Saturday, January 19, 2013
Life is all about decisions.
You wake up in the morning and decide what to eat, what to wear, what to do. Every waking moment is consumed by activities that were decisions made on your part. Whether you decided to fill that with TV watching, eating, playing with friends and family, scripture study, service, etc.
I'm a newly graduated high school student with big plans for my future. I am packing up my life (in 3 suitcases) and starting a new one in Provo, Utah, as a freshman at Brigham Young University. I am going to be staying at the dorms with loads of kids all in the same life experience as me. I am pumped.
Life away from home was an exciting thought. I could do anything I wanted.
So I made a mental plan in my head of exactly what that would be.
First of all, I would get into the film program, in pursuit of my childhood dream as a movie director and as I attended school, I would get married young(ish) to the man of my dreams and live happily ever after.
So basically, I had it all figured out. On my own.
Let me just say, that whenever we have ^ that ^ attitude, the Lord will quickly show us that we don't have it all figured out.
And that is what He did last October after General Conference.
To be honest, the Lord has such a better plan for our lives than we can possibly imagine.
I've learned over the years the importance, during prayers, to say "Thy will be done." ... I just never realized how hard it is to actually follow through with that statement.
A mission was never in my plans. I always figured that that was the boys thing to do and I'd be married before I was 21. But remember that aforementioned comment about how the Lord sometimes has different things in store for us??
Flash-forward to real time
Anyone who really knows me, knows that I suffer from bad anxiety. It's a part of my chemical makeup...and is a major weakness for me (that is actually a really cool story...for another day) Anyways, any kind of uncertainty throws me off. So with the missionary age change and not knowing what I was going to do, I suffered from pretty bad anxiety. SHOCKER.
Initially, I was over-joyed at the announcement. It was such a great opportunity!
And then anxiety set in...and I worried. A lot. So I decided to just ignore the issue..however, that was pretty hard to do, when that is ALL THAT PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT. Geesh ;)
I was scared to pray about it, because I was scared of the answer.
But I did.
And I felt like I should prepare to go. I told the Lord, "Heavenly Father, if you take away my anxiety, I will go on a mission."
Miraculously, my anxiety started to diminish! I started feeling the best I had felt in a long time.
So, I went to go get started on my papers. But when I went in to talk to my bishop, he was concerned about my anxiety (OCD) and wanted me to get a missionary evaluation. I was initially disappointed, mainly in myself, thinking that for some reason, because I had to get checked out that I was broken and less valuable. But I decided not to let that deter me, and I went in to the meeting and aced it! The doctor said that he didn't have any reservations about sending me anywhere in the world! So, I was pretty pumped.
I actually moved wards between semesters and moved off campus (also another cool story, for another day) So, I set up an interview with my new bishop and went in to talk to him and then he says that he can't open my papers because my records haven't been switched over yet...and he was going to be out of town for the next 3 weeks...and I would need to wait and come back then.
And then my anxiety came back...full force...like almost to the point of debilitation. I worried over a lot of things, mainly about my mission and certain things concerning it.
I had the impression to call my older brother, Justin, and this was his advice to me- "Melissa. You have to find out if you're supposed to go on a mission with the Lord, independent of anyone or anything else. And when you get your answer, then you just have to move forward in faith. That is what faith is all about...it's about not knowing the whole picture, but you are trusting in the Lord that He is doing what is best for you."
I still worry about it.
I still have my doubts.
And that is OK. I am moving forward in faith, because, I know that the Lord has better things in store for me, than what I could have decided on my own.There is something bigger than me, that I get to be a part of. And that is exhilarating.
Faith is a decision we must make. Faith and Fear cannot co-exist at the same time, because one will eventually drive the other out. You must choose between the two.
I've decided. I'm trusting the Lord that my life will be a blessing towards others. I also recognize that in God's grand design He gives us specific trials to help us grow and learn.
There are people somewhere out in the world, that the Lord wants me to touch their lives. There are things that I've learned that I can touch someone in a unique way.
I want to serve the Lord. I want to serve His children, my brothers and sisters. A year and a half are nothing compared to the grand spectrum of Eternity. I can consecrate that time to the Lord, to be an instrument in His hands in bringing some soul (s) into His fold.
I am trusting in him. Even though I'm scared and I feel unready.
I recognize that there is very strong opposition to my serving. I know the devil is working overtime trying to convince me that I'm unworthy, unprepared, immature....but "let no man despise thy youth."
I know now that this is what I must do.