the story

Isn't it always easier to see how other's people's lives make so much sense? I swear, it's so easy to tell that your best friend is prone for greatness and that she will find a strapping young man and that together they will conquer all and do good in the world.

We are all so much more patient and optimistic with other people than we are with ourselves. Sometimes there's just no telling where you're going or how things are going to work out or what's going to happen.
 
But things will work out.

That's the bottom line.
.....
 
When I got home from the best 18 months of my life days before Christmas in 2011, I had 24 credits left in school. I was studying  Marriage and Family Therapy at Brigham Young University, and I planned to plow my way through and graduate eight months later. Have you ever heard the phrase, "We make plans and God laughs"? Yeah. I imagine He was laughing pretty hard.

I met with my fantastic ecclesiastical leader, or Bishop (as we call them in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and, after asking about my plan, he promptly told me I should abandon that and graduate the following April. "Just get additional experience," he advised, likes it was a no-brainer. I left his office feeling puzzled and unsure what on earth I'd do for 2 extra semesters. But, I love learning and I looooved being a student at BYU, so I quickly enrolled in courses necessary for a Spanish certificate and went on my merry way.

That first semester certainly didn't go as I'd planned. I quickly found that I was not enthralled about my program anymore, even though I was 12 credits away from obtaining my Bachelor's of Science and had always supposed I'd pursue grad school to become a family therapist or social worker. Whaaaaaaaat? I decided not to worry about it and focused on simply finishing my remaining classes and surviving my two jobs and uncertain life.

I did, however, love the courses for my Spanish certificate. They definitely were the highlight of my education; I felt the faculty was passionate and inspiring, and my brain was swelling at crazy rates with all the things they were putting in there.
 
I decided to add two courses to the certificate to equal a Spanish minor. #duh.

Then it was February. I was taking all Spanish courses to complete my minor and last semester at Brigham Young University. Wooooooooooooooooo. I met with a professor for help with some fonetica, and we got to talking about my life and dating and school and all the question marks I periodically forced under the rug, so to speak. Upon discovering my dissatisfaction with my undergraduate degree, he suggested I add the Spanish double major. They'd never let me add classes, I thought--because I'd already registered for graduation and it was a done deal. And I was right that they never would. But somehow they DID.
 
Wooaaaaaah. Suddenly I was enrolled in two additional classes and scheduled for completion of my undergraduate degrees in June of 2013.

Meanwhile, I was one of the blessed souls to be afforded the marvelous chance to teach the Lord's emissaries at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center. In most cases, once you graduate from BYU, you're out of the MTC. Since I'd extended school, I was able to keep working there.

Not only that, but a few months previous I'd attended a meeting where the leaders from the Church Missionary Department made an appearance at the MTC main campus, asking for Spanish teachers to please consider applying for work down at the soon-to-be-opened Mexico City, MTC... ummm yeah hi. Duh. Who wouldn't want to go do that?!

I applied. I was admitted. Because I was still a student until June, I was eligible to continue teaching in preparation for my contract to teach in Mexico.

I went. I had the time of my life. I struggled with my plan for myself and questioned God's love for me. Where was He? Why was He not answering me? Was He even there? Was I important to Him? Did He have a plan? Dark thoughts crowded out optimism as I struggled to know where to go after my stint en el Distrito Federal. Nothing came.

I saw beautiful things. I went unreal places. I made important friendships. I associated with the most incredible missionaries. I was impacted by astronomical teachers. I tried to do what I thought God would want me to, even though I didn't know how close He was.

Do you see the granules being funneled through here? Each little detail of my life was adding up and leading to the next moment...and I didn't even know it:
Learning Spanis-->
Serving my mission-->
Teaching at the MTC--> 
Hating my major-->
Adding the certificate. minor. double major-->
Graduating later than planned. Way later-->
Being admitted to the MX-MTC

I look back and I see how everything was just adding up in preparation for what was to come, but can you see how I felt so lost and confused about what I was supposed to do in the moment?

I thought God was unaware, that He was absent and busy and maybe didn't care. Little did I know He was beyond aware of each happening in my life; he was actually setting me up to be the  happiest I'd ever been!

I wasn't looking at Patrick when I was going through all this. He was my friend. He enjoyed getting tacos al pastor and agua de coco with me, blasting T-Swift on top of illegal roofs, and having crazy, semi-dangerous adventures around the corrupt, beautiful country. We built a solid friendship on nothing but friendship...and then we fell in love. We got home from Mexico, started dating, got engaged and married in June of 2014.
 
He was plotting and making this possible since December 2011 (but probably earlier, knowing Him) and He made sure things went just right.

The point is... things will always work out.
 
It's easier to see the details in someone else's life or after the fact in your own life. It takes faith to trust that something good is coming and that God is infinitely aware.  As President Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said,
"God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from his faithful children."
 
He's close. He's aware. He's planning and orchestrating your life better than you ever could. So stay the course. Be happy. Do good. And watch as He reveals himself in marvelous and beautiful ways.

2 comments:

  1. I'm not really sure my comment posted…but maybe it did? Either way, I wanted you to make sure you knew how much I needed to hear this today. I've been bring to remind myself that God really is aware of me even though I'm about to step out in a whole lot of darkness. So glad you came back to blogging. Love you and so happy for you!!

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  2. Um this is the best thing i've seen all day. You're always a star at connecting ways that God is working in people's lives. Brilliant girl. xoxox

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