Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Life fills out agendas

I am a life planner. Have been since I have been a little girl. From birthday parties to school work to even the little hour by hour things, I have planned everything. Since the beginning of high school, my plan was go to college, graduate with an English major, get married, go to law school, have a family and then live a perfect happy life. Then my life plan had a little tweak to it when the mission age changed and I decided to serve a mission. As a missionary, I loved the mission life. Especially because, as missionaries, we have this little white book called THE AGENDA. Every hour of the day I had a plan and if something fell through, there was a backup plan. For someone who is obsessed with plans, I absolutely loved this book. As a missionary, I learned how to adapt to changes such as changing areas suddenly or an appointment falling through. However, I never thought I would have to apply about what I learned in the mission about "going with the flow" to my life plan.

Two weeks ago from today I received the telephone call that I would be going home from my mission due to health problems. This was NOT part of my life plan. At all. I was planning to serve the full eighteen months, come home, go back to school and continue in my wonderful life plan. However, Heavenly Father had other plans for me. I got home and it was super weird. And hard. And different. And did I mention that it was hard? When I got home, there wasn't any plans. The only plan I was told was to get better and then go from there. As the days passed by, many different questions arose in my mind.

Before I went home, I got an email from my dad saying that if I had faith, which he believed I did, I could ask Heavenly Father to heal me so I could stay in the mission field if it was according to the will of the Lord. I fell to my knees that night and prayed with all my heart to be healed. Before I knew it I was on a plane coming home. I began to wonder if I was meant to come home for another reason in addition to receiving the medical attention I needed. Did I complete my mission in Nicaragua? Was I only needed there to serve the Lord for 7 months? Am I suppose to come home to get reassigned and serve the Lord somewhere else? Was I suppose to come home to meet someone? Was I suppose to start school again? Questions like this muddled my mind and I grew very confused. I felt utterly lost in the direction in my life. I did everything I could to receive inspiration from my Father in Heaven about what was the path I should take in my life: read the scriptures, pray, ponder, go to the temple and pray some more. Time passed and I still had not received any direction in regard to what I should do with my life. I started to grow very frustrated and to be honest, upset, that in the times I needed help the most I was not receiving it.

These past couple of days have been very humbling for me as I have been tested on the things I learned from my mission. In a way, I felt as if I was God's investigator. Being a missionary, I knew the answers to most of the questions I was having. Why does God give us trials? To help us grow and become more spiritually refined which assists us, as children of God, to become more like him. Why am I not receiving answers? Because I need to have patience and rely on the Lord's timing, knowing that his timing is better than mine. It was so frustrating because I knew all the answers but I never realized until now how hard it is to live it. Respect gained for all of my investigators on my mission! I read a General Conference talked by Elder Scott called, "Trust in the Lord," which I felt like was meant for me. Elder Scott states that "this life is an experience in profound trust in Jesus Christ." He continues by stating that "to exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it." After putting our trust in the Lord, then we need to "act where we are able; then let the matter rest with the Lord for a period while we give to others in worthy ways."

In the movie, Leap Year, the main character is a woman named Anna who, similar to me, had a life plan but things go wrong and her life plan becomes altered. In part of the movie, Anna is making dinner with a man named Declan whom states, "Why don't you stop trying to control everything in the known universe. It's dinner. Have a little faith that it will all work out." And that is really what life is about: having faith, putting our trust in the Lord, and continuing on with life even when things don't go our ways. I also learned something about what plans are. The word "plan" really just means "goals." We should have plans in life, or in other words, goals in life that help us achieve greater things and look forward to the future with happiness and excitement. We shouldn't become discouraged when our "plans" don't work out how we had planned. So that is all I can do right now, act where I can, continue to make goals in my life and have faith that the Lord will direct my path. And at the same time, have fun and enjoy the ride!

             "In all of living, having much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

                                                                   - President Gordon B. Hinckley