“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice.” –Unknown
Isn’t it ironic how at times we feel as if we cannot endure much longer, and yet it is in those same moment we find the strength to keep going and enduring? It is amazing to look back and find that those little moments of weakness were actually huge mountains of strength. The same can be said about having faith.
When I was in high school, I would dream about life in “the real world.” I would graduate high school, go to a single’s ward, meet the man of my dreams and, have the perfect little family, or so I thought. I soon would realize that there was a part of “my plan” that I was missing and that was the Lord’s plan and the Lord’s timing.
About a year after graduating high school, I thought that everything in “my plan” was going perfectly well. I was involved in a wonderful singles’ ward, I was loving my experience at Arizona State University, and I was engaged to be married. Little did I know, my world was about to be flipped around.
One night, after much prayer and pondering, I felt that I needed to break off my engagement. This was most definitely not in my plan and was not in line with the vision I had set for my life. That night became one of the first of many strength-testing experiences. I can honestly say that was the first time in my life that I truly had to draw out inner strength.
The following weeks were filled with much bitterness, anger, and confusion. Why did this have to happen? Why was my life not going according to my plan? What was my new plan? What was my future going to be like?
After many weeks of self-sulking, I once again realized a key element that I had been missing and that was the Lord’s timing and the Lord’s plan. I was then reminded of a wonderful and simple truth that I had long forgotten and that was “faith in God includes faith in His timing.”
It was, in what felt like the weakest moment of my life, that I was able to draw strength in remembering to have faith and to trust in His plan for me. It wasn’t easy, and it took work, but every second was worth it.
This experience and sweet reminder became a strong foundation in my life as I was faced with other decisions and changes that were “not in my plan.” Each decision became easier and easier as I started to recognize and remember that the Lord loves us perfectly. The plan He has created for each of us and the vision of what He has of each of us is far more that we have for ourselves.
Looking back on “my plan” from high school me, I have been able to realize how much sweeter the Lord’s plan is. Yes, putting forth that faith is hard, but it is oh so worth it. Sometimes, in the moment, we are not unable to understand the why, and that’s okay. As long as we understand that Heavenly Father loves us perfectly and will never give us more than we can handle, everything will seem to be okay and works out in the end.
In the past six years, since this experience I have been able to recognize the sweet experiences that have come in my life by simply having faith in the Lord AND His timing. Some of these experiences include: serving on the institute counsel, graduating with a Master’s Degree, moving in with some of the sweetest roommates, becoming a teacher, and the sweetest of all which was being sealed to my wonderful husband in the Mesa Temple at the most perfect time.
Throughout all of the changes and faith-testing moments you will face in your lives, I hope you will always remember this” “Don’t give up. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead . . . It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” Jeffrey R. Holland
Guest Post by Stephanie Willis
My name is Stephanie Willis. I am a kindergarten teacher, ASU Graduate, beach bum, and lover of all things Pinterest. My husband, David, and I have been married a little less than a year. Together, we love Netflix watching, taking fun classes, going to the temple, and traveling. We currently reside in Gilbert, AZ.