I’ve been finding myself waiting around a lot recently. I’ve been waiting for things to happen, for adventures to begin, and most prominently of all, I’ve been waiting for answers to my prayers to come. The answer I’ve been waiting the most for is whether or not the Lord would have me go away for a year and half and dedicate all of my time sharing the gospel with His children.
“Should I go on a mission? Yes? No? If so, when?” These are the questions that are running through my mind constantly each and every day. Nothing makes me happier than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, and I mean nothing. I’ve found my greatest joy in life in bearing my testimony to others; there is simply no other feeling like it. So do I want to go on a mission? Most certainly yes! I’ve talked with the Lord multiple times and He knows that I am willing to go, so basically right now I’m just in this waiting game, waiting to get the “OK” from my Father above. It’s been a long process, my friends. I’ve been praying about this ever since the age requirements for young women to go on a mission changed. But although it’s been a long and sometimes frustrating process, I have been able to learn so many lessons along the way.
Right now, I’m reading a book titled, “Walking on Water” by Michael Wilcox. It is pretty much the most amazing book I have read in my entire life. (And yes, this is my fourth time reading it) Everything about it captivates me. I learn new things each and every time my eyes effortlessly skim its beautiful pages. (I recommend this book SO much that I’m giving you the link to buy it on Amazon right now. Do it. Just click. Right here. Walking on Water-Amazon) Anyways, there is a chapter titled “The Fourth Watch-when our prayers seem unanswered.” Perfect for my situation, right? There is a heading within this chapter titled “holding places of the heart” and it was exactly what I needed to read regarding my mission. Brother Wilcox starts of by saying, “Occasionally, answers aren’t given or the blessings we desire don’t come or the trials we bear continue because there is no place in our hearts for God to put the answer we need. Life must carve or hollow out this place. The very experiences we are going through help to create those holding places. Yet he still hears our prayers and promises the resolution will come in time.” He then continues, God wants us “to understand a few things before the answer ‘comes’—things that would make an answer even more powerful.” It’s beautiful for me to learn that although the answer might not have powerfully come yet, that the Lord is preparing me, Shelby Mills, right now in this very moment, to learn lessons, gain experiences, and be prepared so that when the answer does come, I’ll be able to receive it will full purpose of heart. I’m in a busy time of my life right now: I’m in college, drowning in homework, spending time with friends, fulfilling my callings, etc. On my free time I enjoy pinterest-browsing and movie-watching, I’m basically living in the “era of selfishness.” Everything I do is revolved around me. (Isn’t that terrible?) But I guess that’s what college is. Since I am living in this “me” era, where is the Lord going to place this His answer?
At the end of this chapter he finishes by saying, “Maybe … the Lord is saying to us, ‘I’ll answer your prayer. I’m aware of your needs. It is recorded in heaven, and I’m going to answer it. But right now in your life there’s no place for me to put the answer. Life will create a holding place, and as soon as you are able to receive it, I will give it to you.'” This may or may not be the reason I haven’t received a full answer to my prayer, but nonetheless, it is a powerful teaching. Heavenly Father is carefully sending people and experiences into our lives that create these special “holding places” in our hearts so that we can receive answers to our prayers in meaningful ways. If that doesn’t portray our Heavenly Father’s perfect love, then I don’t know what does.
So I will continue onward. I will continue proving to my Father in Heaven that I am worthy, willing, and ready to serve when the time comes for me to serve. I will drop everything I have if He gives me a simple “yes.” I know that serving a mission will not only bless my life, but will bless my family and future family in miraculous ways; ways that I can’t even begin to imagine. I love my Savior, I love the scriptures, and I love this gospel that I have been so richly blessed with in my life. I am completely indebted to Him. I would be humbled and honored to be able to spend 18 months of my life in the service of my Heavenly Father. I want to go, I’m willing to go, and now all I am doing is waiting patiently, willingly, and humbly for that ever important answer to come. Whatever is the Lord’s Will for me is, is what I want to do.