Tonight I am packin up my stuff. This is college. I am moving for the billionth time.
I’ve lived in this little ancient house for the last two years; so much of me has come alive in that time.
This moving process is different because the next time I move, I’m gonna be a missionary. This makes it easier to give away my clothes and my toaster. Did you hear me say that? I have to keep saying outloud so I can believe it. I’M GOING TO BE SISTER BROWN. I told my friend’s Mom that today. She looked at me like I was insane. “Why?” she asked. Well, is it really that hard to understand? I keep getting that question and I have a lot to say about it, but I won’t say anything now. I am going. You can swear I’ll be married by the time my call comes in the mail. You can say that if I don’t finish school now I never will. You can say so many things. I think getting married is beautiful. I think finishing school is a great idea. But this is what I’m doing. And if for some reason I were to do otherwise, it would not be because I was too scared, too crazy, too pretty or too weak to follow through for my mission. It will be because God asked me to do something else instead.
Ok, so it looks like I am gonna be saying a lot about this Why question after all.
Here are a few reasons why a mission sounds pretty cool. Oh, and I’ve included a nice sample of opposition for each of them.
I can increase my offering to the Lord. I can learn and stretch and work and struggle towards my potential. I can do big things.
Oh that’s cute that you want to do “big things” Shae. I’ll believe it when I see it.
You can do big things anywhere. A mission is not the only answer. Are you sure?
My mission will bless my family. I want to do whatever I can to bring that to them.
Oh please. If you want to bless your family, what are you doing here? And what are you doing far away on a mission that costs them a ton of money? You need to move home. You need to grasp reality.
You can’t count on that ya know. They can’t just magically get better. I know a girl who came home after 18 months and her family was in shambles. What are you gonna do then? You’re ridiculous.
This will help me to be a better Mom.
Staying here and getting married will help you be a better Mom. That’s your place. You don’t belong out there.
* * * * *
All that mess in italics? I’ve heard them inside my own head, just those self-depreciating thoughts. I’ve learned that that is Satan trying to fight back against the good choice I’m working towards. He tends to do that.
Here’s what’s worse:
I’ve heard every single one of these things from other people as well. My friends even. Mothers. Boys that have been on missions themselves. How can they believe what I believe and wonder why I want to testify of that same truth? I just want to do this. Why are you now embodying the words that Satan constantly uses against me?
And those statements in green up there? That’s all they are. Just reasons why a mission sounds great. They are not the reason I’m going. I’m not giving 18 months for a big fulfilling experience. I’m not going for future motherhood. If I get home and my family is in shambles, I will not be angry with God. I will not regret serving Him. I realize this could happen, but I choose not to bank on it. I choose to have faith that my family will soar. We will make it. This is the most exciting part for me, but it is still not the reason I’m going.
I am going because of a feeling I cannot transfer to your heart. I won’t even try. I heard the call. This is my answer.
* * * * *
Okay, so I’m beasting all my opposition here on this post. I’m saying, hey why don’t you get it? why aren’t you convinced? But oh man, I’m beasting the fear in me as well. I’m scared. I have to re-convince myself too. Re-commit over and over. The first three or four days of this feeling were undeniable. I would picture myself out there and be so excited. I would always tear-up, so full of resolve and hope and djfiwepohgladspjdisalpfdxsa oh just EVERYTHING! I wanted it! I wanted to yell it out! But after I started my papers, the opposition set in. I felt pretty grey, not sad or confused, just very serious. I was pushing through, but my light-hearted excitement was gone. This was during conference weekend. On Sunday morning Quentin L. Cook was speaking. He asked a question, and my answer came clear. I’ve learned that the source of this particular answer is the holy ghost. He helps me feel the things God wants me to know. I wrote them down in a tiny notebook; those little pages are what I use now to help me remember. Here they are.
“What will my path of discipleship require of me? Am I still fully willing, today, to go? Or am I requiring a daily enthusiastic prompting from the spirit? I might be guilty of this, of expecting God to carry me through by filling me constantly with conviction.
I have to work at holding my own head high, moving forward with willingness intact, cultivating my own conviction because I love God and I need to learn what it means to pull my own weight spiritually, relying on the Lord for what I can’t do by myself, and not for what I am too apathetic or dependent to do by myself.
This means I’ll keep readin my scriptures every day. I’ll pray sincerely. I will not mope in the uncertainty. I will press forward. If I’m unsure, I will call upon the Lord for answers with confidence that they will come. Then, I’ll keep moving until I find the answer. But I will not stop or slow. I will not pity myself. I am His daughter with the promise of eternity. I will get there by serving, listening, yielding. Never by moping. I will not require the Lord to push me forward in his work.”