Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not My Way

OK, so this first part's a little bit of a rant, so if you want to skip it to get to the topic of the title, go ahead.  But it kind of a lead in to my topic.  Or if you're REALLY lazy, I guess I can highlight my key points.  But don't be so lazy!  Just read it!

College is almost over, once again.  This semester has been one of the greatest, by far!  My roommates are amazing, classes have been pretty good, my grades are better than I thought they would be, and I've just grown up so much!  It's weird to look back at where I was this time last year as a first semester freshman.  I was shy, quiet, and completely shelled up in my own little bubble.  I wasn't very outgoing and I didn't really have a social life.  I was just bogged down and stressed with homework all the time.  This semester as a first semester sophomore, I'm COMPLETELY different!  I'm probably one of the loudest people in my whole apartment complex, and I'm super outgoing.  I'm still bogged down with homework, but I don't let it get in the way of my social life.  Most importantly, my testimony of my Older Brother, my Savior, Jesus Christ, has grown more than I could ever imagine!  Which leads to my topic.  

OK, now if you were silly enough to skip, go back and read it.  Or not.  Your loss.  

I've learned that I can rely fully on the Savior for help and comfort, and to put my trust completely in Him.  Seriously, all the hard parts of life really aren't that bad when you rely fully on the Lord to take care of His will.  His way is ALWAYS the best way.  There's times when we have plans for ourselves.  Plans change.  It's a fact of life.  When has there ever been a time when everything you've wanted has happened?  It just doesn't work that way.  I just had an experience where my plan didn't go my way.  I've had a dream over the past year and a half.  I've literally thought about it every single day, hoping and praying that it would come true.  I wanted to be a Young Performing Missionary in Nauvoo, IL.  I wanted to serve a mission over the summer where I would be doing what I love to do; singing and acting on stage.  I worked so hard to get it.  I practiced and practiced, and spent all day recording my audition.  I literally did everything I could have done to get in.  And then today I got an email.  Out of the 150 people who tried out, only 20 could make it.  I didn't make the cut.

But, I knew that this was not my decision.  It is ultimately the Lord's.  He will put me where I need to be, when I need to be there.  That's my new motto in life.  I clearly remember the first devotional during the Spring Semester 2011.  The quote was, "Be where you need to be, when you need to be there."  I truly believe that as I go about life doing all I can to be a faithful servant of the Lord, He will do what is best for me.  It's up to me to put my trust in Him and say, "Thy will be done, O Lord, and not mine."  I hand my life over to Him.  He knows the eternal scheme of things and where I need to be in my life.  Ever since I turned in my audition video and form, I pleaded with the Lord to let me go.  I poured my heart out to Him, saying all the reasons I should go.  But after each prayer, I ended with, "Thy will be done, and not mine."  As the day drew closer for me to hear back from them, I started to think about what would happen if I didn't make it.  I knew I would be disappointed.  I've spent literally every day for the past year and a half thinking about this.  So I began to pray for comfort if I didn't make it.  I asked Him to help me be able to accept His will.

Today I got the email.  I saw who it was from.  The ultimate truth.  This would be the deciding factor for my life next summer.  I opened it.  

"Dear Lakesha,
Thanks so much for applying to be a Young Performing Missionary in Nauvoo, Illinois.  You are wonderfully talented, and we applaud your desire to use your talents in the service of the Lord.
This year Nauvoo Productions received close to 150 applications, from which we were able to select only 20 for the Summer 2012 mission.   As you can imagine, the selection process was extremely difficult. Although we’re not able to include you in this year’s group, we encourage you to consider applying again next year.
Thanks so much for your interest, and for your willingness to serve.
We wish you the very best!"

Talk about disappointment!  I just sat there on my bed, stunned.  I really thought I had a chance.  I had felt good about this decision for so long.  Then I thought back to all my pleadings with the Lord.  Ever since I started to ask Him for help to soften the blow if I didn't make it, I realized that I felt less and less excited to go.  I realized that He was preparing me, for which I'm extremely thankful.  The Lord really does care about each and every one of us.  He wants us to be happy.  He wants us to be successful.  It's just in His time frame and His way.  

Now that I have been thinking about this all day, I feel much more comfortable with the outcome.  I'm actually happy about it.  I know now that I'm supposed to be in Rexburg.  I can look forward to more great times with Caitlin and Kelsey and my new roommates!  Who knows what will happen in the spring?  Only the Lord knows, and He did what was best for me at this time.  So am I disappointed?  Sure.  But am I going to take this positively and have faith that my life is only going to be better because of this?  Most definitely.  Not my way, but the Lord's way.  That's the only way to live my life!   

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