by Sarah Halliday
I don't think I ever fully appreciated prayer until my mission. I believed that Heavenly Father was listening and that He genuinely loved me and cared about me, but I never truly understood the sacred power of communicating with God. As I look back at the experiences that I've had throughout my life, I realize that there's no way I'd be where I am today without that open direct channel between me and my loving Father in Heaven. However, just because I have a testimony of prayer, it doesn't mean that I still don't struggle and doubt like everyone else.
About two weeks ago, I felt like my life was becoming too full and starting to fall apart. The stresses of everyday life were compounded with reaching deadlines for band, spending money on a desperately needed new phone that never showed up, worrying about having enough money for school, deciding what my employment should look like in the fall, and juggling self care with getting all of this sorted out. Life was hectic! My roommates saw me change from a loving sweet person to a grumpy unenthusiastic kill joy. Fortunately for me, they love me and were understanding, but it still didn't change the fact that I was miserable. Last time I checked, being miserable stinks. No one likes it - myself included.
I was praying every morning and every night seeking for help in making decisions, finding peace, and getting my life together, but I didn't feel like I was receiving any answers or help. I knew Heavenly Father was listening, but I was frustrated in the lack of response. Growing up, I was taught about this frequently - that we're supposed to make our own decisions and then He'll answer us, but I didn't feel like that was happening either.
Until last week.
When my phone didn't come, it ended up being the answer that I was looking for, but didn't necessarily want. I received a refund on it and I'm pretty sure that it was Heavenly Father's way of telling me that I didn't need a new phone and that the money was more important for tuition. When I thought band was getting overwhelming (with memorizing music and committee logistics), I realized I remembered more than I thought. When it came to figuring out what I was going to do for work in the fall, one of my coworkers at New Haven mentioned that there was going to be an opening in the mornings soon and suggested that I talk to our lead supervisor about switching. I did and now I'll make more money and have a more structured schedule with band, class, and work.
After going through these ups and downs over the past two weeks, I learned that patience is just as important as trust in God. There's no way that Heavenly Father would let me fail and I forgot that. Everything that's supposed to happen, will happen in time.
Prayer is how we communicate with God and we can never forget that. The scriptures teach that "If ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray" (2 Nephi 32:8). Prayer is from God and anything that teaches otherwise is not.
I'm so grateful that I have the knowledge that I'm a loved daughter of God who hears my prayers even though sometimes it may not feel like it. Each of us need to remember this and our scary and uncertain lives can be filled with joy and peace.