This has been the most amazing of hard weeks in many ways. But this morning, I am only thinking of one of them. Today is the hinge-point of a new adventure.
Over 2 years ago, my 21 year old and I started the paperwork for him to express his desire to serve a mission.
And then we waited.
And while we waited, of course, more life kept happening all around. School … his sister’s scoliosis surgery … and lots of learning.
Learning to handle the red tape of new paths. Learning to let the pain go of watching peers younger than him go on their missions and come home 2 years later. Learning to grow through, and in spite of, medical needs. Learning to keep going through trials, and staying steady while waiting on the timing of the Lord.
I admit, sometimes it was harder for me than for him; we kind of traded back and forth on that one. Then, all at once, about a month ago things started to move forward and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even then, though, there was no visibility of the path. Things were still open-ended as we moved through the steps of a not-quite-fully-defined gateway to the new Young Church Service Mission. Then, even more suddenly, like the frost on a cold window, everything came together all at once. He had the final interviews, finished papers, calling and setting apart all in the last 2 weeks. His service mission will be in the Mesa Welfare Production Operations Cannery. He starts his mission TODAY!!! Yikes!
So my dear son, I hunted down some courage quotes for the two of us to start the day with.
Remember, sometimes the Lord asks us to “not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
This is the path of the Trailblazer, the life of the strongest of heroes. And I’m afraid much of the time, it’s our lot in life. The path of learning to become a superhero is never easy. It is much closer to bootcamp, for the Lord is making warriors.
But He doesn’t leave us to wander lost. “Our Heavenly Father did not put us on the Earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously.” (Richard G. Scott)
So, just like Father Lehi in the Book of Mormon, the Lord has given us access to helps along the way. Scriptures, personal promptings, and even our Patriarchal blessing are like our own Liahonas, guiding us through life’s dangers.
Neither does the Lord ever ask us to be completely alone. Jesus has been on our path before us, and has sent us family and companions here and there to stand by us. Hold tight, we will make it together.
And remember, “We learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.” (President Thomas S. Monson)
I am so proud of you, my son. Your kindness and steady strength will see you through many things. Keep hold of your courage. This will grow into a great adventure.