I’m reminded now of a scripture that has become one of my favorites. It’s one that I wish I would have seen four years ago when I was so hurt and confused, but it means so much more now. It reads:
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to this place where thou art at this time.”
I thought I had stopped being directed when I showed up like an abandoned kitten at Utah State that first day. For some reason, I felt like the Lord was trying to make my life hard for no reason. I was blinded by hurt feelings, and like the little currant bush of Elder Brown’s time, cried out in pain because I had been severely cut.
So I thought nothing of that moment when I saw the LDS Institute and recognized the name from some emails I’d gotten over the summer and wandered in for warmth. I thought nothing of that instant when I browsed around, curious, and found a computer with a list of teachers, one being my favorite seminary teacher in high school. I thought nothing of that second when I signed up for his class, those days when we were in his class talking about Laman and Lemuel and how, because they couldn’t see the Promised Land, they were bitter and angry.
I was Laman and Lemuel! I was angry because I had a plan and now I had nothing, and I couldn’t see the Lord’s will for me. I wanted to go back to the place that I thought would be my home. I didn’t want to be in this wilderness. I was both of them, and once I realized that, I was humbled. I started trying to change.
Things, like a puzzle, came together in that class. I heard about an opening social for freshmen in that class. I stopped by for just an hour at that activity because I felt I should, and there I met a good friend from high school. She coerced me into signing up to be on an Institute committee, which, at the time, was the last thing I wanted to do. But that little enrollment committee changed me, and the subsequent three years of my stay at Utah State have changed me.
My most pivotal moment was choosing to walk into the Institute that first day. I like to think that that was the reason why the Lord told me to leave BYU when I did. Not only did I feel comfort and peace there at a time when I was so confused, but I got involved. In that Institute building, I figured out what I wanted my major to be, I learned that I need to attend the temple more, I realized how I do not serve as much as I should, and I learned to love and be vulnerable. I am an entirely different person than I was when I graduated from high school and, I know, an entirely different person than I would have been had I went to BYU. I blame that on the Institute. Entirely. (:
At BYU, I wanted to re-identify myself. At USU, I learned to love and celebrate my identity and become someone stronger. I have grown up here. Not only that, but I have become someone great here. I could have never predicted that that would happen on my own, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.
In my short life, I have come to learn that answers don’t rest in a lineal line where we stand at point A and see them at point B. Answers, in my experience, always lie around corners, only reachable when we choose to move towards them with faith that they are there.
Sometimes our dreams and the things we want don’t happen for us. We get dropped on an unfamiliar and unwanted road, let’s say. We tend to blame that on the Lord, and we misunderstand who He is by claiming that He wants to hurt us. Why didn’t I get that job, pass that test, get asked on a second date, or get into the school I wanted? We ask Heavenly Father. I was doing so well, and you had to cut me down and move me here. How could you do that to me?
Well, He does it because He loves us. That’s always what motivates the Lord. And He, unlike us, can see around every bend. That’s why we must trust Him.
UPDATE: while writing this blog post, I checked my email. Guess who’s way behind in contacting all of the interns? Church Magazines HR. (: I never saw that coming!
Whatever happens with this job, I will be okay. I remember the time when the Lord directed me, and I know He sees more than I can. That knowledge is more precious to me than everything I own.
Don’t be discouraged! Don’t beat yourself up because your life isn’t going how you thought it would. Reach out to the Lord and He will direct you, even when you can’t see yourself moving. Sometimes He’ll take you on horrendous detours that seem to stretch on forever and go nowhere. You just keep on moving, and you’ll get somewhere. He’ll help you get there.
Don’t ask, “How could you do this to me?” Ask, “What would you have me do?”
Pretty soon, without realizing it, you’ll be beautiful and strong and exactly where you were meant to be all along.
UPDATED UPDATE: Yeah, I didn’t get the job. But that just means new adventures await me.