By Lydia Anderson
I remember endlessly pacing my apartment as the end of my mission drew nearer. I'd pause to stare at the familiar trees and remind myself that there would still be trees at home. That would be constant. That would be certain.
Though I had just spent 18 months of my life learning to plan, I found that no amount of training could prepare me for what the next few days had in store. Would I make visits to old friends? Go grocery shopping? Apply for new jobs? Watch movies? All of the above all in one day? What about the next day? What would my schedule be like then?
This definitely wasn't the first time I'd paced in uncertainty. Before my mission, I paced as I processed the fact that so much of my service would be out of my control. Waiting for my call taught me the cruelty of uncertainty as I realized that I couldn't even plan for climate, culture, language, etc. because I didn't know where I'd be serving or when I'd be asked to go.
All of this coupled with some inept coping mechanisms and...
A couple of breakdowns later, I learned the awesomeness of therapy.
Just before going home I had a few more sessions with my counselor. I was okay-ish, but the unknown still really scared me. Surely talking everything out would give me more certainty, right?
Ha. Yeah. I also learned that a degree in psychology does not give someone the license to predict someone's future.
BUT I did learn some incredible skills that gave me hope to face the unknown. As I (stubbornly) came to accept that I didn't have complete control over my life, I began to trust that God could, at very least, influence my life for good. I started to believe what my counselor said: The unknown doesn't have to be bad. What's waiting for us in the future can be really, really good.
And how true that's been! When I embarked on my service, I never knew how incredible the fiestas would be in Rancho San B. I didn't know that my anxiety diagnosis would actually enable me to connect with the most beautiful souls I've ever met. I never imagined that just two months after coming home I'd meet my future husband or that I'd have a blast working with kids over the summer.
Like everything good in life, there's been a fair share of hard times, but they cannot compare to the joy of these blessings. This isn't saying that it's magically easier for me to go through trials. There are times I fail to remember that the unknown future can be really good. But everything always works out. Always.
So to everyone in the middle of their storm with uncertain endings--I hope you hold on with all of your might. I can't tell you that the unknown will be free of pain or that it will be easy. I wish I could. What I will tell you--what the Lord has promised you--is that if you can keep taking even the tiniest step forward in faith, God will provide in the end.
I've learned there's gifts of "aha moments" along the way. These are the small things that make us say "this is why I'm serving (or living) here," or "this is why I wasn't meant to have this job." It's the moments that the puzzle pieces of the unknown, the uncertain, and the unfair come together in a way that kind of makes sense. Those moments are worth fighting for.
So keep fighting until you find it.
The battle is the Lord's and He is cheering you on.
Lydia and Jordan Anderson grew up near Salt Lake City, Utah. After serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, they met, fell in love, and were married in August 2018. Now they spend their days working to build their eternity together and hope to help you on your own journey back to God.