I’ve been doing a lot of introspection, and reflection lately. I’ve thought a lot about how the events in my life have flown, one into the other, and I’ve recently noticed connections, that I previously had failed to notice. I’d like to share some of my thoughts, and a bit of my life.
Near the beginning of 2007, I set a goal for my life. I thought long and hard about this goal, and prayed long and hard about it as well. I was certain that this goal upon which I had decided was one of which my God approved. He wanted me to pursue this goal, of this I was certain. I told my roommates about my goal, so I could have a greater accountability for it. My goal was to become engaged to be married by 15 January 2009. That day would be five years from the time that I returned from Scotland following my service as a missionary. I didn’t have any prospects of marriage at the time, but felt certain that because my Father in Heaven approved, I would be able to achieve it.
Around the summer of 2008, I was not noticeably closer to achieving this goal, but I was not disheartened, because I was certain that six months was plenty of time to meet a woman with whom I wanted to share eternity. However, something happened. I was presented with an opportunity. A friend told me about a program to which I could apply that, if accepted, would allow me to become an English teacher in Japan. This seemed like an opportunity which was especially made for me. However, if I focused my time on getting to Japan, it seemed highly unlikely that I would be able to achieve my marriage goal and I had pledged to God that I would work to achieve that goal. So I prayed about another course in my life. I told my Father in Heaven about the opportunity, and explained to him that I would have to set aside my previous goal, if I went after this, and sought his guidance on how I should proceed.
The answer I got was clear. While He was happy with the goal I had set, and the efforts I had made to achieve it, I should set that aside for the time being, and apply to this program. I felt as if God Himself was going to bring me to Japan. My application was strong, and I had heavenly powers on my side; I was sure I would be leaving this country for the Land of the Rising Sun, but as I’m sure you know, I did not get accepted into the program.
I won’t discuss that further, except to say that I felt cheated, and it took some very sincere (albeit perhaps angrier than necessary) prayer for me to accept what happened. As it happened, the week I would have left for Japan, a new person came into my life. I had met this woman many months prior when she came over from California to visit my roommate. During the period that I was trying to go to Japan, she had decided to move to Texas. Had I gone to Japan, our paths would barely have crossed again, and she would just have become another person among my Facebook friends, whose activity I ignore. But because I was staying, we had the opportunity to become friends. Friendship led to romance, and romance led to marriage.
I said in a previous post that I have felt the Hand of God in my life quite a bit recently. But as I have thought over these events, I realize even more so how true it is. Had I not chosen to apply to the JET program, I likely would have married someone else. I’m certain that whomever I would have married would have been a good wife to me. But God had someone in particular in store for me, and so he had me put off my goal, and he did it in such a way that I learned many valuable lessons. As with all the other life decisions that I have mentioned, I have prayed often and sincerely about my decision to marry my wife. I know not only does God approve of my decision, but it’s the exact decision He wanted me to make. I am truly blessed to have a wife whom I love with all my heart and soul, and with whom God wants me to spend eternity.
My life right now, though, is anything but simple. The trials I am facing are very real, and the uncertainty in my life is definitely frightening. But I cannot doubt that God is on my side, as he is for each of you, and I’m certain that whatever he wishes me to learn through these trials will make me a better man, and hopefully, a better husband and father.