I have come to a point in my life where I feel I can no longer ever doubt the divine timing of our Heavenly Father. I know He is so aware of me and He always knows what’s best for me. He never misses a beat or goes on vacation. His whole work and His glory focus on the happiness and success of us as His children.
One Sunday back in May 2013 I had a meeting with the stake president to submit my mission papers. It was very exciting. Afterwards Preston and I were to drive down to Utah for Memorial weekend. Somewhere between Blackfoot and Pocatello the little white car made that dreadful blasting noise and within a moment we found ourselves pulled to the side of the road with a shot engine. Cars raced past on the highway as we lifted the hood trying to figure out what was wrong. It was a mystery but it was obvious that car wouldn’t drive again.
It was our original plan to arrive in Logan in time to attend a missionary farewell celebration. We called for help and they were hours away. We were grateful they were coming but we knew we would be missing the event and would spend several hours there on the highway. It all seemed a great misfortune- for we had a good goal to accomplish and we were met with this unlikely fate.
To pass the time Preston and I read a beautiful conference talk together and discussed establishing peace within a home. We took a walk through the famous blackrock rugged terrain. We watched calmly as the set gracefully behind those hills. All the rushing around of classes and schoolwork, church duties and schedules was all left behind in Rexburg as we were enjoying our own sanctuary here.
It started to rain, pour and storm right as help arrived. We loaded the dead car onto the trailer and climbed into the back of the truck and continued our journey. I don’t think I would realize the full impact of that trip until months later I was serving my mission in Oregon and thought fondly and sweetly back on that time I got to spend with Preston. It was one of the best memories yet with him.
Since returning home from the mission and being married to that wonderful man I had another opportunity to travel up to Rexburg to take engagement photos for some dear friends. We traveled to a beautiful spot up in the mountains with glorious golden fields, pines and aspen trees. It had snowed days earlier and still lingered on the dirt road up there. We got some great shots and soon the weather got bitterly colder so we headed back down. I was driving and truly not comfortable with the conditions of the road, we turned one corner going down.
Instead of turning we ended up running the car right into a ditch against the ridge. One of the dear friends present was very skillful in getting cars out of crazy situations. But with only one of the two wheel drive tires touching the ground he explained we would need a truck to get this out.
I regret to say I felt extremely frustrated and distressed, we thought of every idea we could and recalled the roommates second cousin or that kid in my science class that had a truck but with no true travail. It was very important to me to get the car out to know that it was okay, to get down to see my sister and then return home after a three hour drive still ahead to see my husband. In the moment of distress we knew the best thing to do would be to pray. After piling sticks and rocks and using all that super mom adrenaline to lift it, it was to no avail.
In the perfect moment I looked up in great surprise to see a F350 truck coming around the bend. I couldn’t believe my eyes. One glance the driver gathered our situation and pulled over kindly, reaching into the bed, pulled out a chain and exclaimed “now what are you all doing out here?” with a grin. Our dear new friend Rick might have felt we’d been stuck out there for days when we explained he was an answer to our prayers!! He was just out for a humble deer hunt in the middle of nowhere. In no time we were safely back on the road.
That last experience truly got me, it was an experience that helped me understand something I have been struggling with for years. It was a principle that I have both believed and taught but I have never quite developed a deep, abiding trust in it. I know now, very deeply within my soul that God hears and answers prayers. I’ve always felt timid to pray for answers or to ask for help because I’ve always felt like He’s so busy or He already has a plan or idea. I have learned that through both of these experiences that yes, He does have a plan. And that plan is calculated for our ultimate happiness. Preston and I would have been happy arriving at the celebration on time and would have had a wonderful experience there. But I believe Heavenly Father knew our situation very well and knew exactly the pain and grief we would go through in the coming months and years, we he gave us a very intimate, glorious memory together that helped us develop a pattern and attitude toward life together. An experience that became symbolic to us that we could use to get through some low times. God also had this plan that we get stuck and “after all we [could] do” help would come.
I know our Heavenly Father may ‘appear’ busy because He is doing these same exact things for every one of His children. I have no doubt that His whole work and His glory is to “Bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” –Moses 1:39 which means that we will be given experiences to help us grow and stretch to be able to become that glorious celestial being He has intended us to be.
He has a perfect plan with perfect timing.