A couple days ago, a good friend and I had a discussion about how the days before a LDS mission are a lot like the days before getting married.
In 2009 I came home early from my mission to Rostov, Russia to take care of some things from my past. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I did it knowing it was the right choice. As I prepared to go back out the craziest impulsive thoughts went through my head, like taking my girlfriend and running away to Vegas to elope, or moving to Jamaica to become a sheep herder.
As I look back I see how much Satan didn't want me to go back out on my mission. Round two in Everett, WA I had full intention to do EVERYTHING I could to make up the lost time and the mistake I made to go out unworthy. I did everything in my power to talk to, testify, and invite every human being I saw (litterally) to know the TRUTH that has made me whole and for the first time in my life had brought me true happiness. I believe because of my diligence and obedience God allowed me to become a successful missionary, and had the opportunity to baptize many people. More than anything I was changed and rooted in a belief that has kept me strong even in my weakest post-mission moments.
Where would I be if I had let Satan temp me to elope to Vegas and become a Jamaican Sheep herder? I'm sure I would probably be divorced, full of regret, and upset that I had to protect a bunch of sheep instead of eating them. (Lamb is delicious). More importantly the people I taught may not have had the opportunity to hear the restored gospel, nor receive the subsequent blessings that come with committing yourself to it.
These couple weeks leading up to this Wedding have been incredibly stressful to say the least. My Mother is suing me for mentioning her in this blog. I spent every waking moment studying for the GMAT which I didn't do half bad on btw. (I'm probably going to be starting the UofU's MBA program in the fall, but Ill always be a BYU Cougar at heart fyi) Also, all the drama and prep that come with getting married.
On top of that Satan managed to throw crazy impulsive thoughts into my head like getting in my car and driving Maine never to return, or running away to Uzbekistan to become a former Soviet Mafia Lord and own a Night club. Also recently, its become quite evident that some people close to us publicly (on instagram) either don't agree with the fact that we are getting married, or don't believe its actually going to happen. Stress combined with these crazy thoughts were FREAKING me out. Am I ready? Is this right? Am I making the wrong decision?
Are these normal questions to have the days leading up to a marriage for time and all eternity? I wasn't sure so I turned to the only One who has ever given me true clarity, My Heavenly Father. As I drove North on I15 headed to Riverton to meet up with Alex and her family before she received her endowments, in an almost desperate but very real plea to God I poured out my soul. I let him know everything I was going through and feeling; all of my worries and fears. I asked, letting Him know I would follow His will regardless, if what I was doing was right and if I should go forward with this marriage. Immediately a calming peace came over me letting me know that I was making the right decision and that everything would be ok. Even when I thought about my previous concerns they didn't feel like concerns. My answer was simple and beautiful, and I am more than grateful for it.
I would venture to say that when we are about to do something great in the eyes of God, or something that will build up His Kingdom, Satan makes his presence that much stronger.
Who knows what great things will come from our marriage, but I'm sure in 20 years I'll look back with a heart full of sentiment, gratitude, and love for the sweet peaceful answer I received in my car this week on I15, just like I do for my mission.