a change of plans

I don't even know where to start. It's been a while and so much has happened. Basically the point of this post is to ramble about how my post-mission life has not gone at all the way I planned. Mostly for me, but also for other people. A lot because I hate over-sharing on Facebook or other social media, and this is my place for my thoughts. Also, writing brings me clarity. So. Now that I've justified it sufficiently.

(Disclaimer: All statements below are expressions of opinion based on the time period about which they are written. I've received a lot of spiritual clarity since many of these and now consider them to be blessings in disguise, so if I sound bitter, please rest assured that I am currently loving my life and all of its unexpectedness.)

Let's start in September with the first plan that changed. I had been writing an elder from my mission who was just this fantastic individual and things were looking pretty positive. I figured I'd come home, date him but also date other people to make sure it was right, and, if all went the way I wanted it to, we'd end up together. Then I got home... And was terrified of dating. And lost all romantic feeling for anyone. It was like it was all too much for my system. After careful deliberation I broke the news to my elder and just... Tried to move on. I figured maybe the feelings I'd had would come back, or that I'd feel them for someone else, but they never did, to my marriage-hungry RM dismay. As often as I'd told people I wasn't ready to get married, I really did want it badly.

I went back to school in January after a difficult three months spent living in my parents' family room. I was convinced that moving back to Logan would be perfect and that everything would go the way I wanted it to. I'd find a boyfriend, I'd pass all my classes, I'd spend my weeks with my friends, I'd still be close to my friends from before the mission... Basically, it'd all be about me. I'm not sure at what point between Schipol and the Salt Lake City Airport I forgot that life isn't about me, but I did, somehow, and that was the biggest struggle this last semester - turning out. Helping other people instead of myself. Putting others (and God!) first. As I got lost in myself, the semester whizzed past, and I found myself taking finals and finishing projects. No boyfriend, no true social life, and few close friends, basically all for lack of trying. For lack of putting God in the first place and reaching out to those outside of myself.

As far as academics went, I felt confident. My grades were good. I knew I would pass every class, because I had worked hard to complete my coursework, and studied for tests. The week before finals week, I took a levels exam for music therapy. In order to start practicum and continue my music therapy courses in the fall, I needed to pass. I practiced, but probably not as much as I should have, and did not feel that it went well. However, I had not truly considered that I might fail, and found myself severely humbled the next day as I opened the letter that told me I would not be joining my classmates as they moved on, but would be required to take the exam again at the end of the fall semester.

A few months earlier I had applied and interviewed to be an EFY counselor, which is essentially my dream summer job. I heard nothing for months, and then when I finally did hear back from them, the answer was a no. It was hard. I debated staying in Logan and finding a job, but eventually decided to come home instead, something I hadn't really counted on as I hoped to be a counselor all summer. I couldn't find a job for weeks. When I finally did, it was part-time at a less-than-wonderful wage, but I decided to take it and look for a second one. I was offered a couple of others but none would work with the schedule of the job I already had or with school when it started back up, so I turned them down.

In all scenarios, I adjusted. I made the necessary tweaks to my plans and I moved on and life was fine. But honestly I didn't have a clue where the Lord was taking me with it all... Until about two weeks ago. I received a phone call asking me to come in to interview for an internship that I'd applied for at least a month prior. To be honest, I didn't even really remember anything about it other than that I'd applied, but I agreed to come in. I was invited back for a second interview, and the next week I was offered the position. The weird part? It goes through December, so I'll be living at home for the semester, taking classes online.

The only thing that truly worried me after accepting the internship was that my housing contract starts in August and goes to next August. I still plan on living up there starting in January, so I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to find anyone who was looking for a place for only fall. Lo and behold, my dear friend Kaycie sat next to a girl at church who was interested, and now she's taking it.

It's incredible to be able to see how God fits everything together so perfectly. Everything that would have prevented me from looking into this job was neatly pushed out of the way. If I'd been at EFY I wouldn't have applied for more jobs. Had I passed levels, it would have been harder to decide to stay home for the semester. I felt that I needed to come home instead of stay in Logan... And I didn't take any of the jobs that would have been more difficult to get out of in order to take this internship. I was able to figure out my housing contract.

I am so grateful to be reminded that our Heavenly Father is not only aware of me, but His hand is in my life DAILY. I am excited to see what else He has in store for me, and hopefully to eventually see why it is that I needed to get this internship. Basically... Just remember that God loves you, and is watching over you! Don't worry about how you think your plan is going. Just listen to Him. :)
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