Faith, Hope, and “Why”: PART 1

“…ye have not yet understood how great the blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you… nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.”

Doctrine and Covenants 78:17-18

In 2013 all summer the only thing I could think about was getting back to school.  I had 2 amazing jobs I loved, 2 dance scholarships, a perfect school schedule, great roommates in a house with perfect location and rent, a small position on student government, choreography ready for the dance concert, and a LOT of awesome friends.  I was incredibly grateful for all of these opportunities, and excited for school to start.  I could not have imagined a better school year waiting for me.

A few days before I was going to head back to school I hit some financial problems.  It almost looked like I wouldn’t be able to go back – but I fought and researched and figured things out. It would be a tight semester, but I could definitely make it with strict budgeting.  My mom kept asking if I wanted to stay home and save money, but I said “No way!  I don’t like living at home and everything in Cedar City is perfect and waiting for me.”

I had planned to leave on Monday, but a TON of things went wrong and I somehow ended up leaving on Wednesday.  I started thinking that this might be a sign that I was supposed to stay home, but dismissed the idea.  I said a prayer and told Heavenly Father that if I was supposed to stay home I would, but he would have to be very VERY clear when he told me because that decision wouldn’t make any sense… and then I left.

On my way down I ended up having to get a tire change at a small mechanic shop 45 minutes away from the city I was headed to.  Thankfully someone saw and pointed it out while I was in the drive-through.  What a tender mercy.  Again, I thought that it might be  a sign, but decided I needed a bigger one if I was going to put my life on hold.

I finally made it to my new home and started moving in!  Getting everything unpacked was great, and my excitement for the new year just kept building.  I was sooo happy and relieved to finally be there.  My roommate/best friend Beth and I caught up and went to dinner, and I was thrilled to be home.  All day Thursday we had a blast continuing the celebration of our reunion.  That night we went to a campus event and I suddenly felt extremely uncomfortable and awkward.  I didn’t feel like my usual friendly self at all, and I almost felt like I didn’t belong there.  I decided it was just a weird mood and headed home.

The next morning I woke up with a pit in my stomach.  I kept feeling like I needed to move home, but I prayed and told Heavenly Father “If you want me moving home you need to send me a flashing neon sign or something.  I need to be sure that it is what you want me to do if I’m going to let all of these people down and give up my perfect life for no reason.”.  All day I couldn’t eat, and I went to several events that I would normally thrive at… but instead of feeling my usual happiness and excitement, I felt miserable.  I kept thinking that I might be lying to everyone, and I felt like I couldn’t even fake happiness.  I finally decided that I was experiencing some sort of hormonal imbalance (after all, it made NO sense to move home, and it wasn’t even something I wanted to do), so I went home and worked on finishing up with unpacking.

As I was unpacking, I was praying that these feelings would go away or that I would get a CLEAR answer and know that it was from Heavenly Father.  There was no way I was going home if there was a chance that this was just a weird mood.  I decided to go to the temple the next day to get some clarity.  At about 6:00 a friend called me asking if we had a extra room available for rent in our house.  Immediately I thought “this might be part of my answer”, but told her “No.  I’ll double check, but I don’t think we have any”.

I hung up the phone and started sobbing.  I said a quick prayer and felt Heavenly Father answer back, telling me to get a blessing so that I could know what to do NOW instead of waiting a day to go to the temple.

At about 6:30 a friend came over and gave me a blessing.  I won’t go into details on what it said, but I will say that during the blessing I felt very strongly that moving home was the right decision, even though it was the hard one… and made zero sense.  One thing the blessing did say was that I would receive confirmation as I studied the words of the prophets and prayed.  As soon as my friend left I pulled out my scriptures and just started flipping through pages until I felt like I should stop and read.  Here are some of the things my eyes flew to:

D&C 98:12

D&C 100:12 and 15

D&C 101:7

D&C 101:16

D&C 103:12

D&C 104

D&C 78:17-20

I stopped and read most of these scriptures because I had things highlighted.  Throughout section 104 I had highlighted over and over again  that if we are faithful, we will be blessed. In 101:16 I had drawn a line under the phrase “be still and know that I am God.”.  In section 78 I not only had the section highlighted, but had also drawn a box around the phrase “I will lead you along.”… each page I turned to had other things highlighted… but my eye went straight to the topics of faith and trust in the Lord.

As I was reading these scriptures and receiving the constant confirmation that leaving was the right decision, I was sobbing.   I was giving up my perfect life, a life where I not only got to do things I love, but was also able to help people daily… to return to the place that just days ago I couldn’t wait to leave. The place all of my friends had just left, the place where nearly everyday for over 3 months I had told people how badly I wanted to just get back to school already.

It may sound stupid, especially to those of you who don’t know much about my life at SUU and how much I loved the dance department… but, I have never been so heartbroken in my entire life.  All I wanted to do was lie on my bedroom floor and cry for days…. and that is what I planned to do.  I then read a scripture telling me to “not tarry” and felt like I needed to get the leaving over with.  That’s when I came across 101:7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.

I immediately felt the spirit tell me that I knew what I needed to do, and that I needed to do it right away before I talked myself out of it.  I knew that Beth was going to be home at 9:00 and that if I stayed to say goodbye and tried to explain, I would end up as a sobbing puddle on the floor again.  At 7:00 I picked myself up off the floor and started throwing everything I had just unpacked back into boxes and bags.  I texted a friend of mine and asked him to please come at 8:15 to help me move some things.   After successfully made it through a trip to Walmart to get more packing supplies, I met my friend and two other people he had recruited at my house.  They were ready to help me move what they thought was into the house… instead I calmly(ish) told them that I was moving back to Springville and wanted to be out by 9:00.  They helped me throw everything into the car and trailer as I wrote a quick note to my roommates, and just as I had planned… I was on the road home by 9:00.

One hour into my 4 hour drive I stopped to get water and with shaking fingers sent my parents a text message: “Heavenly Father told me to come home.  So I am on the road back now.  Sorry if this messes a lot of things up.”

For the first two hours of the drive I think I was crying harder than I think I ever have… My entire face and both of my arms were tingling and numb. The only thing I’d been able to eat all day had been part of an avocado, and I had barely kept down any water.  I was experiencing a complete physical and emotional breakdown… but spiritually felt a strength helping me to keep driving.

I made it home safely and knowing that I made the right decision.


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