Sunday, July 23, 2017

I can do hard things

This weekend I've been thinking a lot about my pioneer ancestors. I spent some time at the cemetery where many of them are buried and have been reading some of their stories. 

They went through SO much. I learned recently that one of them froze to death after they arrived here in Utah. They also suffered much hardship on the plains- lack of food, mobs in Nauvoo, sickness, death of family and friends, and on and on. I really have a special place in my heart for them. Despite all of this, they keep their eyes on their goal of reaching their destination and they did so with faith and trust in God.

While I can't fully comprehend what they went through, and my trials differ from theirs in many ways, there's one thing that has really resonated with me especially lately. It's this: they did hard things and so I can I. 

They had faith in their trials and so can I. They pressed forward not knowing what was in store and so can I.

Elder M. Russell Ballard said: 

"The Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life."

I love that. My challenges are different today, but they are still challenges God's asking me to go through. Life has been hard lately (or so I think. I know my challenges could always be so much worse.) I'm so grateful for the heritage I have. I look to the pioneers as examples of strength and endurance. God wants me to be strong and have faith, just as my ancestors did. 

I can do hard things. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Live More Fully, Love More Deeply

Tomorrow marks 6 months since my beautiful friend passed away. Gosh, I miss her. I miss our deep chats about life and the Gospel over Chick-fil-a. I miss her texts. I just miss her.  She was such a strength to me. Although she's gone, I know she's actually not far away. I think of her often. Her life and her passing have made me appreciate the simple things that get taken for granted. I'm blessed to experience this life. I'm blessed to breathe on my own, to walk, to run, to hike, to drive to the store on my own when I want. So many things she wasn't able to do. Life is a precious gift. I want to live it more fully and love more deeply because of Brittany Trevino. How grateful I am to know she's in a better place and because of our Savior I can one day see her again.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

I'll go where you want me to go

Over two years ago, I made the choice to move back to Utah after being prompted to do so. It was not easy. From January to September, I was job hunting and figuring out how it'd work out. Finally, in September, I felt it was time to just go. Although I knew all of the good reasons to go, I struggled with it so much. I'd be leaving behind friends and family, snowless weather and a good job with an awesome company. 

On my way to church one Sunday, I made a deal with Heavenly Father. I told Him, "Ok, Heavenly Father, if we sing "I'll go where you want me to go" in church today, then I'll do this. I'll move back to Utah." Well, I couldn't contain the tears as we sang "I'll go where you want me to go" in Sacrament meeting that day.

Since that time, it's really hit me that that hymn says, "I'll go where YOU want me to go," not, "I'll go where I want ME to go." I've had to remind myself of that often. Because my vision and His vision were different. 

I ended up in Salt Lake City. I did not want to move here. I wanted to stay in Utah County or end up in St. George. On my way out the door to move my things, I told my Mom, "I don't want to do this." 

Sometimes God makes us do things we don't want to do. I've pondered that fact quite a bit. There are plenty of examples in the scriptures of people who are asked to do things they don't want to do. 

Why does God make us go places we don't want to go? I'm still figuring that out. But over the past year, I've learned that a huge reason is so we'll grow. I've been stretched in ways I never thought possible this past year. This has hands down been the hardest year of my life. I've been humbled (and am still being humbled) to the core. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm on a wild ride and I'm just hanging on for dear life! I never could have planned a lot of this. This weekend I moved to another place here in Salt Lake. This came out of nowhere. I was not planning on moving at all.  Let's just say, I'm not very fond of moving. But this opportunity was presented and well, here I am. Moving yet again. It's reminded me that while I do have my agency, I am not the one in control here. God does have a plan and even though I feel lost at times, one day it'll all make sense and come together. Neal A. Maxwell said, "What, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that God was making a mosaic. For there is in each of our lives this kind of divine design, this pattern, this purpose that is in the process of becoming, which is continually before the Lord but which for us, looking forward, is sometimes perplexing."

I don't have all the answers. But I know God has a plan. I know that He wants us to be humble. It isn't an easy thing to align our will with His. But, it's the best thing to do. I'm working on remembering that God is the one in control. One of my favorite scriptures says, "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works." (Jacob 4:10)

So here I am in Salt Lake City, Utah. I should mention that while this has been the hardest year of my life, there's so much good that has happened since living here. I've met incredible people. I recently started attending the Midsingles Ward (congregation) and it has been the best experience for me. I've finally felt that that's where I'm supposed to be. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me there. I love being so close to the mountains here that I can go on a hike with friends after work. I've also developed a greater love for Temple Square and the history there. So much good. And it's not all about me. God needs me here. Perhaps to help someone else. Who knows. But I'm here because God wants me to be here. As hard as it is, I'm learning to trust Him and go where He wants me to go. 

It may not be on the mountain height

Or over the stormy sea,

It may not be at the battle’s front

My Lord will have need of me.

But if, by a still, small voice he calls

To paths that I do not know,

I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:

I’ll go where you want me to go.