I’ve always loved telling stories. My favorite is the one where I sent the wrong letter to the right missionary. We were married the next summer. I attended LDS Business College where I earned an Associate’s in Computer Technology and Brigham Young University where I should have majored in English. I live in a small town nestled in the heart of the Appalachians. When I’m not busy writing, I can be found baking cookies, going to the movies, helping with the homework or catching fireflies with my handsome husband and four adorable children.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Six years ago, we closed the door of our U-haul truck and turned to take one last look at our little house. My dad was in tears, barely able to speak, but happy that we were going to pursue a new dream. Husband hopped in the moving truck, his firefighter buddies were waiting in a truck behind us, I was in our green jalopy of a van with our three kids eating the ham sandwiches on homemade bread that my mom had packed for us. And we were off. We knew exactly where life was going and how we were going to get there.
Little did we know that life never, ever goes how you plan. But one thing you can be certain of? Wherever you end up, you'll learn some things in the process of getting there.
If you don't mind, I thought I'd share some of what I, Susan Auten, have learned along the way.
1. Heavenly Father knows what your talents are and the best way to use them, even if you have no idea you posess such talents.
2. Priesthood power is real, not just something we hear about in church, or read about in the Ensign. Real. As in a force that you can feel. A force that can save your life, or protect you from imminent danger. And I believe Heavenly Father and Jesus use it on a daily basis to keep us safe, physically and spiritually. Without it, I think we'd each be dead a hundred times over. I can't comprehend how many times we are protected that we don't know about.
3. The Holy Ghost exists. I'm not talking about His influence (yes, that exists too), I'm talking about Him. I knew it in theory. But now I know for real.
4. Heavenly Father and Jesus's powers are limitless.
5. Miracles still happen. Everyday. Full blown, God-Can-Make-Anything-Happen miracles. I will never doubt again. He is in complete control and we are fools to think otherwise.
6. A gift of homemade bread doesn't just fill your stomach, it fills your soul. The same with lasagna.
7. God always keeps his promises. It may take longer than you'd like. But if you stay worthy, He always delivers.
8. When He tells you you can have something, he expects you to work to for it. He won't hand it to you. You have to get in there and toil, sweat, push through when you think you have nothing left, never lose faith, fall down, get back up and try harder. But if you will do that, He will give you that thing He told you you could have.
9. If you are willing, He will mold and shape you in ways you never imagined. It's a painful process. Hurts worse than anything physical you could possibly experience (except maybe 11 hours of epidural-free labor), but you will be something new and wonderful when He's done.
10. Life isn't about me. It's about everybody else.
11. Prayer calls down the powers of Heaven and changes everything. He's listening to every single word. He wants to hear what you need, what you're thankful for and what you've learned. Prayer will change you.
12. There are certain people He puts into our lives to teach us something specific. We need to pay attention so we don't overlook the thing we're supposed to learn.
I learned a bunch of other stuff too, but these are the important ones.
We're headed back to the place we began— the same house (but not for long), the same farm, the same school system, the same branch. But none of it looks the same to me. This time my dad won't be there, my mom will be a widow, we'll build a new house and start a new business. My kids aren't little anymore. In two years I'll have a seminary-attending high schooler. Mind-blowing.
I had to move away to learn what I learned. I had to watch my kids struggle, play single mom, lose my dad, stand on death's door and have my heart smashed to the point that I didn't know how I'd ever feel whole again.
But now I stand strong, ready for the next Six Years. Ready for whatever He sends me.