In the Space
and it shall be given unto you;
and ye shall find;
and it shall be opened unto you. (3 Nephi 14:7-8)
There are no asterisks next to this verse.
No exceptions or qualifiers.
The Savior didn’t put an expiration date at the end.
So why is it so hard to believe sometimes?
I think it’s because of the space.
Ask ----> Given
Seek ----> Find
Knock ----> Opened
The part between the asking and giving and seeking and finding and knocking and opening.
Sometimes what we ask for is nowhere to be found.
Sometimes we have been seeking, but we still can’t find it.
Sometimes we have knocked, but the door is still closed.
It even feels locked sometimes.
So what do we do?
How do you trust in a timeless promise from the Lord in that space?
On April 20th, 2018 Jake and I hopped in the car to go to Disneyland.
We were waiting for news on fulltime jobs we were both really hoping for.
We would be notified by email, and we decided it would be fun to celebrate in Disneyland.
Or figure out new life goals in Disneyland.
I held both of our phones, one in each hand, and checked excessively for email notifications while Jake droved a borrowed Honda Fit on the freeway near Primm, Nevada.
Our phones buzzed and two emails popped up, side by side.
We got off the Primm exit and pulled into a gas station as I quickly opened the emails and compared them.
We were both hired.
Our lives changed.
Tears came for me.
We took pictures and called family.
It was the perfect day.
Although it was just the two of us at this point, this was the day I started to worry about the future.
We were not pregnant.
Kids were not even really on our mind at that point.
But as I sent the email back responding that I accepted the position, I wondered how long I would do it.
When I had children, would I stay home?
Would I keep working?
What was I supposed to do?
How would I know the right choice?
I took my question to the Lord.
I asked Him.
And nothing happened.
Over the next three years I studied, prayed, worried, and counseled.
I tried so hard to figure it out, but nothing came.
I took it with me on a sticky note to General Conference and other church meetings.
I studied the scriptures and asked people I trusted.
Fast forward a few months later and I was pregnant.
Now it was not just me asking this question.
Everyone seemed to want to know.
But I still did not know what to do.
Where were the answers?
Those open doors He promised?
I know I was knocking.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I talked with HR about maternity leave benefits. Part of the paperwork asked me to write down a tentative return date if I was planning to return to work.
Without a second thought I checked the box that I would return and put the date down.
The answer to my question was so simple.
You’ll go back to work.
Recently I have looked back on that experience, those questions.
Why make me wait so long?
The answer was so simple.
The Lord could have given it to me so easily.
I know He could have shared it at the gas station in Primm, Nevada.
He could have told me after that in one of those meetings or scripture studies or priesthood blessings or prayers.
I know He loves me most and knows me best.
So why the space?
Because He loves me most and knows me best.
And He had much more than just a “yes” for me.
I don’t know all the answers.
But in the space, I found empathy.
I was slower to judge.
I listened to Him better.
I looked to Him more.
And when I received my answer, I had no doubt that it was from God.
His hand in my decision has carried me through the difficult balance of life.
I know I am doing His will for me and for my family right now.
But even more important than the answer,
Someone was revealed to me.
The One who fills in every gap.
The One who is with us in the space.
Revelation is not just about receiving answers to questions we ask.
It’s about seeing more of Jesus Christ in our lives.
In the space.
And I see Him better now.
He makes me happy.
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My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!