While getting ready for church this morning, I watched a BYU devotional from the past week. It was called "Waiting Upon the Lord: The Antidote to Uncertainty" by Erin Holmes, a BYU professor in the School of Family Life.
I don’t think anyone lives a life without uncertainty at some point. That uncertainty, however, is very individual. Erin Holmes’ uncertainty was because of infertility, a trial I never have had to deal with. But I have had years of my own uncertainty. I haven’t yet determined if it increased, decreased or just changed with my divorce.
I appreciated listening to this talk today, even though nothing in it was new. The thoughts and quotes were much-needed, wonderful reminders to rely on the Lord and his timing as we keep our covenants.
“Though we live our lives in the real world, our dreams and goals are often reflected in ideals. When we experience a gap between the ideal and the real, we experience uncertainty.”
“The plan God has for you may not match the ideal you have envisioned...but you can have faith that together, you and the Lord can create something truly remarkable. “
She quoted a blog post by Ariel Szuch titled "You're Not Messing Up God's Plan for You."
“It’s tempting to think that God has some master plan that He’s measuring me against, and if I take one misstep I’ve missed my chance for happiness forever, or at the very least I’ll be doomed to walk around with the nagging feeling that I’m constantly disappointing God.
"But you know what? As I’ve examined that mindset, I’ve learned that I need a better understanding of God and what the term 'His plan for me' means.
I’m learning that God is much less a divine dictator who demands perfect compliance to a predetermined plan for our individual lives and much more a co-creator with us of the kind of lives we want to live.”
Wow. I have had the exact thought before that I have messed up my Heavenly Father’s path for me so there is no way to recalculate my route. I felt that even though I have kept my covenants and tried to seek the guidance of the Spirit, I must have made some wrong turns to end up a single mother. I love this reminder that our lives are not pre-determined or only one way is the right way. How beautiful that we can be co-creators with our Father to make our lives what He wants, no matter the struggles.
Here are a few other points from Erin's talk that stood out to me.
1. Actively seek God to find him.
2. God’s plan for you will not match the plan God has for others.
3. As we wait upon the Lord, we can choose faith and hope over fear.
4. If you feel lost, if you wait, you can feel God’s love for you.
She also quoted Neill F. Marriott from General Conference October 2015.
“Scripture says, ‘Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.’ This doesn’t mean all things are good, but for the meek and faithful, things—both positive and negative—work together for good, and the timing is the Lord’s. We wait on Him, sometimes like Job in his suffering, knowing that God ‘maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.’ A meek heart accepts the trial and the waiting for that time of healing and wholeness to come.”
I was grateful that she said it “doesn’t mean that all things are good” because some things are really horrible and sad. I have sometimes felt bad for not being grateful for my trials. I know that I can become stronger because of them and that if I stay close to the Lord, everything will work together for my good, but it is not fun to feel pain, confusion and uncertainty. But one thing is certain. When we stay close to our Father in Heaven and keep our covenants, the end actually is certain. We can live with Him again and all things will be as they should, and I imagine that we cannot fathom with our earthly, imperfect view what that really means.