Today marks two years I’ve been home from my mission.
Crazy. Long gone are the days I used to keep track of time by transfers, dream in Portuguese and plan every half hour of every day in my missionary planner (actually, I still kind of do that).
Three weeks ago, my sister Teagan came home from her mission in Guatemala. I flew home for a few days so I could be with her and my family. After a few days, she was feeling kind of down and a little purpose-less, as most freshly returned missionaries feel. I remember feeling that way too. I reminded her that real life didn’t need to be overwhelming and that Heavenly Father would take care of her.
Heavenly Father always takes care of His missionaries. That’s something my dad constantly told me.
Then, when I was stressed about having to fly back to BYU and face reality again, Teagan reminded me: “Syd, Heavenly Father takes care of His missionaries.”
That hit me. It hit me hard. And probably made me shed a tear or two because I do that from time to time.
Just a simple truth I needed to hear: I was one of Heavenly Father’s missionaries too. And He would take care of me too.
He has been taking care of me all along.
Today I went to the temple grounds to do some much needed pondering and reflecting. I started making a list of all the blessings I had experienced in the past two years. It didn’t take long see that every blessing, every single I wrote down, was somehow related to my mission. Everything that has happened in my life during the past two years is a direct result of someone or something I gained from the mission field.
Even though there are some days when I wonder why my life plan hasn’t happened the way I thought it would, I know Heavenly Father has guided me every step of the way. Figuring out the plan for my life IS His plan. I’m learning and growing all along the way – just like he intends for me to do.
“The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children.”
Every single day I see blessings from my mission. Every single day I am reminded of something I experienced or someone I met I during those 18 months. And I’m still seeing the fruits of my labor! The labor the Lord and I did together. The labor I did through Him. Joy, true joy.
The more I reflect on my mission, the more I realize there is no way I could have done any of that alone and I’m so glad I didn’t have to. The Lord gave me strength beyond my own. He still does. All of the blessings I have received during these past two years are things I could not have accomplished without Him.
God lives and we literally are His children. He sent His Son Jesus Christ so He could show us the way to return Home. I am so grateful for a Savior who knows me personally, who knows how I feel, who has walked where I have walked. He understands the pressures and disappointments of life. It is He who empowers us and strengthens us so we can become the kind of person God intends for us to be. I will continue to follow Him day by day so I can stay on this path that leads to eternal joy.
Though my faith is sometimes tested and life has a way of throwing curve balls when I least expect it, I know the Lord will never abandon me. I can call upon His name at any moment. He hears me. He will never leave me comfortless.
And though I sometimes doubt it, I know He has a perfect plan for my life.
I remember going back to BYU for spring term, just five weeks after I got home, and meeting people who had been home from their missions for two years. I thought to myself, You’ve been home for two years and you’re still here? What are you doing with your life? You know, like two years was an eternity and so much was supposed to happen during that time.
Well, look at me. Two years, and yes I’m still here. And no, I’m still not completely sure what I’m going to do with my life. And that’s OK.