Since I was very little, I have had the desire to get married and have a family. This has been a very strong desire and at times it was extremely hard to deal with when there seemed like there was nothing I could do with the feeling. I mean imagine being a girl at 12 who is just dying to get married and have children when she isn't even old enough to date! That was me. It seemed even more difficult when I was 16 and 17 and I knew that as much as I longed to have a boyfriend and just feel ONE step closer to my wanting, I needed to heed to the counsel of the Lord and my leaders and get to know a lot of people really well. I think the worst was my freshman year of college, mostly because it is my most recent experience. You see, before I left for Logan my younger brother, his friends, and even my mom all made "bets" as to when I would be married or at least engaged; there was 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 18 months, and then my mom (the only wise one in the group) who said 1 or 2 years. So I headed to college with the idea that during my 18th year I would meet a fabulous guy that I would learn to love with all my heart and get married, just like that. It didn't happen. Fall semester passed and going into the spring semester I thought, "it will happen this semester", and it didn't then either. In fact, there are only 2 or 3 people that can still win the bet and I have a feeling that none of them may win. I remember after that first year ended and thinking that I was so old and there had to be something wrong with me because I still hadn't found a young man who was what I wanted in a husband. I know, you're thinking "wow Alex, you're only 19! You're not old at all!" but remember that I have been having this intense desire basically since birth. Waiting for 19 years feels like a really, really, really long time.
Well the Lord works in mysterious ways. Summer happened, the best summer of my life, and then I was again thinking about why things never happen the way I plan them to. One of my roommates told me that she thinks that God laughs at our plans and I can imagine that He laughs at mine, but that doesn't mean that He does not care about our desires, it just means that He knows what we really need in our lives and if our desires match those needs THEN things somehow work out. I know I will eventually get married, it just isn't going to happen in the way I expect it to.
I also believe there are moments in our lives when we can feel ourselves changing and growing. This can be in a good direction or in a different direction, but I believe we can "see" it happen if we take the time to sit back and watch. I felt myself grow this past week. I can feel myself getting a little wiser and laugh if you will, but I promise that it's possible to be a little blonde and a little wise at the same time. I am still single and no where near marriage but I'm happy about it. I still have a strong desire to know the feeling of kneeling at the alter across from my eternal companion, holding my first born child, growing my first garden, serving a couples mission, and all of those wonderful experiences we have after we are married, but it will come in time. I still need to experience the single college life a little longer.
A man I look up to a lot, my institute teacher, told me that there are young men that I still need to meet and that need to learn from me and that I need to learn from, that there are young men that need to feel my light. Dating, for the first time, isn't something that I am necessarily looking forward to, but instead I'm excited to just get to know a lot of people, develop the relationships I have now, travel to far away places, watch my little brothers grow into men, learn to write like I have always wanted, learn how to cook many amazing meals, read and read a lot, and more importantly develop my relationship with my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. Although I could do all of these things while I am married, there is something different about doing it while I am still single. I am also excited to do all of the things I didn't do that I wanted to do last year. I'm excited to experience being 19. No more wishing for the next step in life to come, I am enjoying where I am at now! And I can use these feelings of intense desire to motivate me to develop myself for when the time does come.
You're probably wondering what happened that caused all of this inspiration to come and for the positive side of me to dig itself out, well I am a very blessed individual. I have a family that loves me unconditionally, I have amazing friends that stick with me, and (what you least expected) I just watched the movie Soul Surfer. During the movie, there were things said that I needed to hear, to boost me up to research subjects to help me see the bigger picture. So, for probably the only time in my life, I am going to say, thank you Hollywood, you did some good in my life.
So I read up on "patience" on LDS.org and this is what I came accross that inspired me.
“Indeed, we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing."
"We prepare in the way the Lord has directed. We hold ourselves in readiness to act on the Lord’s timing. He will tell us when the time is right to take the next step. For now, we simply concentrate on our own assignments and on what we have been asked to do today. In this we are also mindful of the Lord’s assurance: “I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:73)."
Elder Dallin H. Oaks- Timing Oct. 2003
**I HIGHLY recommend you read the whole talk. It was amazing and applies to anyone's situation. Come on, read it now. You know you want to!
"As I read, the message for me became strikingly clear: the purposes...can be likened to His purposes in directing my life. He would have me experience “a little season” of waiting before I marry, that I may be prepared to do what is required of me and have experiences that promote learning and growth."
Sister Brooke Ann Smith - Waiting a Little Season July 2008
“Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.”
I feel like I've just driven around a round-about, finished a lap around the track, I feel like I am back where I started last school year. But this time its different. Now I know that there is a young man out there who is waiting anxiously for our time to united in the eyes of God, I know that that time will not come any sooner just by wanting it to, I know that being single isn't a terrible thing as long as you are striving to better yourself and setting goals to get to the next step, I know that I am loved more deeply than I know, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God does NOT leave His children to go through life on their own, there are people all around us that are reaching out to help us and befriend us. There are people that need us as much just as we need them and together we stand even stronger and learn even more. I cannot agree with President Hinckley more when he said, "life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
May you all enjoy your journey, wherever you may be. And let the Lord show you all the change that will better us in ways we never imagined. :)