Nevertheless, she went forth.

Well, here it is.

My internship ended unexpectedly this week, due to changes with the position that are happening in the next coming months/year. No, I didn’t quit. No, I wasn’t fired. Not I, or the company did anything wrong. In fact, the entire situation has been the most merciful and compassionate experience I’ve ever had with a job. My co-workers, and the entire company could not have handled the situation more perfectly, or been more good to me, and I’m so grateful for the love that they’ve shown me through all of this.

Here’s the full story though.

When I applied for the internship, I really was perfect for it. And when I decided to come to California, miracles really did fall into place and I knew I needed to go. But not long after, things got really hard for me. My job position, my personal life, my health, and lots of other things that normally aren’t difficult for me seemed to be weakening me. It was like everything I had ever been good at started turning into weaknesses. For a while, I thought I didn’t have enough faith or I was just doubting God’s love for me, or I was afraid of what He wanted me to face here. Basically, it felt like I was being consumed by this powerful force of pressure that I needed to try to ignore every single day. But it wouldn’t go away.

It wasn’t anything anyone did to me, or anything bad that happened. Honestly, I didn’t know why I was having these feelings. But the only person I could really turn to was God, because it got to the point where no one else’s reassurances were helping. Finally, I had to rely solely on God. For the first time in my life, literally the only things that would make me feel better were reading the scriptures, praying constantly, talking to my Bishop, going to institute and the temple, and trying to serve someone every day. And then as time got closer and closer to this week, I was being given thoughts that maybe this wasn’t turning into the job that I’m qualified for anymore, and maybe I needed to head back to Utah when the internship was over because they needed someone who had more experience than me. Maybe the whole experience was just to learn what I did and didn’t want to do with my life. Or, maybe it was just a way to get my foot in the door to open future opportunities.

Honestly, who the heck knows. But what’s really important to recognize is that

…the Lord was preparing me for that moment little by little… because I was being faithful. 

As shocking as it all was the other day, I had so much peace when my manager told me the news, and I was given just the understanding I needed to be content with how this had all turned out.

You see, the Lord doesn’t ask us to keep the commandments and attend our meetings just because He wants to give us more things to put on our plate and schedule in. He tells us to read our scriptures, say our prayers, turn to His resources so that we can be given better understanding and peace along the way no matter what comes our way or how things turn out.

And then, when we look back, we can see how He really was with us, and how He really did deliver us,

Because we were faithful.

That, is how we show our faith. And that, is how we allow Him to make the miracles happen in our lives.

[ *PAUSE* I want to take a second to apologize to my friends and loved ones for the doubts that I was having despite all the counsel they were giving me along the way. I want to apologize to the people who were so patient with me and my learning throughout this entire experience. I want to say I love you to everyone who took the time to listen to me and try to comfort me. And please know that your efforts weren’t in vain. This really was something that I just had to endure and try to understand on my own. So thank you to my dear and precious friends, my incredible co-workers, to that sweet boy who tried to give me all the love he possibly could, and to my amazing mother who kept reaching out to me when she didn’t know how to make things better. You all have been so patient with me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for you. This entire experience has helped me realize how precious my friends and loved ones really are, and who is willing to stick around and love me even through my darkest times. What a powerful and wonderful realization that has been for me. At the end of it all, I know I just needed to understand what the Lord, and only the Lord could do for me when I needed it most. During the past few months, He really was the only constant I had through it all. I genuinely apologize to anyone who felt unappreciated or under valued during this painful process for me. You are loved, you are valued, and you are so precious to me. Thank you for hanging on with me. ]

Looking back on all of this, the insecure me could say that I whined through the whole thing, I didn’t try hard enough, I ruined everything and just got what I wanted because I wasn’t willing to work hard enough or push myself. But that’s just Satan.

The divine part of me can look back confidently now and say, I did the very best I could.

And sure, maybe there are people who could’ve done it better. But they’ve got their own challenges to face at some point. For me, and in my Heavenly Father’s eyes, I have complete confidence that I gave Him, and tried to give Him everything I possibly had the power to give at this point in my life.

Just the day before my internship ended, I read through the verses in Mosiah 24 about Alma and his people, who were in bondage because of King Limhi. (Okay, side note – my experience definitely wasn’t even close to as bad as theirs was, but the point is…it still brought me comfort)

“And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” 

“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”

This past week, I wouldn’t say I was being the most patient, but I can say that I was finally coming to terms with the fact that I would need to stay and stick it all out until the end. Then the next verse says…

And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.”

And there it was. It obviously came as a shock to me and everyone that it happened this fast… but I know the Lord’s hand was in it.

