Monday, February 15, 2010

Learning in a different way

I’m amazed at how much the Lord is involved in my life. Recently I’ve felt that I need to make decisions for the summer, next year, and the next few years of my life. But I didn’t have the pieces to make those decisions. Last week I asked for some guidance; this week is what happened.
Tuesday night we learned that we need to move. The family we are living with asked us to leave by the end of the month. We’re not really sure what the circumstances are, but either way we need to move.

The next day was Wednesday; I left work at the MTC early to go to the BYU housing fair and work with my brother to find a new place to live. Hours later, we still hadn’t found anything that really fit our needs. Ideally, we would find somewhere where both my brother and I could live, where we wouldn’t have to sign a 12-month contract, where it doesn’t cost tons of money, and where we wouldn’t share ventilation with other people (so that we could fill essential oil orders – right now we have to do them outside). If we can’t find anything that fits, then we’ll have to scrap the last criterion and live anywhere. If any of you are aware of something in Provo/Orem/Springville/Utah valley that might match, I would love a lead.

By Wednesday night I realized that I was stressed. Normally things just roll off of me and I’m able to do whatever I need to get done. But when I’m over-stressed, everything in life seems to weigh heavily on me… pressing down and threatening to smash me. That’s when I get sick. When I’m stressed, I work out, give service, write & read my scriptures, or go play music… but it was ward temple night, so I went to the temple and asked for help. Cast thy burdens on the Lord. I am so grateful for the temple. I still have no clue how any of these things are going to be resolved. But I know that the Lord loves me, that I am doing His will, and that He is actively engaged in guiding my life to help me to become a better person. And that’s enough.
Wednesday wasn’t the end of the interventions in my life. I’ve been trying to date someone recently and realized that her not answering or returning phone calls was probably due to her lack of interest. I’m not too crushed; it just means that I need to find someone else to date.

Work at the MTC has been crazy; my coworker moved to the West Coast last week and suddenly every project in the department is mine. Literally. I have three bosses, and my work, while definitely making a difference in the missionary effort, is completely draining. Some days I leave work early just so I can get away from my desk and be somewhere else… not having to stare at an Excel spreadsheet anymore.

Add to that the feeling that I need to find a new job (in this job market?). Over the last few weeks I’ve started looking at options, but I have no clue what I want. There are so many open doors… and right now I haven’t had the time to talk with the Lord and search my soul for direction. Writing this letter was supposed to be my time, but I got home from a family dinner on Sunday, sat down, wrote less than a page, and then fell asleep on my keyboard. Praise to the Lord for President’s Day. Hopefully I can figure out a piece of my life.

The last piece of information this week was a letter from the graduate admissions department of BYU. It was in the mail Saturday and told me I had been declined admission to the MBA program. While that was somewhat confusing, since I had felt so strongly that I needed to attend business school, suddenly even more options were open. I could change jobs in Provo. I could throw myself into Nature’s Fusions. Or I could pick up, move anywhere in the world, and do anything at all. I could try to attend a different graduate school… but right now I’m not sure whether I would prefer a Masters, MBA, or an MD/PhD program.

There are so many doors open. I just don’t know which one to choose. I don’t know what I want at all – whether I want to stay in Provo, move somewhere else in Utah, somewhere else in the country, somewhere else in the world. I don’t know much of anything. But the one thing I do know is that I want to change the world, serve people, and learn as much as I can. Hopefully the Lord will give me guidance and I can figure out what to pray for as I talk with God today. But maybe I won’t… and I’ll have to make my own decisions, ask for confirmation and support, and have the faith that He will help me accomplish my goals.

Each of us has times when we are faced with open doors – times in our life when we can define who we want to be. Sometimes we can clearly see the path in front of us; other times there are so many good paths that it’s impossible to choose. But, in everything in life, the Lord is with us. He stands at our side, guiding and sustaining us in the choices that we make. And while He may not point us in the exact direction we should go, the principles of the Gospel ensure that we are moving in the right general vicinity. And we have the promise that He will never let us make a decision that will take us away from Him without letting us know in advance (hence all of my rejections recently). I’m grateful that He is involved in my life. Without that perspective, this week would have been absolutely terrible. With it, even though I have no clue where I’ll live in two weeks, what I’ll be doing for a job, or if it will ever be the right time to attend graduate school, I know it will all turn out alright. And someday I’ll be even better than my own plans could have ever made me.

I know that God lives and that He is involved in our lives. He cares about everything that we do and wants us to be happy. If we will simply follow His guidance and choose the right, everything will work out. My invitation to you is the same thing I’m going to do: look at your life and determine what you want. How do you want to change the world? What are your goals and dreams? Talk with the Lord. Tell Him your desires. Then listen, follow His promptings, and go forward with faith. Go out and be missionaries!

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