9.02.2015

"the place where thou art at this time"

Things are about to get really emotional, sappy, intensely personal, #ALLTHEFEELS on this here blog. 


Last Wednesday night, I was sitting in institute next to Drew. I had just shown him one of my many favorite chapters (Doctrine & Covenants 6) and phrases in scripture ("encircled eternally in the arms of His love"). He then pointed at something else on the page. 

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time." (Doctrine & Covenants 6:14, emphasis added)

"Seattle" was written in red next to this verse. It took all I had in me to not burst into tears, because two days later, I would be leaving my home of Seattle. And just the day before, I walked into Eagleson Hall for the last time to pick up my degree--my Masters degree in Medical Speech-Language Pathology. Drew called me just as I was walking into the building to tell me about his morning; I whispered to him on the phone while I picked it up and all I could think of was this quote: 

"How shall I sum up my life? I think I've been particularly lucky. Does that have something to do with faith also? I know my mother always used to say, 'Good things aren't supposed to just fall in your lap. God is very generous, but He expects you to do your part first.' So you have to make that effort. But at the end of a bad time or a huge effort, I've always had--how shall I say it?--the prize at the end. My whole life shows that." -Audrey Hepburn

Once I hung up on the phone and held the degree in hand, I started crying. I couldn't help but cry out in thanksgiving in my heart. The Lord had blessed me with so much in Seattle--the hardest experiences of my life, the most heart wrenching moments balanced with wonderful faith building experiences, dear friends that turned into my Seattle family, an incredible education and clinical experiences, a better understanding of my divine purposes here and the enabling power of the Atonement working in my life to get me through each day, and an incredible expansion of my heart in love. I know it all started with prayers during applications for graduate school, while pleading for the Lord to help me go to a place where I could become a better instrument in His hands, a place where He needed me the most. As hard as it was to leave Utah--the place I had been born and raised for 22 years, I knew Seattle was the answer to those prayers. It became apparent within days of arriving to Seattle, in an experience of attending a Heavenly home on Earth.

So why did I leave this true home of two years, the city I love dearly? 

Back in March, I was at the Seattle Temple and trying to feel out where I was supposed to go. I had adamantly said "NO" in my mind to Utah. I was hoping to stay in Seattle, but I was also open to San Francisco or Boston. Cool places, no strings to tie me down, open to exploring new vistas at my ripe ole age of twenty-three...almost twenty-four. 

The Lord had different plans for me though. I opened up to a random chapter in Alma while waiting in the chapel and all I saw on the page was..."and returned again to the city Bountiful" (Alma 52:17). I sat through the session feeling anger about all of this. The more I was stubborn about this answer, the more the Lord reminded me I needed to have a soft heart and be open to Utah. After all, He had proven to me time and time again, His ways are higher and better than mine. 

After many blessings and prayers and study of scriptures and General Conference talks, I started to feel a little more comfortable at the end of April/beginning of May with coming back to Utah, even if it was just for the full-time internship and then I could return back to my true home of Seattle. However, the final full-time internship fell through in Utah and I was placed at a hospital in Seattle for the summer. I wasn't mad (Seattle summers are the stuff of dreams and acute/inpatient is my dream setting), but I was so confused. I had finally been feeling so good about returning to Utah and then had this turn of events. Amidst a rainy afternoon of hysterics and tears about the internship falling through, Hesper was so wise and texted me these words, 

"Shoot, I'm so sorry. I didn't know you actually wanted it, cause it seemed like you were always fighting it. Maybe you need just 8 more weeks in Seattle because everything else needs more time, whether it is a man that needs time, the specific job, or certain patients that will need you, or possibly patients that will need you specifically this summer here. This time has shaped you, but it might also be for others too." (5/12/15; ironically, Hesper's phone autocorrected patients to patience...probably not a coincidence that I needed the reminder to have patience, right?) 

So I graduated in June and held onto those wise words; the feeling that I needed to come back to Utah persisted, but I recognized that patience might be the key in this whole crazy plan. When is it not the key? 

My summer in Seattle was all I could have ever hoped for and more. In fact, the Lord looked out for me in every turn with regards to friends and roommates, my incredible internship, the job search, and love. I could not have asked for or prayed for more, dreamed of more than He has given me in the last few months of my life.

On 7/25/15, I received a call from IMC in Utah about an SLP position and I then submitted my application and a cover letter that day before getting ready for what turned out to be the best first date of my twenty four years. 

On 7/31/15, I interviewed for two jobs; one of them was IMC. 

On 8/12/15, I received the official offer from IMC. Exactly 3 months from the day Hesper texted me those words of comfort. 

There are so many other days and coincidences that happened to me over the summer, things that really were not coincidences, but I know, without a shadow of doubt, these instances were divine design. Words and people and experiences that were truly Heaven sent, guiding me to have faith and make life changing, perspective expanding decisions. In fact, I felt so much peace and confidence about moving back to Utah and even getting this job that I called my parents after going to the temple on 8/8/15 and told them I knew I would be moving back on 8/28/15. I couldn't believe those words when they were coming out of my mouth. 

However, every aspect of my life suddenly felt completely in line with the Lord's will.  

Once I found out, I started to tell people slowly over text, over FaceTime, over the phone. Most people asked me if I had a bucket list or things I absolutely had to do before I said goodbye to Seattle. I am someone who can't live that way during times of change, because I know this is more of a transition and not a goodbye to Seattle. 

How could I ever say goodbye to a place of eternal significance during my mortal journey? 

I still remember when my dad spoke at my great grandmother's funeral, he talked about how she would never say "goodbye" when she hung up on the phone or when people left her home. That simple lesson always stuck with me since the tender age of ten; goodbyes are not a part of our nature as eternal beings. Every encounter and experience is eternal, if we learn to treat it that way. If there's one thing I've learned, it is this: wherever we are in life, we need to be all there--committed, vulnerable, and full faith in opening your heart to the Lord and His personal plan of Salvation for you. 

Sometimes, I think we get in the way of the Lord blessing us, revealing the next steps of our journey--our preconceived notions or frameworks of how we should receive revelation, worries about the perceptions of others, unknowingly choosing fear over faith. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to the will of the Lord, light gradually begins to overcome any fears, worries, misconceptions. Little by little, we can start to see life with an eternal lens. There are lots of little steps of faith to take before we reach the point of doubting nothing, the point where we are able to look back and know the Lord was truly there with you, guiding you every step of the way. 

While I don't have all the answers yet, I am grateful for the light I have received. I am grateful for all people in my life, reminding me of the Lord's goodness in their words and deeds. I am grateful I could be in the Bountiful Temple yesterday, my Temple, and have such a meaningful scripture study and prayer while I was there, most notable was stumbling into Romans 8 as the bright sun came shining through the chapel windows. I am grateful for the guidance, love, peace, and fortitude that can only come from my Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost or still small voice that reminds me to be confident, to be patient, to be faithful rather than fearful about what I don't know yet in my journey. After all, He proves to me time and time again, His ways are higher and better than mine. 


Trust the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. 
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

3 comments:

  1. thank you so much for your sweet comment. isn't this profession so beautiful in its striving sincerity?
    furthermore, thank you for this post--for writing so vulnerably. there's something about your story and testimony that i so badly needed to read this week. so. thank you.

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  2. Oooh, sister! I have been out of the blogger world for months, but wanted to check in on you today to see how you are doing. Again you reminded my why I love reading from your inspiring blog so much. You are incredible and I am thankful for your sincere, beautiful testimony that resonates from your words. Thanks, friend.

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  3. i like when you put it all out there.

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