Friday, August 29, 2014

"Ye cannot behold"

In just about 3 weeks, I will have been home from my mission for a year, having received a medical release. Many people talk about the mission being the best two years of your life, and some say, no, it's the best two years for your life. I contest that, at least for me. I have learned so much in this past year in subtle, yet profound ways.

I knew that God loved His children. I knew that I was His son. However, that connection really didn't sink into my heart. I knew that He loved you, but I didn't know that He loved ME. When I came home, I was confused: I loved serving the Lord, I loved Washington. In fact, there was nothing I didn't love about my mission.

It was a difficult time to get on that plane. When I got home, I met Elder Wilcox and Elder Jacobson. I quickly became really good friends with both of them. I did as much as I could with them, and was having a blast, but in the back of my mind, I wondered if I had made a mistake and was supposed to be going back, though I knew I would just be put back in the same boat, struggling with depression in the field if I did return. 

It was at this moment that I went to the stake center with these elders to watch conference. I was praying that I might figure out if I was alright, and then Elder Holland got up, and gave his talk Like a Broken Vessel. I was bawling through the whole talk. The Elders literally threw their arms around me.

I returned to school in January, and had a great ward. Instantly made friends with several of the people in the ward. I remember very clearly one day when I had a panic attack on my floor, outside of my room, and Joey noticed. All the ward members on the floor rallied around me to make sure that I was doing alright. It was the most amazing feeling.

I made 2 friends in particular, Jacob and Brian. Meeting them was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. As my panic attacks increased, so did their reaching out for me. I remember on the severest panic attack I've had since my mission, I honestly don't remember what happened. I remember being in the cafeteria at school for wing night at 9:00, and the next thing I remember, I got a water bottle from my room, I remember pouring the water on my head. The very next thing I remember seeing was Jacob more scared than I had ever seen him before, grabbing my shoulder. That brought me back to reality, but that whole time was 90 minutes.

Time progressed, and it became time to pick where I'd be living this school year. I had a strong feeling to go to Richards hall. I did not know why, but I signed up for Room 118 of Richards. Several months later, when receiving the email, it said that one of my roommates was Alex, a kid I was friends with from freshman year, and we'd emailed each other during the missions (especially since I was serving in his home mission).

Then I came to church on the very first Sunday when people started moving in. I played the organ, and so was scanning the congregation for people who might have moved back into the stake. I was only able to pick out a handful of people, but not the one in particular I had in mind to find. I consigned myself to the fact that he was probably living off campus.

Then we broke up into wards, and President Simmons said, "Greaves Hall and Richards Hall are combined into the 4th Ward". Which was strange, as Richards had always been its own ward; however, being that it was about the size of a branch last year, the boundary change made sense. Then walking in late to the meeting, because he thought church was at 1:00, came in my good friend Sam. 3 of us from my freshman ward all ended up in the same ward.

It was by no coincidence. God is mindful of our needs, and is as surely putting people we need in our lives, as well as people who need us in their lives, into each others' lives, that we all can grow, learn, and ultimately progress towards eternal life. I don't know how my life is going to turn out, but I remember one of my favorite scriptures:

"Ye cannot behold with your natural eyesfor the present time,the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation." (Doctrine & Covenants 58:3)