Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"...the joy that awaits"

“We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father
sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father
won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming.”
-Elder Joseph F. Wirthlin

The experiences of this post are a little overdue and a long time coming but I believe things are better recorded late than never. At this time of year I can't help but reflect on the thoughts and feelings I had this time last year.

January 2016 Preston and I returned to BYU-Idaho to start our first semester as a married couple. In the second week of the semester I realized a delay in a regular monthly event. I thought it was most likely stress with the start of a new semester but I somehow worked up the guts to go to the grocery store and buy that lovely stick to put my thoughts at ease so that I would be able to focus on my homework. 
As embarrassing as it sounds the instructions sounded a little complicated (so many things that could potentially go wrong weeing on a stick. ;) I didn't want to risk my pride by having to go back to the store for another one if I messed up this test. Therefore I humbly knelt down on my kitchen floor and said a prayer. My intent was to pray that I would be able to perform the test right, that it would read it accurately and that I could get back to peacefully working on my homework.
As my mouth opened my mind was filled with different words. I had the
feeling to pray to accept the outcome and to know that everything would be okay. I felt peaceful and calm and that God had blessed me in that moment to trust Him.

I finished the test and was ready to walk away and let the answer develop as it would.
My eyes wandered over to see and low and behold it was positive.
I was shocked and COMPLETELY distraught, I didn't want it to be real, I felt upset and anxious. I called Preston and my mother is utter despair and tears. Mainly because we had plans to go to Albania in the Fall for an internship and now that was out the window.
As I talked to my sweet mother she was tender and compassionate and listened to my concerns. Their was the deepest and most sincere joy in her reaction despite my despair. Now I understand the joy that she felt and how she probably dearly wished I could see that then, it would have saved on some tears.

In the days following that, amidst my worshiping of the porcelain throne morning sickness, this life change was a major struggle for me. I had a plan to finish my degree and travel the world helping people, how come this wasn't pleasing enough to the Lord?
I still stand back in amazement at the most promising and beautiful feelings of peace and happiness that were manifest to my heart and mind. Even so early on at the beginning of this adventure I KNEW this was the right thing for our family.
The following Sunday the spirit was so strong in our Relief society lesson that I was able to escape the cold, nasty winter/morning sickness afternoon and get a glimpse of the deep, immense joy that I would feel on a beautiful, warm autumn afternoon. Though I still felt miserable, lost and confused deep down I could feel that this would amount to the greatest joy we had yet experienced.
This is just one part of the plan, so much joy awaits. Eternity will be about learning, teaching, loving and serving but most importantly it will consist of the family.

My fears, though very prominent and real, were completely vanquished before my eyes. Learning the doctrine of the eternal family was my lifeline, it was still so easy to feel fear and selfishness but there was a power even deeper inside of me that I had yet to uncover.

"The highest and noblest work
in this life is that of a mother."
-President Russell M. Nelson

I know that Our Heavenly Father loves us all so much and this His greatest purpose is for us as His Children to have eternal joy. He knows the experiences that we need and He knows who we are meant to become. It is easy to disregard our potential and become complacent doing what's within our comfort zone but we are meant to become eternal beings full of joy and to inherit eternal life.

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