Thursday, March 3, 2016

Heeding My Father's Counsel

When I was in high school, it suddenly became very important to me to find my own identity. As one of ten children and two older siblings, I wanted to be different, and to be distinguished by my own actions.

I didn't go crazy rebellious or anything, I just ended up applying and being accepted into a different college.

However, before I attended, my father asked me to consider a BYU Travel Study program to Nauvoo, Illinois. The only problem sister had gone the previous year. Mainly for that reason, I balked at the idea. I didn't want to follow in my sister's footsteps and it was very hard for me to want to go.

However, my dad pulled out his killer phrase. "Why don't you pray about it?" he asked. Oh, how I didn't want to do that!

Usually, when my dad would say that, I would already know what the answer was. However, if I prayed and asked, I would actually have to do the answer, and in my stubborn state, I wanted to refuse. However, for some reason, I never could say no when my father asked me to do that.

I prayed, and I ended up going to BYU-Nauvoo. It was among the best four months of my life. I had often been very lonely in high school. I had many friends, but I felt that I had no close ones. It was probably my own fault; the few really close friends I'd had from my childhood had moved away, and I felt that when you really let people in, they would leave. I really wanted the kind of friend that I could tell anything to and who always wanted to spend time with me (and who wouldn't leave).

I'm sure every child hungers for that kind of relationship. When I spoke to my mother about it, she told me the comforting words: "You may not get that kind of relationship until you're married."

It actually wasn't very comforting.

However, at BYU-Nauvoo, I found a group of friends who accepted all of me, even the strange, random bits, and loved them! I have never laughed so much in my life, and I don't think I had ever been as happy. It was my first college experience, and I loved it!

I was so grateful that I had heeded my father's counsel. I don't know if I ever told him that, but if not...

Thank you, Dad.

My dad's a pretty great guy. 
Then, a few years later, I was trying to make a major life decision. I was trying to decide whether I should take a full-time job offer and change to night school, or if I should keep working on my two part-time jobs and continue going to school full-time. I was nearly finished with my bachelor's degree, and I wasn't sure what to do.

As I spoke to my father about it, he again counseled me. "Why don't you pray about going on a mission?" he asked.

I was turning 21 in the next few months, and so I said, "Sure, why not? I'll throw that in there too."

As usual, it was my father's counsel that turned out to be the correct choice. I left school, with only a year left before I would have become a Veterinary Assistant, I went on a mission to San Antonio, Texas.

Again, it was one of the best decisions of my life. I made some very close friends, and I am so grateful for the things that I learned. While on the mission, I decided to switch majors to Elementary Education, and I was told to switch colleges by my Heavenly Father. I did so, and not only my life, but some of my close friends were affected positively by that decision.

I met Grig and was able to marry him for time and all eternity.

I don't know why I felt like I should share this today, except that I am so grateful for a righteous father who's counsel has been inspired. I think sometimes, that we forget that parents have our best interests in mind, and we fight tooth and nail to choose our own path.

However, when we heed the counsel of our earthly and Heavenly Father, we are truly blessed. I am still very close with the friends I made in Nauvoo and on the mission. I have often received counsel from my Heavenly Father that has been at odds with what I wanted to do, but as I bend my will and listen to Him, I am always happier and I experience blessings that I never would have thought possible.

Some people have to wait until they're married to find a best friend. I am so blessed that I have had several, and I am still close to them. We don't live next door, but no matter how much time passes, the relationship feels the same when I see them again.

I am now married to my very best friend, and I am so grateful for Grig. I am also learning to heed the counsel of my children's father, and he is very wise. We are picking up a new puppy in a couple of days, and a lot of that is due to inspiration that my husband received. I am so grateful that I was told to listen and to heed his inspiration as well. It's not always easy, but it is so worth it!

1 comment:

  1. I love listening to your dad's counsel too! He definitely knows how to help us through our hard times.