Sunday, August 16, 2015

My Mission Decision and His Will

I feel inspired to document my story. My mission story that is.

After coming across a post today: 
10 Things Girls Who Aren't Serving Missions Want You To Know
I wanted to share this post because I absolutely loved it. 
And I felt it was important to document my story as well.

I get asked a particular question A LOT, "Did you serve a mission?"

Anytime I get this question, I just wish I could share my whole story with them, because I am confident in my story, just not as confident in the answer no as I should be. 

When I was growing up, serving a mission scared me. I believed it was for others, just not for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the gospel, I LOVED missionary work, and I prayed about a mission decision a lot in high school. I remember my fourteen-year-old-self telling Heavenly Father that I didn't want to go because I wouldn't be brave enough to try new food and that would offend someone, so I wouldn't be doing much good anyways. The desire to serve Heavenly Father was BURNING in my heart in every other way, just not about leaving to serve a mission. So I put the thought aside and the years went on. I saw two of my best friends leave great guys, serve missions and sacrifice these great men to serve the Lord. They both came back, married these great guys, (it was a blessing it worked out for each of them). My heart changed through the process as I watched them serve, but still, I didn't feel it was for me.

Well, come just last September I received revelation that I was to go on a mission. I prayed and fasted about the decision. I started my paperwork, I attended mission prep weekly, I was studying and preparing like nobody's business. I was anxious, but Heavenly Father filled my heart with peace that He would take care of me. The months of preparation were emotionally draining but I fully believed that I would go. A little after that, I received revelation that I wasn't to go anymore. Honestly, I still don't have the full answer of why I was asked to go, then wasn't to go anymore, but the Lord was pleased I was willing to go.

I'm really not sure if the Lord needed to know I was willing to go, or if He knew it already because He knows me perfectly enough to know the future, and it was me that needed to know how willing I was to serve the Lord.

This experience taught me that sometimes the Lord will put a detour on our path, not to change where we were going, but to teach us a few things before we arrive. It was a beautiful confirmation to me that the Lord knew I was willing to serve Him the entire time, but the experiences I had at home were necessary for me. I had a greater ability to be a missionary at home and while I sometimes overlooked it, that is exactly what I did, I was a missionary in more ways than I have ever realized until writing this post. 

No, I didn't need to serve a mission to make a difference.
No, I have no need to feel ashamed I never went.
No, it wasn't part of His specific plan for my life, but He would have supported it had it been my full desire.
Yes, I strongly encourage missions, and yes I would serve the Lord in a heartbeat.

And for each person it is a different situation. My dear sister is serving right now, I think a mission is the PERFECT fit for her life. Mine was a different story, but I know without a doubt I am still choosing His will for my life.

The Lord supports your righteous desires, He would love for you to serve Him and He needs you to serve Him if it is your desire. To each, it is a very personal and sacred decision, but one that shouldn't be taken lightly. 

If asked to go this minute by Heavenly Father, I would go. I will go where He leads me, for that's where my true happiness lies, is in following His will. Every once in awhile I still worry, I worry that I'm on course with what He would have for me, but as I check in with Him often, I feel Him guiding me and I know that He helped me make the very best decision for my life. 

If you're struggling or longing for answers on what is best for your life, ask Him. Pour out the desires of your heart and He will answer! No matter how terrifying it may be to receive your answer, He will answer in the way that is perfect for you. He will help you through grace if you are called, and if He wants you to stay, through time and prayer, you will know without a doubt your on the very best course for your life, following His will.

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