The Addresses:

Sister Cassidy Cheyenne Steele
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission
12025 Justice Ave
Baton Rouge, LA 80816

My email is

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Plan

Sometimes, all you can do is cry.

Has life ever gotten so overwhelming that you feel a literal burden that seems to be crushing you? A weight that can't be lifted, no matter what you do?

Welcome to the last seven days of my life.

It seemed like everything was out to get me this past little bit. I went home for Easter which was fantastic, but I was irritable with my sister and antisocial at best. I was (and I'll admit, still am) struggling with some of my roommates, trying my hardest not to bite their heads off. Allergy season started. I got sick. My voice wasn't working the way it needed to, and I have a recital on Saturday. Homework piled up.  One thing after another after another. Each a burden wearing me down a little more, slowly crushing the tender spirit that is slowly growing inside me. I have become a confidante of one of my very dear friends, which while I am glad to be, I struggle with the added difficulty of helping her bear her own, much more difficult burdens.

Tonight was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. I slipped up today, decided I wasn't going to go to the temple and do initiatories and stayed in bed for most of the day because I wasn't feeling my best. To be honest, I just couldn't deal with people and friends and society. I knew I had to go to my last two classes, Abnormal Psychology and Latter-Day Voices, of course. I always look forward to LDV but was struggling to feel the Spirit the whole day. Even yesterday, I put my own desires above that which I knew I should have been doing. As I was sitting in the back row with my amazing friends Dakota and Adrienne and Scott, I was also praying silently to Heavenly Father to forgive me for slacking off. I needed the Spirit, perhaps more than ever. I needed to be the missionary I'm preparing to be to help my friend, and I needed to somehow keep up the happy demeanor I had been putting up. I had been proud--I hadn't let anyone in on the fact I was really, really struggling to even get out of bed some days.

Heh. So much for the happy facade. We were singing this beautiful piece, "My Shepherd Shall Supply My Need" arranged by Mack Wilberg. We are working on our show, which is "In Defense of Families." Something about the song just absolutely shattered my outer shell. I couldn't sing, I couldn't pretend everything was all right anyomore. It was fortunate that we sang it towards the end of class, because I barely mangaged to make it back to my backpack before I just LOST it. And I mean like sobbing hysterically. I finally realized, at that point, that I couldn't bear this load by myself.

Of course, my incredible friends immediately asked if I needed a blessing. I've had more Priesthood blessings this school year than I have had in my entire life, if you exclude patriarchal and baby blessings. Which granted, isn't saying much.

I can't remember much of the blessing, aside from the peace that came from it. But the theme and the one thing I gleaned from it was this:

The Lord has a plan for each and every one of us. Not just the overarching plan of salvation, but an individual plan, personalized for the specific trials, strengths and weaknesses we all have. He knows what we are going to go through, for He has gone through all of it Himself. He knows how best to help us. If we wander, He will bring people into our lives and place them there so we can come back one day. The path of course, has less heartache of sin if we don't stray, but there is always a way back. He's not just going to leave us out there alone and helpless.

I guess this post is a story time.
Once upon a time there was this girl who was terrified of the thought of going to second semester without her best friend. She had just started to get back on the path, and was afraid that she was going to slip once again because no one was there to help her and keep her in check.
On the first Tuesday of the semester, this girl went to her very first institute class up in Logan--mission prep. She volunteered to play the piano and was playing prelude when she saw a friend from high school come and sit down right behind where her stuff was. After the opening song, the girl went back to her seat and caught up with her friend, who she didn't even know went to Utah State. The girl's friend, obviously listening to the Spirit, invited the girl to audition for Latter-Day Voices that afternoon, and the girl accepted. She made it in the choir and it changed her life.

If you hadn't guessed, I was that girl. The Lord had inspired the beautiful Sara Wilcox to sit behind me that day, and inspired her to invite me to audition. Brother Salmond and the Presidency were inspired to allow me to become a Latter-Day Voice. I don't think the choir needed me as much as I needed that choir. The Lord knew what I needed. He had a plan for me which was more perfect than I could have ever imagined. Never have I ever found a place where I fit in so perfectly. Never have I ever had that number of friends who keep the covenants they have made. Never have I ever been so blessed.

We're all struggling. I know that. Some have been tried and tempted more than I could possibly imagine. But the Lord knows you personally. He knows your desires, your hopes and dreams, your fears and falls. And He knows you. He has descended below all things that He might know how best to succor His people. I know is personally and through the stories of my friends. I know that one day, all will be made well. Every tear will be wiped away and we will be encircled about in the arms of His love. Standing in a circle of friends after that very inspired blessing, I caught a glimpse of how perfect that day is going to be.

I will leave this post with a quote from Stephen E. Robinson, from his book Believing Christ.

"In Gethsemane and on Calvary, in His horrible suffering and death, the Savior descended below all things, just as in his resurrection He ascended above all things. Between those two events, Jesus Christ compassed either personally or vicariously the whole range of possible human experiences and circumstances from the worst to the best.  He has been lower than the lowest of us, and higher than the highest, so "that he comprehended all things." Both spatially as the light of creation and experientially of the Atoning One, Christ fills all things and is in and through all things. He has been everywhere. Thus when we are tempted to think that our sins have put us beyond the understanding or reach of God, we are simply mistaken, and we grossly underestimate the scope of the Atonement. However low we may fall, our Redeemer has already been there, and He went there for the sole purpose of finding and bringing us lost sheep back. I have occasionally heard people say things like, "how can come back to Church, or pray, or approach God after what I've done. I've sunk too low; I've put myself beyond His reach. I'm to vile to save." To this the Savior responds essentially, I know where you are; I've been where you are-- and worse than that. I know what you're feeling, for I have felt it. I remember my own pain when I went through it, and my heart aches for you. But I want you back. I'll even carry you back if you'll let me."
I love you all. Stay firm and true until next time, and I say these things in the name of our Brother, Friend, and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

PS: I'm a music junkie, so here's the incredible song that caused this post..
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry that I didn't know how hard this week has been for you! I have been praying for you- but I could have done more. I am grateful for friends and for the power of the priesthood that can help you when I cannot. Love you more than you know!