Saturday, October 5, 2013

Changing My Life

Bit by bit, recently, I've been realizing that God has a different plan for my life than I have for my life. At age ten, I knew exactly how I wanted the rest of my life to be. I had it down to a tee. In the years since then, I've moved bits and pieces of the elements of my plan around, but it has essentially stayed the same.

Over the past little while though, everything I knew to be in my future has been knocked over like bowling pins. My most cherished talent was ripped from my grasp before my very eyes, and thrown in the air- only to fall and shatter at my feet. Music. After visiting a new doctor I learned that it would be nearly impossible for me to put in the hours of practice I would need on my instrument to compete at a collegiate and professional level. I left that appointment not feeling too different about anything- still believing that I was an invincible musician. However, after a few days I began to realize the implications. I talked to my music teachers and coaches about my options. They didn't show much emotion and it seemed like they didn't really want to talk with me about it. Then, in orchestra class, my teacher gave a little lecture about music colleges, and it hit me that I'd never be going to my dream school. It sunk in to me that I'd never be able to compete. My predicament became real. This love I have, the goals I'd longed for all day, everyday- gone. The  days and nights spent in a beautiful place between reality and heaven, where I was myself in the music. The tears shed from the joy of music emanating from me, and tears of frustration from not playing well or not being able to play at all. The hours repeating etudes, scales, and solos. The competitions. Being part of prestigious orchestras. My quartet. All crumbling.

But through this whole process (which really has lasted years), I've grown so much closer to my Savior. Especially in these last few weeks. Over these days, I have really learned humility. After my realization, I knew I had to put my life in Heavenly Father's hands. It occurred to me that God has a plan for my life, and being the perfect being that He is, it is much better than any plan I could create for myself. I realized that what happens will happen whether I like it or not, and that I can either be upset about it, or just go with the flow. Heavenly Father loves me and will help me deal with any trials He gives me. This really taught me humility.

Once I understood all of this, I was able to let go, and trust in the Lord- mostly. However, I still had this need to know where my life was going. I wanted to know the plan. I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to know what to do with my life instead of music. And it really frustrated me, because I didn't know. I was afraid because I couldn't understand my future. The beautiful future which I'd worked hard for was an empty slate, and that scared me. I was annoyed and worried because I'd given my future to the Lord, but didn't know what to do with myself.

After a while, it occurred to me that just like Heavenly Father has a plan for my life which is better than any plan I could conceive, I don't have to know or understand that plan. I only have to walk in faith. This realization humbled me further, and I was able to relax.

A few days later, my seminary teacher was talking about the same thing. He told us a story about a friend whose life plan didn't work out, and he had to trust in the Lord. My teacher related this to a staircase. He said, "It's like the Lord asks you to walk up a flight of stairs and tells you He has wonderful things in store for you at the top. But it's dark and you can't see the steps. He shines a light on the first stair and asks you to take a step even though you can't see the rest of the staircase." I loved this analogy. It's perfect, and exactly what I had been dealing with.

Since I've humbled myself and begun to have more faith and trust in Heavenly Father, I've been blessed more than I can really realize. After I gave my life to the Lord, I began to have TONS of missionary opportunities! In one week I gave away a Book of Mormon, two For Strength of Youth pamphlets, and a Personal Progress book. I made four or five new friends, to each of whom I shared the gospel in some way or another. And, I successfully invited some friends to some church activities. It was amazing, and definitely not a coincidence!

I also began to learn about my future. Little by little. Line upon line. Precept on precept. Since that time, I have been closer to the Spirit, which has entitled me to more personal revelation. I was comforted. The Holy Ghost taught me things about life, and about myself. I studied my patriarchal blessing and received comfort and knowledge. And, during conference today, I received even more guidance for my life. I've gained so much understanding. Though each bit has been small, I have been receiving so much revelation and knowledge about life, trials, God's plan for me, humility, and the Holy Ghost. I've felt and understood with much more clarity the love Christ and Heavenly Father have for me.

Truly, the Lord loveth His children. He does watch over us and love us. Our trials bring us closer to Him if we let them. There is no way I can possibly express how much love I have felt and how much I have grown through all of this. It's miraculous. It really is. I have seen so many small, personal miracles through it all. I am closer to my Father than I ever have been during my earthly life. It is so beautiful.

If you are going through trials, which we all do, please take this from me- Heavenly Father loves you. This hardship is a blessing for you, because you can emerge from it a stronger, wiser person. Think of how much joy that will bring you and your Father in Heaven. Strive to have the Spirit with you. That is key. Look for opportunities of growth. Pour out your heart to your loving Father. He wants to hear it all. Humble yourself.

And don't forget- God didn't send you to earth to fail, but to succeed marvelously. If you need a booster for your day remember this- the prophets and apostles are praying for you. As are your leaders. God sends angels, both immortal and mortal, to watch over us.


  1. What a beautiful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing, Whitney! This is just what I needed today. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Thanks for being such a great example!

  2. *hugs* you are an amazing example of faith :) that's a lot of big plans to have come crashing down, and yet you just keep going, knowing He has an awesometastic plan :)

  3. I've been reading your blog for awhile now. You are an amazing young woman... very inspirational. You remind me of my own daughters who are your age. (One of them also plays the violin, and is trying to decide if she wants to major in music or not.) Your stories and thoughts are truly inspirational. Your testimony is strong! You will go far in building up the Kingdom of God on the earth. I know this generation is amazing! Thank you for your posts, your stories, and sharing your testimony. You uplift me and give me hope in the future.

  4. Thank you all very much! I've been receiving support and encouragement from those I know and those I don't know, alike, and that really helps me keep going. I really appreciate your comments!


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