I LOVE that quote, and I've been thinking a lot about it lately. As most, if not all, of you know I was planning on serving a full time mission for the LDS church. I was hoping to start that service sometime this summer and therefore return home sometime around the beginning of 2014. After that I planned to find a job, work for a while, and then hopefully start grad school to receive my Master's degree in the fall. That was my plan at least.
But, as I mentioned in the last post, life rarely turns out as you planned. I found out 3 weeks ago that I had been honorably excused from a full time mission; but I still have the option of serving a local service mission if I'm interested. I was obviously disappointed with this news. I had been really looking forward to having the "missionary experience" for myself. I was so excited to go out there and serve the Lord, converting every person I came into contact with. ;) (Kidding- I'm not that naive about what missionary work is really all about!) But I really was excited to go out and share my testimony of the Gospel with others. The Gospel means everything to me and I want others to have that amazing blessing in their lives too.
And while I'm still a little disappointed, I'm truly at peace with the decision made by the brethren on this matter. Not only do I truly believe they are inspired, but from the time my mission papers had been submitted to when I received the news, my parents, the Stake President, and I had all been fasting in behalf of the brethren that they would know without a doubt the Lord's will concerning me. Because we'd been fasting and praying for weeks prior, when I received the news, I did have peace (after some time processing the disappointment) because I knew without a doubt that this was the Lord's will, and a full time mission wasn't what He wanted me to be doing.
Therefore I now have to figure out exactly what it is He does want me to be doing right now. And that's overwhelming to me. It's kind of disorienting when you realize that the 18 months you had set aside in your life for a specific purpose is no longer happening, and those 18 months are all of the sudden wide open. Lots of questions arise. Questions such as: Should I take the opportunity to serve a local mission? What are the options associated with that and which do I choose out of those options? Do I serve a local mission for only 6 or 12 months, and return to school in the fall of '13 rather than in the fall of '14? or do I still go back in the fall of '14 and serve longer? Do I serve a local mission while working, or just find a job?
***Some info for those who may not know a whole lot about local service missions. You live at home and serve between 8-32 hours a week. Meaning it is entirely possible to still work, or go to school AND serve a local mission. There are lots of different options from working in an office for institutes/seminaries, working at the Family History Center, even farming.***
There's a lot of "what ifs..." and "what about..." going around in my head right now. I do know that I am definitely not ready to turn my back on a mission altogether, and am very much interested in the possibility of serving locally. There is much good to be done here, and I know that I don't have to go far away to serve the Lord.
I also know that I will eventually go back to school for a Master's degree. That's just a matter of when, not if (oh... and where... and what program <-- see how complicated things get so fast?!?!).
If you know me, you know I like knowing what to expect. I like having a plan. This not knowing where exactly I'm heading and what I'll be doing in 2, 6, 12 months from now is killing me.
So... going back to the quote at the beginning of this humongous post- I desperately want to follow the Lord's path for my life, whatever that might be. I know that His path will be a lot better and lead to much more happiness than any path I might come up with for myself. I just don't know exactly how to figure out what that path is. I feel like I'm stuck in this rut and have no idea how to get out of it and on the road and pointed in the direction I need to be. If this post is confusing and makes no sense- good! Maybe you'll have a slight sense of how I'm feeling at this time!
However, to end on a positive note, I know that the Lord loves me and is always aware of me. Because of His love for me He continuously guides my life. (Which never ceases to amaze me. Of all that's going on in the world- heck the universe!- and He loves me enough to be concerned, and involved in my life. How amazing is that?!) I know the Lord has a plan for my life, and all things work for my good (if I allow them to of course). I know if I put my faith and trust in Him, my life will work out exactly how it's supposed to. I am excited to see where the Lord ends up directing my life, and what's around this next bend that I'm currently upon right now. I just wish it wasn't so stressful traveling that bend.
|A Bend in the Road...|