Stories of faith and love in the face of adversity make us strong. Read on.
This story is not Only about inspiring you with some heroic tale of my triumph. It's about revealing how misconceptions can make a man an outcast in his mind--separating him from the reality of all that is good around him.
How am I a refugee? It is a state we create sometimes of our life that causes us to feel no longer welcomed there as we are. It is a place from where only God can deliver us. We are about to take a journey through my mind together. I, Refugee, begin my true tale.
Trip to Utah
We are Latter-day Saints. Every six months us Latter-day Saints, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have a general conference for our church and we wanted to go. We lived in Phoenix, at the time, and the Conference was in Salt Lake City, UT. So, we planned the trip. We acquired the tickets and made the preparation.
I believed amid all that planning that something was stewing to prevent us from making this trip. Every time we plan a family event there is a hiccup. I mean, it was a church event, but it was also our first family vacation. We don’t have much money, but we make up in faith what we lack in temporal things. At least that’s what I tell myself.
We had made it out of the city and was in Utah driving. A nervous energy permeated my soul though we had made it to and past the Utah-Arizona border. The ruinous thoughts in my mind would now start to dissipate, right?
Look, I had big dreams when we first married each other, Afryka and I. I was young, and we had our whole lives ahead of us. I still resent how things have turned out for us, I confess. This trip to Utah was going to help me feel like I accomplished one of my goals in life, you know, to meet the expectations I had not yet met—the ones I was supposed to meet.
I tend to do things late, though—like serving a mission three years later than I was expected to. Us Latter-day Saints send our sons and daughters out to share our faith with people who will listen. I am sure you've seen some on bikes or at your door. Anyhow...
It doesn’t help when I put extra pressure on myself to be successful because people would approach us, the family and me, and tell us what a wonderful family we were at church so often it went to my head. I agreed, of course, that we are a wonderful family. It was mine. I had hoped God would bless me with one. I just took it to an unhealthy level is all.
The Hero of My Life Story
These emotional mountains I created distorted the hero of my life story so much he stopped being me! How could I not be my own heroic star in my life? I usually am. In my mind I needed something more than the same old tired story of life I had been wading through. Oh, it’s a good story, I was just at one of the ugly sad parts of it during that April in 2016. Illuminated forever in my mind are the few high points that I clung to in my life-story—the best being the story of how my wife and I met. In fact, my entire life is one big miracle after another! I wrote a book about it too!
The Refugee and his Wife
To think, though, with all the miracles that happen to make my life so fantastic that we would end up where we were in life, renting with low-wage income, really depressed me sometimes. I was supposed to go to law school and become a big money lawyer. All my kids were supposed to be perfect and serve missions for the church, attend Brigham Young University (church school) and marry in the temple--producing grandkids for me to spoil. Truthfully, that could all still happen, but I am busy being a downer.
I want you to know reader, that I was at the lowest point of discouragement I could be and still call myself a Christian when we started this Utah journey. God has a way of helping those who want to be helped to look at an unchanged situation in a different way. I was on the verge of a breakthrough, but I needed something to help me crawl out of the darkness that clouded my mind at times due to the rigors of life, just life.
My hero had been hijacked by my false idea. This trip was going to help me be the hero of my life again.
“What was that!” yelled Afryka.
“I don’t know. I think we hit something,” I answered determined not to stop. It was dark outside and cold. Dark is an understatement when it comes to the description of what surrounded us outside the van. I was not going to stop!
God knew I was not going to stop! I would have run that van ragged just so I did not stop! After a hundred or so miles and the light of day the tire goes flat—the new tire that we had purchased right before we began the road trip!
With the tire flat during the first leg of the trip, things look as foreboding as they felt at the beginning regarding this trip. The misconception about how things are in Utah helped to create more apprehension than was necessary in I, Refugee - Nagging Circumstances of the Promise.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson