Friday, May 15, 2015

His Plan Instead

In that moment all I wanted in life changed, I could feel it, but it took me a while to understand it.

                Everyone who knows me knows that from the time I was young I wanted to go into the medical field. And I was for sure that I would attend Brigham Young University. But that all changed my junior year of high school. My teacher had invited the president of Southern Virginia University to come talk to us about the school. As he talked I knew I needed to go to SVU. The moment I got home I told my parents and plans started.
                A few short months after graduation I was on a plan and found myself in the middle of a tiny town in Virginia. Up until this point I had trusted the spirit and knew that this is where I belonged, but now that it was all happening I was unsure. Scared and homesick I spent much of my free time in the scriptures and on my knees. I would often go for walks while listening to talks to calm my fears.
                The day I meet my sweet fiancĂ© was like any other, I had a hard day trying to adjust still, so I went for a walk with a conference talk playing in my ears. As I left my apartment he sat on a bench and said hi, I nodded back slightly and walked past. While I walked I found peace and solace while I listened to the words of the prophet, all was finally peaceful.    
                Finally upon my return to apartment I passed by Jeff sitting on the bench again. This time he said nothing as I walked past. I went inside and then felt as though I should return to say hello back to him, this I did and we began to talk. Weeks past and we would periodically see each other and talk. Soon we became friends; we were in two classes together. One of which being institute and we would walk back together and talk about the gospel. A great friendship build as we spoke of the great love we felt from the Lord.
                And then somewhere along the way we started to like each other. He eventually asked me on a date, and another, and another. We talked about that we liked each other but that we had other plans for life. After all we both wanted to serve missions and we lived on opposite sides of the country (as he is from Boston) so we did our best to stay friends and leave with my real attachment.
                He went home and on a mission, I followed in the same pattern. The mission was a great experience and we were blessed to keep in contact and share our stories with one another, all the time both still liking each other but staying as just friends. Upon returning home he decided to attend Brigham Young Idaho and I Brigham Young Provo.
                This meant that we were only four hours apart. He came down one weekend to visit some friends and asked if I would go on a date, to which I said yes! Both of us remembered how much we enjoyed being with one another as we spent an evening together.
                After that night time passed and we talked on and off. A few weeks letter we decided to date more, so he came down again to go on a date…. Here is where things get a bit unique. At this point we both new and understood that we loved each other. But once again I was placed where I hadn’t planned, this wasn’t all in the plans to fall in love now and change my schooling.  So for a time we took a brake as I continued to study the scriptures and pray. This was one of the greatest times of my life as I spent time communing with my Father in Heaven and feeling His trust for me and I growing in my faith and trust in Him.
                Once I had grown sufficiently to once again change what I had planned Jeff and I become boyfriend and girlfriend. He and I both find it fitting that this happened on Easter Sunday, as I had finally begun to truly trust my Savior and my Father, allowing the completeness of the atonement to work in all aspects of my life.
                Just one short month later her purposed as we walked around the Draper temple in the rain, talking about the beauty of the temple and the joy of the gospel. I am excited and grateful to have Jeff as my fiancĂ© and to look forward with faith to whatever comes our way.

                Yes I tell this story to share my love for Jeff and to answer all who have asked… but I also share this story to invite all to think of their own lives. Let’s face it, we have and plan for our lives…. Yet too often it’s different then Gods plan. I hope that as you have read this story you have seen that Gods plan for my life has been perfect and amazing for me! I want you to know that Gods plan for you is perfect for you. Where ever you are at in that plan trust Him and if you don’t trust Him yet, as I didn’t at points, then turn to Him pray, study, listen to His word and find complete beauty in what He has prepared for you! I am grateful for all who have taught me to see and trust in the unseen and for the patience of love of a Father who has it all planned for me, I am excited to see what more he has in store for each of our lives. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bikes and Home

                I stood up from the ground as pain shot through my body. My dad kept saying “I’m sorry honey!” I just stood up and laughed “You warned me!”
                Earlier that evening I stood in full gear excited to try a new mountain bike trail. This trail is known as the downhill trail and has a few technical spots. I had ridden the bottom half of the trail a time of two, but had not yet tried the top. As I stood excited and ready to get on my bike I listened carefully to my dad’s words as he explained the most difficult parts of the trail one of them being a 5 foot drop off and the other a gravel pit that you are best to stay on the side of. The last caution to me was, if something goes wrong don’t panic and cram on the brakes, instead focus and you will be just fine. He went right in front of me and talked to me as we started. In just a few minutes he said okay here comes the hard part, just roll it and don’t panic. Down the drop off I went I giggled at my success and the feeling of dropping that far.
                The very next thing was the gravel pit; I stayed to the edge as directed. I also watched my dad to see the best line to take. My wheel wiggled and before I knew it I was smack in the middle of rocks. I held on tight and focused confident that I would be okay. Dad’s words were in my head, don’t panic don’t cream on the brakes I thought to myself. So I gently pulsed my back brake and shifted my weight further back. I was almost to the end when all of the sudden, either I grabbed the brake too hard or hit a rock wrong, I plummeted over the handle bars and into the half hard dirt half gravel ground.
                This is when my dad came running apologizing and making sure I was okay. My immediate answer of “you warned me” has taught me much over the past day as I have thought on this experience. Can you imagine what it must have been like to stand with your Heavenly Father as He gave you last final instructions I am almost certain that He warned us about some of the hardest times we would face in life. I can see Him saying “no matter what happens and what comes don’t panic, don’t stop. Look to Me and to Christ and you will be fine” But then we forgot that great instruction, He continues to remind us through the scriptures and words of others when things become challenging.
                The first lesson from this experience is too not panic and to always trust God when times are hard. Still somehow we forget and we hit the brakes too hard or a big rock gets in the way and off we go into the ground. I have learned that we have one of two choices when we come to such a painful screeching halt in our lives. One we can get upset and give up saying “why did you put me on this trail, it is too hard! I am not going to do it anymore.” From there you can sit or take an easier trail, which still could get you face down in the dirt. The second option is to simply stand up and say “you warned me! I’m okay let’s keep going. Will you keep telling me what is coming?”
                The choice is up to each of us. Yet one thing that we must remember is God will always come running, just as my dad did. He is anxiously guiding and watching us hoping that we will stay safe as we travel our own journeys in life. No matter what comes to you, He stands with you wanting to help. Trust His hand and His council on the trail, even if you fall. He loves you, He watches out for you.

                I am forever grateful for the times in my life when I have looked up from my falls to see my earthly and Heavenly Father standing there to help me back up.