So, here’s the plan. In the last 36 hours, I’ve contacted all the people I know who have jobs that I’m interested in back in Utah. I’ve realized that there is nothing keeping me in CA at this point, and I found a girl in my ward who is willing to drive back to Utah with me so she can give her mom a hug and fly back in one day. So, we’re leaving on Friday. His hand is in this, guys.

I don’t have a job secured, but I know I’ve been faithful. I don’t have an apartment secured, but I know I’ve been faithful.  I don’t know what’s going to happen with any other aspect of my life, but I know I’ve been faithful.

I know, guys. This is all so crazy. Right now it’s easy to wonder how strange it is that so many miracles brought me to California, only to keep me here for a few months and have things not work out the way I planned. But what’s amazing to wonder, is that all of those miracles are still here and they’re still going to bring me back.

I am blessed to have found a good-working car that I can drive back. I have been blessed to find someone to drive back with me on such short notice. I have been blessed to have a place to stay in the meantime.I’m blessed to have a month to month contract with my very affordable apartment, so I can leave whenever. I’m blessed to know that I still have an income for the next few weeks while I figure things out. (Thank you, TB!) And I’m blessed to still have all the same talents and abilities I had before I left, leaving just a little more experienced, with an AMAZING job position to add to the resume I had before I left.

At this point, I don’t know how everything is going to work out. But, I do know that, because I’m faithful, they will. Miracles brought me here, and miracles are going to get me back. For now, I just need to act on what feels right and what I know will make me happy. Just like Nephi when he needed to get the plates back from Laban and had tried so many times to think of how to get them on his own. He finally had to act, and say,

“And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless I went forth”

Then, the Lord told him what to do.

On the outside, it could look like I’ve failed or I’ve been set back on the dreams that I have or the person I’m becoming. But on the inside, I have gained so much. And just as the Lord told Alma and his people,

I now stand as a witness that God, our perfectly loving, all-knowing, all understanding, compassionate, patient and wonderful Father in Heaven, does visit His people in their afflictions. 

Not before, not after, not 10 years from now… He visits us in them, whether we only have His help and peace for an hour, for a day, or even just a moment. He is there. He is listening. He is already providing the way, and has already provided a way to overcome our darkest days, our deepest mistakes, and our most difficult challenges because of His Son, Jesus Christ.

When the disciples were on the boat in the raging storm with Jesus, they feared that they would perish because of how crazy dark and impossible the storm seemed to be. I don’t think the Savior was calling them out after He calmed the storm when He said, “Where is your faith?” I think, what He really said was,

“No matter how big and scary this storm may seem right now, I’m still in the boat. I am the chosen Son of Man, destined to become your Savior who shall overcome the world and all the scary and imperfect things that come with it. There is absolutely no possible way that you could perish if I’m still here with you. Trust me, this storm won’t last forever. Stay faithful, focus on the skills you’re acquiring by trying to manage this storm right now, and believe that with me, you will never be given anything that will be more difficult than you can bear. Trust me, my children. Stay with me, and it will be okay.”

And then suddenly, they realized that the storm really wasn’t bad as it seemed, and that with Him, they were stronger than they thought.

To anyone who reads this:

Do not, I repeat, do not give up on Him. Don’t stop reading. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop trying. You are enough. Mistakes, weaknesses, doubts, fears and all. You, just the way you are, are enough for Him to work with and to turn into a god someday. That, is why we stay faithful. That, is how we stay strong. And that, is what will lead to our eternal happiness. 

This was my perfect storm. It challenged every weakness, every strength, every fear, and every ounce of faith my entire soul has. As difficult and dark as it’s been, it has been absolutely perfect for me.

It’s not over yet. But the greatest part about any storm is realizing that you’re already in it. So, the end is just around the corner.

    

I can’t wait for the many more miracles that are scheduled to happen.

Actually, I’m going to try to wait for them, that way they’re even sweeter when they do.

All my love,

Erin Marie

 

4 thoughts on “Nevertheless, she went forth.

  1. At the age 86 I am walking again . This reading has me so much stronger. Erin thank for this time with you. I am being strong with the Lord by my side . thanks many times over . Little.

  2. You continue to be an amazing eo.an and such a great example…just as you were as a missionary here. May the Lord’s blessings continue to be eith you. And, may you be sensitive to his guidance as you move on to that next great adventure that He has in store for you.

    Love, Vaughn

  3. Erin! You never ever stop impressing me!! I love you with all my heart. Thank you for being true to yourself and showing your vulnerability and experiences with the world. I know the way you write this message it was not just for you. Someone out there reading this is saying ‘what! She knows how I feel!’ ” if she can do it I can too!’
    I love you! I admire you! Most of all I stinking love you!!! Love Euleza

  4. Hey your article was really good i could really relate. This summer i had a storm where i had to rely on Christ a lot. Anyways, keep up the good work

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