I recently had some articles published on the LDS Living website. I’ve had a few people ask me how that came about so I thought I’d explain here.
At different times in my life, I have put a real and sincere effort into being an “instrument in the Lord’s hands.” This has always seemed to lead to unexpected twists and turns in my life journey – joining the church, going on a mission, changing jobs, changing PhD programs, moving, moving and more moving. With my husband finishing up school and the hope for me to work less, I started considering what I could do to fulfill that goal.
How One Path Led to Another
Back in February, I’d had the seemingly crazy idea come into my head to start speaking at Firesides. Even the thought of it felt terrifying and vain and really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I tried to push the idea aside and instead started looking into Institute classes. Prior to pharmacy school, I’d started the pre-service training classes to study to become a Seminary teacher. Because I got into pharmacy school, I never finished and I felt now may be a good time to do that. I contacted a friend who is a Seminary teacher and he gave me the contact information of the instructor for the pre-service classes. I was just able to squeeze the classes into my schedule – if it had been a few weeks before or later, it would not have been possible to attend.
One night at class, we were discussing Sheri Dew’s devotional “Will You Engage in the Wrestle?” That reminded me of a post I had done about the same topic of children of same sex couples. While driving home, I’d had the random thought – or maybe it was a prompting? – to email Deseret Book and see if they were looking to do more on the topic and get a compilation of others’ experiences. I knew I needed to send the email as soon as I got home or I would lose my nerve. I didn’t use the submission page because it wasn’t a “submission.” I just emailed the “help” contact with the subject line “project idea.” I explained myself and included the text of my blog post. The following morning, I was contacted by an editor at LDS Living explaining that they wanted to post my article on their website. Ultimately, they decided against that particular post due to not wanting to bring up a difficult topic for many church members. However, our correspondence led to a few other articles and there will be more in the future.
Trusting the Lord’s Path
I feel a bit like I’m on some crazy ride and I have no idea where it is going. I am so grateful for all of the love, support and encouragement I’ve received from my sounding-board friends and have been extremely humbled by some of the sweet messages I have received from people that I have never met. I am grateful that some of the lessons I have learned and experiences I have had can benefit others and touch their hearts. I feel that in my own little way, I am fulfilling that “instrument” goal.
I saw your article on LDS living about courtship and a list. Great article. I clicked on your blog and read through a few posts. Just wanted to say thank you for your faith and sharing your story. You are an answer to my prayers today. I’ve been seeking comfort and comfort from heaven came through your experiences. I heard what I needed to hear. Just wanted to say thank you. Life hasn’t gone according to my own plan. It has been filled with beautiful miracles, sometimes daily, and my faith has grown tremendously. I heard today to hang on. It’s going to be ok.
Here is my story on Mormon Women Stand. I have been so blessed
Good luck to you in all your efforts. We both are greatly blessed as we move forward in trust
Laura, Your strength, faith and testimony are amazing! Thank you for sharing your story with me. If you don’t mind, I’d love you to email you. I have an acquaintance who was in a similar situation to yours.
Hello Anne! I have read with interest your articles over at LDSLiving. Very insightful. But…even though it worked out for you and your now husband, I have to say that your bishop was not inspired with his statement about “sparks” and “coals”. I think it worked out for you and your husband in spite of that.
In truth, it sounds like that bishop never made a fire in his life. Because the coals can NEVER burn without first being ignited by a spark.
A person can pile up all of the bar-b-cue coals they want, or have truckloads of coal for coal furnaces. But without any spark they will forever be cold and dusty.
Darwin, thank you for your thoughts and insights. I would have to agree with you that there needs to be some sort of ignition – otherwise, we would all look like Bert from “Mary Poppins.” Definitely something to think about.
LOVE the “Bert” Chimney Sweep/Mary Poppins reference! Internet High Five!
From experience, I also know that not every spark produces results, and not every spark that produces results actually produces lasting results in a coals and embers kind of way that your bishop was talking about. Perhaps it is all about looking not only at the quality of the spark, but looking beyond the spark.
Laura, I read your story. I don’t know if this will help you, but it has helped me in such times. When I was left to wonder why someone I loved died, the answer I received was that they were transferred. And like with you, they will always get my messages and I would get important ones from them…if I listened carefully.