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After the children of Israel escaped Egypt, instead of immediately going to the promised land, they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. They were in limbo: an intermediate state or condition. I am in limbo. A little, Provo, studio-apartment limbo. My old house, not quite sold, my hoped-for home, not quite mine, and the state of both in question due to factors outside our control. So I am waiting out these 1%, first-world problems (truly, for there are millions of people displaced and suffering unimaginable pain in this world, and I think to complain?) trying to figure out what lessons I can learn from this period in my life.

Lesson 1: Politics can bring out the worst in people. If they aren’t insulting, they are condescending. If you disagree with them, you must be stupid or naive. Or both. They believe that if you saw just one more poorly-written screed, then surely you would change your mind and vote just like them. So be civil always and respect differences of opinion. That does not mean to always be silent. Sometimes we must speak up, but do so in a way that can never bring reproach. Be a light.

Lesson 2: Some things are worse than a liberal SCOTUS. I am uncertain about many things, but not about who I am voting for. When we first moved to Texas, Ann Richards was running for governor. Her Republican opponent was Clayton Williams. A more obnoxious bubba you never saw. He did not deserve to hold public office. I declined to vote for either because I disagreed with Ann Richards’ stand on most issues. The world didn’t end and Ann Richards lasted just one term. Since her time in office, Texas has been served by three good, (one very colorful) conservative governors. Hillary Clinton will become the president. She is horribly corrupt. Horribly. Her abuse of power and disregard for the lives of those who serve this country is enough to make you cry. It will not be pretty. Her opponent, Donald Trump, is an ignorant, non-conservative, misogynist bigot. His ardent followers are bullies who mistake nationalistic rhetoric for patriotism. He has a toxic effect on people – he reinforces vulgarity and coarseness in public discourse. Many who would not normally support him, do so now and make excuses for his behavior and his words and hold him up as an example of great business acumen. I fear his effect on civil society.

Lesson 3: Living close to a temple is really nice. I can see the Provo City Center temple from my apartment window. I have been to the temple almost every week. I love it. It is a refuge from the ugliness of the election and the uncertainty of my status as a resident of Utah. I ran into Melissa Dalton Bradford there. She is an author that I stumbled upon some time ago. I read her books and blog. She is a talented writer and has lived an interesting life. She lost a son in a tragic accident and her writings have given me a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the grieving process. Losing your parent after a long life is something we expect. But losing a loved one who is still relatively young or a child – that is a whole different kind of sorrow. Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet her. So glad I had lost my earrings and gone back to the temple to find them! Tender mercies.

Lesson 4: When you don’t feel like going to church, go anyway. Just. Go. Holly and Gared are out of town this weekend. Rob is flying. That meant I would be going to church alone. I was tempted to just go to sacrament and skip the rest, but I am glad I stayed. We studied Elder Holland’s talk from April 2016 conference. I needed that. He quotes Hebrews:  “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” Now, I do not have a “great fight of afflictions”, but this whole process of being in limbo and wondering if these sale and acquisition transactions are going to actual go through, it is trying for me. I start to wonder, “Did I hear correctly the answer to those prayers? Can I trust God?” The lesson was a reminder to me that, as Elder Holland says:

the first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life.

So, whatever the outcome of our efforts to move out of this state of limbo, God knows the end from the beginning and has a plan. And, yes, I can trust Him.