In the last couple of days, I've done a lot of thinking about my very near future. I graduate in December, but Ben won't graduate until 2015, so I get to stick around Rexburg for a while. We were hoping that I would be able to transition quickly from student to Mommy, but as always, life happens, and I'm (clearly) not expecting, as much I would love for that to be the case.
So I get to think about what I'm going to do in the next year and a half. That's a lot of time to fill. It's also scary to think about. We talked about a lot of options for me, and the whole time, I just keep thinking "why do I have to do this instead of being a mom, which is what I want to be doing?!"
Sometimes it's hard to let God take the drivers seat (or rather to accept that He's always been the one driving) when we want things to go a specific way, and we just don't see what it is He has planned for us. We like to calculate everything and decide what is best for us, and to a certain degree, God lets us move forward with these plans. But sometimes He has something else in mind for us. This is really hard to accept when you really want what you want.
So back to my current situation: I get to go figure out where I can get a job. Oh joy. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working; for most of my college career I've worked 1-2 jobs while studying full time in order to keep from having to take out loans. I love feeling that I can contribute monetarily to our family. It's just not my first choice of what I want to be doing right now. So I can't help but ask myself "What could God possibly want me to learn from this?"
What does He want any of us to learn from doing things we don't want to? Well, I'm sure that it's different for everyone, but I also think the basic principle is going to be the same. After praying and studying the scriptures for days, I'm still not entirely sure what I'm supposed to learn out of this, but I know that it has something to do with faith.
We are studying faith in my religion class right now, and we are learning that faith is a real power. We learned that the pattern in the scriptures shows that accessing the power of faith requires that we #1 have confidence, #2 know we are doing the will of God, and #3 act (do something). For a lot of people, #3 is hard, because it requires that we step into the dark. My problem is #1. If I know that I'm supposed to do something, I will act on it with complete confidence in God, but with almost no confidence in myself. I always let Satan convince me that even though I'm acting and doing God's will, that things just wont work out for me. I always let him convince me that there is something (although I'm still not sure what that something exactly is...) about me that makes me the exception to Gods rules. When I say exception, I mean that He won't bless me like He blesses everyone else, simply because I'm me.
Now writing this, I have to admit, that sounds pretty dumb, huh? But I've struggled with it my entire life, from school to mission to jobs, and currently with my unfulfilled desire to be a mom. It has caused me to sink into depression at one time or another, and to constantly stress and feel apprehensive about my life, even though I'm doing my very best to do all God has asked of me (and all He requires is our very best, He doesn't expect us to be perfect!). And in all honesty, He always takes care of me and blesses me with what I need, but I still find myself doubting that my efforts will warrant His blessings and approval. This has made my relationship with God very unhealthy, and it's something I know I need to fix.
So even though I have no idea what exactly I'm supposed to do for the next year and a half, I know that I will need to have confidence in God and in myself no matter what it is. I need to be courageous enough to put myself out there and take risks; apply for that job that I think I would never get hired for (even though I've been through all the training and qualifications), plan that service project that I assume no one would want to participate in, try out for that choir that I always tell myself I would never get into, write more on my blog that I'm afraid no one will benefit from reading...the list goes on. I need to do these things because I strongly believe that God wants me to be a confident mom one day. He wants me to be able to face all the opposition to His plan in such a way that my children aren't afraid of it. He wants me to be the best example of faith.
The truth is, we need to stop being afraid of ourselves and the great things we can do and become. We need to stop being afraid by having confidence in ourselves, and confidence that God won't leave us hanging out to dry. Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is what Satan uses to scare us into passiveness so that we don't do something amazing. Fear is actually just a False Expectation About Risk. Faith however is the power that God uses to create and govern the universe. Faith is what we should exercise in order overcome any trial in our path. Faith is actually Freedom Achieved In Trusting Heaven. It is a gift from God, and we need to use it or lose it.
PS. In case anyone is wondering, the acronym for fear came from a rappelling program I did while I was traveling in Europe in 2007. The acronym for faith came from Ben =)