be torture was the very thing that saved their lives.

How many of us have experienced this? We find ourselves in difficult circumstances that demand us to run faster than we have strength. We are exhausted, heartbroken, and wonder if a God in Heaven is even aware of our plight.

And then the wagon speeds up.

We start sprinting and taking deeper strides than we thought we were capable. Our lungs are burning, feeling ready to burst, and hot tears are spilling down our cheeks as we feel our bodies begin to shut down.

And then the wagon slows.

We are hypothetically pulled into the Lord's wagon. Is the voyage over? No. But a Loving Father in Heaven knows we have reached our breaking point. There IS relief. And He is our Driver.

This story sums up the last 9 months of our life. You know of the loss of our Bennett. But what I have not publicly chronicled are all of the peripheral events that have pushed us to the breaking point. At times, we have wondered if we could take any more. We have been, in essence, sprinting along the wagon. But - one by one - miracles have occurred that have testified to us that a Tender and Loving Father in Heaven IS aware. And He loves us more than we can even imagine.

When time, experience and perspective give us the hindsight that only God can give, we believe that it will be moments such as this that WILL in fact save us. For it is IN these moments that we have learned the strength we can have through God. That with Him, nothing IS impossible and that our faith can in fact withstand even the darkest of times.

And that - in the end - we are saved by the Wagon Sprint.

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful story. What a powerful message of strength in the thick of such frustration and exhaustion. I will remember this one. Awesome.

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  2. THANK YOU! I think you could also find some more amazing inspiration from this site by one of the girls I grew up with. Thank you again for sharing this story. http://larryandshanda.blogspot.com/

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  3. Such a lovely post - you have a gift. Thank-you for sharing it and for being your real, raw and beautiful self. Hugs to you and your family.

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  4. Beautiful. Thank you Amanda.

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  5. Perfect for past and current struggles. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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  6. I love you. You inspire and warm my heart - thank you.

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  7. Absolutely loved this. Thank you for sharing the story, your insights, and testimony. I am inspired!

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  8. I love you sweet lady! Thank you...thank you! Thank you for always sharing your light...thank you for sharing your sorrows. Thank you for being the wonderful, real, honest and uplifting person that you are. Thank you so much, I really needed to read this today:)

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  9. What an amazing story! So applicable to us all at difference stages...and maybe a little too applicable to you and your sweet family. Prayers for you guys on your wagon-pull sprint... xoxo

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  10. Thanks for sharing Mandy. What a beautiful description of this mortal experience.

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Thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate your supportive and healing comments. Here's to a Promise of Sunshine!