March 04, 2017

First-Hand Experiences

Apparently we still blog?

Last week was my ward's conference. A member of the stake presidency taught the Relief Society lesson. He advised us to rely on first-person experiences when we have questions about the gospel.

It got me reflecting on my own personal experiences with God. Life hasn't turned out the way I thought it would. When I first started blogging, I still thought I was going to get engaged at 21 to a returned missionary, get married at 22, and then have a kid every two years until I had six. Ha ha. Good one! So far I am 29, completely single, a college graduate, a returned missionary myself, have started two separate career paths and been successful at both, a home owner, budding (get it?) gardener, have a chronic reproductive disease, and regularly vacillate between wanting to have a baby and being repulsed by pregnancy.

And I have a great life. God has been so good to me. Some may call this illogical and naive, but I view all the hurtful things we experience as a natural consequence of living in a fallen world, and view all of the redemptive experiences as a miraculous consequence of God's hand in our lives.

He gave me an unmistakable witness of the validity of His restored gospel during a (rare) moment alone on my mission. He gave me many professional mentors to help me grow up while I figured out how I wanted to support myself. I've been blessed to have wonderful, generous friends who teach me empathy and thoughtfulness. He's allowed me time alone to refine myself and find independent confidence, something I never could have done if I had married at 22. He's blessed me with courage and prompted me to see opportunities that 10 years ago would have scared the poo out of me. He comforts me when faint and reminds of bigger perspectives. Even this stupid disease has been a blessing. I take medication everyday that, as a side effect to its intended purpose, has completely eliminated my dramatic mood swings. I'm so much happier now than I was before I was diagnosed!

And of course, He gave me the most perfectly imperfect, most kick-a family a girl could ask for.

My first-person experiences with God are too sacred and other-worldly to write about. They can't be described with words. But the above paragraphs are a summation of what those experiences have given me.