It was 6 A.M. and black outside. Winter was taking her toll as freezing rain fell on the unfamiliar parking lot. As I left the store I wondered how to head home. I had gone farther away from home because my Wal-mart didn’t have what I needed and I had to leave for a workshop by 7A.M.
Because of the rain I didn’t want to risk traveling the freeways so I decided to turn left onto a smaller local road. I watched the lights turn red, yellow and green as I waited for the green arrow turning lane. That time of the morning there was no one behind me but plenty of cars were whizzing past me to head to the freeway. I wondered when I would see my green arrow turn green. It seemed as if everyone else’s lights turned green three times while I waited for one! Finally I realized that I wasn’t in the Since no one was in the left turning lane the light wasn’t changing! I had mistakenly aligned myself in the freeway access land. There, of course I would never encounter the left turn arrow and forever remain in limbo.
After I changed lanes I continued on my way home, I thought of the many times my life had similarly been in limbo. Times when it seemed that hope as I might, I got everything but my green arrow.
Years ago when I was recovering from brain tumor surgery. I often experienced debilitating headaches that left me in limbo, stopping me from moving forward in my recovery. This ordeal lasted for months on end.
I remember one spring day in West Jordan sitting at the kitchen table and looking out at the patches of weeds in back yard that was meant to be a garden. “One more thing I’m not doing,” I sighed, wondering what the rest of the day would be like.
At that moment an idea popped into my head, “If you spend 10 minutes a day you can recapture part of that area and make it beautiful. That is something you CAN control.” A few days later I went to the library and learned about circle gardens. There I learned that I could dig out shallow garbage can lid sized mini garden plots and plant tomatoes and peas at the edges. By the end of the summer there were many things I still could not control because of my health issues, but I remember feeling blessed that such a simple idea could help in such a profound way. A little it at a time I was burrowing out of limbo.
I also found application with my headache. This is shown in the following excerpt:
Acceptance Led to Rebuilding
My feelings of futile powerlessness began to be replaced with a kind of spunky protectiveness as I learned preventative measures such as nutrition, chiropractic care and some alternative medicine. I typed up a paper that included names and phone numbers of people who were willing to take over for me if I needed it. The paper also listed ideas for medications and what I could do to ease my head pain such as a chiropractor, cold packs, etc.
When the inevitable pain arrived, I pulled out my large print paper and followed the course of action I had previously outlined. (When I was in pain, it was hard to open my eyes, let alone think very well.) The paper took over the thinking process, allowing me to focus on moving through the list. .- My Journey from Darkness to Light pg. 72 (LDS version)
So, the next time we find ourselves caught up in the limbo lane (whether it is waiting for that new baby to be born, building a new home, struggling with health issues, wondering if “he” will ever pop the question or simply waiting in line at the store) we can prayerfully examine our situation, switch lanes and find something, however small, that we can control and do it!
“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).