I remember laying in bed that night. It was pitch black at an hour that normally would find me unconscious. But I was wide awake- eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. I'd been looking at it for so long that it finally had found form out of the darkness. I was lost in a feeling. A feeling that was very real and I wanted to imprint the realness in my brain- transfer it from my heart to my head- so that I would know what I had felt when, inevitably, the feeling itself evaporated. I knew myself- I would try to be my own dissuader if I left that as a possibility, to say it never happened, to deny it's brief existence.
As I laid there that night, I knew if I didn't go through with what I felt, I would live with regret- the knowledge that I didn't do something I knew and felt I was supposed to do.
What I felt scared me.
I didn't think I was adequate.
I had just returned home after graduating from Ricks College with my Associates Degree. I was out of plans and out of money. I was simultaneously trying to replenish both negative accounts. So I got back on the waitressing floor and started on as a substitute teacher and got to dreaming about the next step. And, as if habit itself had taken over, my mind took me to where it always goes when dreaming is without restriction...
I wanted to go to Hawaii.
I always wanted to go to Hawaii.
Before Ricks I had wanted to go to BYU-Hawaii.
That didn't happen and now that I was looking to open another door, I still wanted to go to BYU-Hawaii.
Please, Lord, just let me get to Hawaii.
These few months right after graduation were filled with indecision. Ultimately, I knew what I didn't want to do and I knew what I wanted to do, but I'm a feel-er. While logistics definitely have their place in my decision making process, the winner is always going to be chosen by feeling right. And while I had come to terms in the logistics department as far as what was next, I never felt settled. And yet, I couldn't put my finger on what was unsettling.
Until this night, when I was in my brother's bedroom all alone. I remember kneeling in prayer and having a similar dialogue with the Lord that I'd had so many nights before. As was my current event, I was trying to plan my future. But I think I was a little frustrated this particular night. And instead of presenting my choice and begging for a feeling of peace, pleading for a feeling of support and approval, I desperately changed my words, possibly to communicate my own disapproval of this long, drawn out subject.
"Heavenly Father, what do you want me to do?"
And out of nowhere, an answer that had absolutely nothing to do with what I thought I was praying about, filled me.
And filled me clearly. Completely.
There was no denying that I had received an answer- an immediate one at that- to my desperate plea...
"I want you to go on a mission."
I was shocked.
I was not praying about a mission.
In fact, I had already decided months ago that a mission was NOT something I wanted to do.
But, this night, I had opened myself up for a brief moment to consider more than what I, alone, wanted.
And Heavenly Father took advantage.
Shot the gap.
And thus sparked the sleepless night.
Followed by the month of silence while I let my new reality marinade.
I fought hard to replace fear with faith.
I waited for excitement to outrun that fear.
I accepted my knack as a feel-er, and it felt so right.
I held strong to that peace of knowing what I felt that night.
I decided to do it, to serve an 18 month mission. To leave my hap-hazard ways and give discipline a shot. To give my work ethic the shock of a lifetime. To demand faith the opportunity to completely dominate me.
And I've never had to look back and question. I've never had to wonder, "What would've happened if I had followed that feeling?" I've never wondered if I missed out on something great. I've never wondered if I made the right choice, or if I cheated myself.