i realized something about myself.

March 22, 2013

The other day when I was reading my book about sister missionaries one of the essays was all about how this girl gained a lot of strength and perspective from her dad's letters. In one letter he said this:

"..there are many, many things that I have chosen and done about which the Spirit really doesn't care too much. It has been up to me. And most important, the results have been the consequence of my decisions not the consequence of the Spirit's bidding. I picture my life to be constrained by an outline that the Lord has in mind for me. I get to fill in the words and lots of the subheadings and subplots. As long as the things I am doing do not stray too far from the outline, I am pretty much on my own. 

As I look back, the Spirit has done more calming of a fearful heart than telling me what to do. It has acted more forcefully when I did not require it than it did when I was asking for help."

I'm not saying this is doctrine or that it came from the mouth of a prophet; I'm not even saying anyone else might agree with it. But for me, this really hit home.

When I read that excerpt from some stranger's letter to his also stranger daughter.. I instantly thought of so many situations where others around me felt prompted or inspired by the Spirit, and I felt.. nothing. Honestly it never bothered me, but I've always sort of wondered about it. Should it have bothered me?

I remember last year when my roommates and I were looking for a place to live after moving out of the dorms. One of my roommates told me multiple times she had prayed about it and felt really strongly about moving into that little house on 7th east. I'll be honest - I hadn't prayed. I hadn't really thought to. That type of decision just wasn't one I usually took to the Lord. But I didn't think my roommate was silly or wrong for doing so. I just thought, "I'm glad she has the reassurance she needs. I feel good about it, too."

That's kinda what I do. With deciding where to live or where to go to college or whether I want to move to Disneyworld for a semester - I just go with whatever feels good or sounds fun. It isn't that I don't care or that the Lord doesn't care. It's more that I feel very okay with making decisions on my own, and He's okay with letting me. 

I don't want it to sound as if I never pray or ask for help or feel the Spirit's influence in my life, because I do. And when it comes to the really big stuff or those times when I'm about to make a very wrong decision, the Lord and I are pretty good at communicating. It's just that I've come to realize it's okay if I don't do or experience those things as much as others might. I feel like that dad did - as long as the things I'm deciding to do don't lead me away from the Lord's big plan for me, I'm free to make a lot of my own calls. 

I also understand that some people don't feel this way, and that's okay too. It all comes down to our personal relationships with Heavenly Father.

It makes me really grateful for everyone in my life who has taught me how to, and helped me make, good choices. I feel grateful for the times I do feel the Spirit, and even though it adds a little extra pressure to my decision making.. I feel grateful for how much my Heavenly Father trusts me.

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