I once had a Relief Society president who was slightly high strung. She was the drum major in the BYU band, full-time student, and held a job. She was one of those people that are always laughing but have a hint of insecurity. We got to be pretty good friends and that insecurity came out. She was a couple years older than me and a little worried that she might be in the predicament of being alone forever. She'd talk to me about this a lot -- to the point where I really didn't think there was much else to say. One day, however, she managed to expand my perspective. She'd been talking with the bishop and one of them came up with the brilliant truth that if something has been promised you the promise will remain in force until fulfilled. She recalled blessings, her patriarchal in particular, that had promised a family of her own. I've reflected often on this notion -- that promises don't have expiration dates.
My friend Andrea, has need blessed by adoption once and they are waiting for another. I wonder if she sometimes wonders if there are any other babies in their future. Or maybe she's been promised another baby and wonders if it will really happen. If it's promised, it'll happen.
It's all about the worldly notion of "meant to be." I believe in meant to be. Not in some ethereal, mystical way, but in the way that I believe God has things under control. Max Ehrmann, the poet, said, "Whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should." It's the essence of the song He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. I believe strongly that we are in His hands and things will work out as they should. And that we will be happy with the result.
That's the most important thing. We'll be happy with the result.
On my mission we worked with Nelli (in photo with Anni Kymalainen), who'd just had a rough time. She was from Kazakhstan and was allowed into Germany because she has German heritage (for more details on this law, call me). Her marriage was in shambles and she was trying to find a way to move out but had complication after complication. After one such complication I said, "I'm sure Heavenly Father has a really great apartment for you somewhere." At that moment I thought, "What a stupid thing to say! She wanted this apartment. She needs it. It doesn't make sense to wait for another." However, in reflection, I agree with myself. If things don't work out it's because something else will. And we'll be happy with that something else. Really happy.
The important thing is to have faith, which is essentially trust. If I say, "I have faith in you," I'm saying, "I trust you. I know you'll have integrity and follow through on whatever our agreement was." If we can trust the Lord, we'll know that our lives are working out in a meant-to-be fashion.
Last example, I went into social work because I really wanted to help people in poverty. I altered that a bit and decided I'd really like to do humanitarian aid. I felt very passionately about that. I felt strongly that it was unjust to have to so much suffering in the world, that it was part of my duty as a citizen of the world and someone who understands that my life has purpose, to help all those I could. And too help the most needy. Because I have been given much/ I too must give. And then in grad school it just didn't work out. I felt pushed toward mental health. I felt like I was giving up on the dream, letting unknown suffers down. And for what? Posher life with a steady income and a clinical setting. Therapy is luxury and I wanted to be giving necessities. Later, I was talking to a former professor, Dr. Jini Roby, about my feelings and she said, "Yes, but helping is helping. Macro or micro." That's helped me a lot. My job is meant to be. I'm where I should be. Maybe I'll still be able to build my African hut and work on a well, but for now my life is where it should be.
Meant to be is trusting things will work out and promises will be fulfilled.