By Marcus Holden
I remember when the thought came to my mind. I was sitting in a room designed to represent heaven on earth, pondering and praying about where we were to move. There were 3.5 of us; my wife, our thirteen month old son, myself, and one just on the way.
We were blessed with the opportunity to housesit for a couple serving a mission for our church the past 18 months, but they were now coming home and we needed to find somewhere else to live. Both my wife and I had recently graduated with our Master's degrees, but no full time employment opportunities had presented themselves to us.
Uncertain about where we were needed most, but trusting the Lord would guide us to where we were needed most, I took my question to the Lord in His holy house, a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While pondering, I heard a voice in my mind whisper. "Go into the wilderness." I chuckled a little to myself, and ask "Where's that?" The answer that I received was "Go to the Colorado. You are needed in Northern Colorado". I then felt that we should look at the Loveland/Fort Collins area.
I came home and told my wife that I had received an answer, but I wanted her to ask and get a confirmation. She came back and told me, "I think that we need to move to Loveland." I was amazed at the specificity of her answer and how close it was to mine.
I thought that I was scared not knowing. The closer the time came for us to leave, the more uneasiness I felt. I know that the Adversary was working hard on us. We had no job, no place to live and no physical support system established in Colorado. All we had was our independent witnesses that we were to go to Loveland. I asked my bishop for a blessing. After the blessing I felt a little better, but the next day I began to doubt. We knew that to outside eyes, this would appear crazy, and I'll admit it, there were times that I also had those feelings. What were we doing? I decided to ask a former bishop of ours for another blessing. Again, the calm came and this time it lasted until we arrived at the Air BnB where we rented out for a week.
The next day, we moved all our earthly possessions into a storage unit and set out finding a place to live. We had a limited budget and no job prospects. We toured one house at night and the landlords asked what we did for work. We told them that we were still looking. I could tell they were not too pleased with our answer. We had a couple of other tours of apartments but they all ended with the landlord not feeling like they could rent to us because of our employment situation or it not feeling right to us. One landlord would not even let us tour the property without having employment for a year in Colorado. I felt like we were in the wilderness and that the Lord had abandoned us. I was upset with the Lord. He had told us to come, and now we can not find a place to live. Oh the shortsightedness of man! The miracles were about to unfold.
With two nights left at the Air BnB, we needed to decide what we were going to do. After kneeling in prayer, I had asked the Lords forgiveness for my attitude toward Him and we asked what we should do. About 20 minutes later, the phone rang. It was the landlord of the first house we had toured. She told us that they had finished purchasing the home on Monday and opened tours on Wednesday. This was their first house that the wanted to rent and they had chosen us to be their first tenets. She said, "We know that you don't have employment yet, and we really don't understand why, but that doesn't bother us. We are confident that you will find employment soon." They may have not known, but we knew that God had "prepared a way for [us] to accomplish his commandments." (1 Nephi 3:7)
The miracles didn't stop there, though sometimes they took longer than finding a home and were in ways different than we expected. COVID-19 hit the US a few months later and it took us 9 months to find employment. But we always had sufficient for our needs and we were always able to pay rent. We know that the Lord has blessed us. We have been instruments in His hands and have seen at least a small portion of why He has sent us here.
I know that the Lord is mindful of the trials and needs of all His children. As we listen for Him, He will guide us to where we need to be. He is, in deed, a God of miracles and those who put their trust in God will be able to see His hand in their lives.
During the above experience and many times since, I have found new meaning in the hymn written by John Henry Newman:
Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.
(Lead, Kindly Light - John Henry Newman)
I am a living witness of these principles.