On my way to Thanksgiving dinner last week, I was thinking of what I was most grateful for. Needless to say, nothing on the list this year contained any worldly value - it was only those things that we talk about "taking with us" to the next life: Relationships, health, testimony, etc. Elaine and I had been talking about the words to "How Firm a Foundation" last week, and I just kept coming back to the fifth verse:
"When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
As you can see from the pictures, the only thing standing from our "fiery trial" is the concrete foundation. The entire house and everything in it burned in the fire, but the foundation stood in the end. Likewise, the fire burned nearly every piece of our material life, everything of material importance to us. Our worldly valuables are gone, but our "foundation" still stands - testimonies of the gospel and the value of our family, immediate and extended. The only difference is that, as a result of the fire, the concrete foundation of our home is weakened with cracks and fissures - not strong enough to support the rebuilding of another structure. Our personal foundation, however, was only strengthened by the fire - becoming stronger and more firm, maintaining "structural integrity" enough to rebuild our lives on.
I am grateful for my foundation in the gospel, my testimony of the importance and eternal nature of families, for my parents and Greg's who are such examples to me, and our families and loved ones all across the nation who put everything aside to show their concern and love. I think I feel better prepared now than ever for what the future will bring; a time when all we have of value is our faith and our families because that is what we have now, and with them we can overcome anything.