Honorably Excused

I’m turning 21 on April 3rd.

Four weeks ago I felt prompted to start my mission papers. I finished them in three days. The whole process took me exactly one week from my first interview until my last and my stake president submitting it.

I was planning on throwing a huge party to read my call to everyone.

But just in case the answer was no, I didn’t tell anyone who didn’t absolutely need to know that I was thinking about serving a mission.

Today I was called into my stake president’s office.

“They said no.”

How do you react to that?

Answer: You cry.

Sob, actually. And I don’t cry. So those gross weeping sounds and shaking really scared me. I walked out of church, went to the temple, and yelled at God. Seemed like the best course of action at the time.

When I first got the prompting to start my papers, I refused. Going on a mission was the last thing on my mind. But the prompting stayed. So I texted my bishop. I began to entertain the thought of leaving. Everyone I knew had already left and most were home. Some were engaged and getting married. Some of my friends were married with kids. I was on track to graduate in December. Why not live my life completely out of order from everyone else?

To make a long story short, since beginning this process a few weeks ago, my life has been up and down. I’ve felt some of the most intense excitement and undeniable fear of my life. I’ve had moments where everything in my life felt like it was falling apart so the best option would be to leave on a mission. But then it didn’t happen.

At this point I want to share something that will be motivational and uplifting. But right now I want to just sit in my feelings. My heart is broken in a way I had never anticipated.

I will say this. I don’t regret any of it. For like the first time in my life, I have been listening to God. Has everything been perfect? Nope. Have I been upset? Definitely. But even though it looks like things aren’t going anywhere for me, deep down, I feel peace. I know that every step I am taking is preparing me for something greater.

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4 thoughts on “Honorably Excused

  1. My dear young friend, I commend you for being willing to face yourself at such a moment like this. You must have a mixture of feelings.

    I experienced something similar many years ago when I felt that the world and this nation were crumbling and I felt powerless to do anything. As I tried to warn my family and friends, and tried to find the “God solution” in all of it, the last place I thought I’d ever find rejection was the first one to give it to me: my own family. I was so saddened…yet at the same time, I told them this:

    If it brought me closer to God, if it caused me to want to be better, if it caused me to look at my own testimony and whatever I claimed was a testimony, if it helped me trust in Christ more despite the uncertianties that lay ahead, if it helped me pray more sincerely, listen more intently, and look forward with more hope in Christ for the deliverance that I know I’ll need, if it helped me shed the unimportant things of the world and encourage me to look for the divine, if it drew me closer to God and I want to develop a better relationship with Him…then this, all this that I just went through, it wasn’t a waste. No, this is where I needed to be.

    And you’re right…all this is to prepare you for something greater….for something where you are needed….and where you need to be. Sometimes, some stumbling blocks are just stepping stones that lift us closer to God.

    Stay close to Him. He knows where you’re headed…even if you don’t.

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  2. I admire your courage in sharing your feelings. Heavenly Father taught me a great lesson many years ago. We had just moved from an area where we were very needed in our ward and stake. I had spent 5 years serving in various capacities in the stake YW and was in ward YW presidency when we moved. My husband had been a counselor in two bishoprics and was serving on the high council. We had been actively involved in multiple callings, most of them leadership, in 3 different wards and two stakes during our 15 years of marriage. I wrongly viewed my church callings as a sign of Heavenly Father’s way of telling me I was worthy and he approved of the path I was on. Then we moved to Layton to a rapidly growing ward and stake. I felt sure I would be needed and have opportunity to continue what I had been doing only in a different setting. I was called to something that I don’t even remember but didn’t really feel needed. Within a few months our ward was divided and I was excited as I thought now I will have an opportunity to utilize my talents and experiences. Weeks passed and the ward was nearly organized. No calling came. I was devastated and could not figure out why. Was the Lord angry and had he given up on Me? I remember getting on my knees in tears and asking wasn’t I worthy to do any of those callings? I heard that familiar voice clearly counsel ” You don’t need the growth in that area.” My perspective on church service was instantly changed. You likely don’t need the growth in the area of serving a full time mission at this time. Have faith and the Lord will guide you along the path that will teach you the lessons you were sent here to learn that will help you fill the full potential of your personal mission here on earth. You likely need to be doing what you are, not be somewhere else for the right doors in your life to open.

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  3. Love you gal! I’ve had similar experiences with promptings and it’s hard to know why you feel so strongly one way when it doesn’t turn out that that’s what you’ll be doing, both in happy times and sad times. I was reflecting on one such experience today and had the realization that if I wouldn’t have followed the prompting I would have been wondering, “what if?” Possibly for the rest of my life. And that in itself was an answer to my prayer. It might be the same for you, but that’s between you and Heavenly Father. I know things will work out. They always do. I also know that you’re amazing and you’re going to do great things Renee! You already are!

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