Thursday, July 26, 2012

Change your plans and Plan to change

I've always loved to play soccer. It was my life, and as i grew up I had a dream. It was my greatest desire to play soccer in college. I worked hard and when the time came that I was talking to different coaches and had picked a team it seemed like everything went wrong. Doors, windows, nooks and cracks all closed before me. I felt like God had put a giant stop sign in my path and I was devastated.
At first my prayers were somewhat angry and motivated by the big "why" question. But the response was always silence. It took a long time to move on. It was discouraging to see old teammates and hear of their successes. I would intentionally take the long way home to avoid driving past soccer fields. It was just too painful to see. However, as time passed I began to figure out who I was without soccer. I got involved in school and with friends. But every time i received an offer to play soccer in a casual league I would refuse or avoid the situation all together.
I hadn't realized... That during this time, in the cavity of my heart where the love of soccer had once flourished, a new desire was growing in the fertile soil. It wasn't until I was standing at a pulpit, months into my mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and 2 years after graduating high school, that my Father in Heaven lovingly answered the question that I had longed to understand. In that moment, as I stood in front of a congregation filled with people that I loved immensely, I knew why i had reached that stop sign years ago. Instantly, I understood that if I had followed my dream and played soccer competitively in college, then my life would have taken a different course....I would not have served a mission and been standing where I stood. I began to cry. As tears coursed down my face I shared my testimony of God's loving plan and the healing that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I simply stated, "God had a plan for me that was greater and more glorious than I could possibly imagine and I am ETERNALLY grateful"
My mission changed me. It helped me come to know my savior and myself, to become who the Lord prepared me to be. I praise the day my plans changed, because God's plan changed me.

"But even when our plans fall through, Heavenly Father does not abandon His children. There are multiple good ways for life to work out. In time, we may even find that the roadblocks that changed our plans gave us needed insight and experience (see D&C 122:7) and led to something better." (July 2012 Ensign, When Good Plans Don’t Work Out, Stephanie J. Burns)

I now play soccer weekly for a casual city league and I am having a blast!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The beautiful Arce Family, myself, and the lovely Sister Bingham

Mid-line in line

This has been on my mind a bunch lately:

"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more" (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter 28)

Sometimes we get caught in between "lines" of understanding God's plan. Its moments like these that expand our capacities and test our faith as we trust in the Lord enough to continue to follow and obey with the hopes that our steps will be revealed and guided along our way. Two of my very close friends, in particular, find themselves between the lines of life. I admire and love them greatly. I know without a doubt that God loves us and will bring us home as we trust an obey :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Coin sides that coincide

I'll admit, I've been suffering from a case of identity crisis. I've been in transition from being Sister Park for 18 months as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, back to being Kelsea, a girl with high hopes from Orem Utah. Already an introspective person, I would think that I would be comfortable with this stage of self-discovery. But for some reason I have struggled as I've tried to build myself again with the mold of who I've become and who I've been. Maybe it's because I'm fearful of what the finished product will be.. or failures along the way. But of course, my loving Father in Heaven has been so aware of me and my uncertainties, and He never ceases to remind me that He is there and that He loves me and is always by my side to uphold and guide me. Therefore as I opened an old journal from before my mission I was surprised to see this sticker pop out at me as a tender reminder of my identity as a daughter of God.

Also. This weekend I was able to visit the one and only imperial valley California. Where I had the great privilege to finish my mission. It was amazing to be able to have two realities become one. It was surreal to be driving the same streets but instead of my dear friend Sister Bingham I had my wonderful mother, aunt, and cousin in the car with me. We drove past the Palm Springs wind farms and they were beauuuutifully majestic! I had the absolute honor of being asked to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ at 8 baptisms of those that I taught and love! Priceless.

Monday, July 2, 2012

So. I have started my blog again. To be honest this endeavor is as much for me as it is for anyone else. A few of you have mentioned that you will miss my letters from my mission and suggested I start my blog again. I really am excited to be able to release my ramblings again to the world and those I care about. Love you all and thanks for being a part of my life! :)

This is one of the posts I wrote just before I left to San Diego. I was amazed when I read it again. Here i am, closer to my future self and able to look back on the self of yesterday and my oh my! what power lies in perspective!

Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite talks on the Atonement by one of the 12 apostles of Christ today, Elder David A. Bednar:

"The grand objective of the Savior’s gospel was summarized succinctly by President David O. McKay (1873–1970): “The purpose of the gospel is … to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature.”1 Thus, the journey of mortality is to progress from bad to good to better and to experience the mighty change of heart—to have our fallen natures changed (see Mosiah 5:2).......the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us. Most of us know that when we do wrong things, we need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives. The Savior has paid the price and made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. We may mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves, through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities.
The gospel of the Savior is not simply about avoiding bad in our lives; it also is essentially about doing and becoming good. And the Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. Help from the Savior is available for the entire journey of mortality—from bad to good to better and to change our very nature."