Robert had job dreams too. He loved his work, but when the Phoenix Temple was announced, he felt a special pull towards it. It became his favorite temple (I used to tease him about the fact that he was sealed to two different women in two different temples, but neither of those temples was his favorite!) He hoped that the position of Temple Recorder in Phoenix would be a paid position that combined both his Facilities Management experience and the exacting but important work of keeping temple records. His desire, since before we married, was to be a temple recorder. The Phoenix Temple was still under construction (or more accurately, was stuck in design phase) when Robert learned that the Temple Recorder position for the Mesa temple was about to open up, he contacted a longtime friend, Edgardo Carbajal, who works in the Temple Department, to ask about the position. Although one doesn't usually ask to be interviewed for such a post, Edgardo was delighted to arrange an interview.
Robert described the interview as not so much an interview, but a friendly visit. The brother doing the interviewing explained that he was meeting with people, trying to discover who it was the Lord had in mind for the position of Temple Recorder. They talked about many things, including the responsibilities of the job. Robert felt qualified for the job, for sure, but by the time the interview was over, he also knew he was not the one the Lord had in mind for the position. And in the end, what we both wanted was to be doing what the Lord needs us to do. Little did we know, the cancer returned only a few months later. "Ah, that was why!" we thought. Robert did not even live to see the Phoenix Temple dedicated in this life. I'm certain he was present on the other side of the veil, but not with his own feet set on earthly clay.
Then the 'dream job' position opened up. My first thought was that I loved my life here. Close to most of my kids and grandkids, not to mention many, many friends. Then I thought about the long term benefits of the job in Utah and positioning for retirement. I wondered how a better retirement fund would happen in my current place. After a struggle, I decided to apply for the job. I'm good at what I do, so I wasn't surprised when I was notified that I was one of the final candidates. Nervous, yes. But not surprised.
I loved the opportunity to be interviewed! I enjoyed visiting the Church Office Building and getting a little tour of the grounds. I especially enjoyed meeting so many people, all of whom work to move the Lord's work forward. They are all people I admire, many are people I enjoy working with from my current position. Working right there, I thought, would be so fun and so inspiring. I hoped it would be a terrific experience! At the same time, I had some mixed emotions about leaving what I've known for almost 30 years. And the idea of moving to Utah, the place Robert and I dreamed of living, without Robert felt a little odd. Still, I'm always up for a good adventure (that's something Robert and I had in common).
The morning after the interview, I wanted to just relax and enjoy the weekend with my son and his family in Idaho. As I prayed that morning, I felt perfect peace and assurance that "Whatever happens will be exactly right" for me and for everyone else. It was such a tranquil feeling that I commented to Jane (my sister-in-law) that I wasn't sure if I was even feeling things, because I felt such total calm. I went off to 'play' with my family and it was wonderful!
The following Thursday morning, when I arrived at work, I noticed the picture of Robert and I from our wedding had fallen off the sticky board where it resides. I picked it up and suddenly felt Robert so very close. All the memories of that Temple Recorder Interview streamed through my mind and it was as if he was standing right there saying to me, "Don't worry, everything that happens will be the right thing for not only you but for everyone else." And I wanted that most of all; whatever happened, I wanted it to be right for everyone and the work to go forward with whomever the Lord needed there to do it. And somehow I knew that meant I needed to stay right where I was. So, when Sandie called later that day, I wasn't surprised when she said someone else had been selected for the job, and I immediately felt peace about it. I am very aware that the Lord is mindful of my needs, my desires and my abilities. Sometimes the abilities I think are important to Him and not the ones He wants me to develop. Sometimes, times like this, I am given direction on which way to go. That direction came after I did my best to go a different way, but then the Lord said, "That's okay, I need you here."
My oldest son had said "You can't ask the Lord to bless your efforts if you don't make an effort to do something yourself." That's so true! (Wow! I have such wise kids!) I still don't know how that retirement positioning thing is going to work out. But looking back I see that so very many things I wondered about have worked out far better than anything I could have thought of. The Lord has blessed and continues to bless my efforts. I'm profoundly thankful for the opportunity and the experience.
Keep thou my feet
I do not ask to see the distant scene
One step enough for me.