Henry B. Eyring said in his October 2012 Conference address, entitled “Where is the Pavilion?” “Although His time is not always our time, we can be sure that the Lord keeps His promises.”
Timing. God’s timing is never ours. I feel like we learn this at an early age and then again and again as we grow. We get it. We do not get what we want when we want it sometimes. However, I believe “God’s timing” is so much more than we often perceive it to be. When I was fresh out of high school I had a plan for myself. I saw a certain timeline that would exist in my life. When I graduated college, there was a need for minor adjustments as I had not married and I did not have a set job I wanted, but I knew I would figure it out. Honestly, I thought by the time I was 25 or 30 certain things would just work out. If I wasn’t married by those ages, then at least I would have a great job and house where I could live the life of the cool aunt. Funny thing about putting time limits on our lives…they rarely work out. So here I was, about to turn 30, and I was not where I planned to be financially nor socially. I seized up and did not know what to do. I was a complete failure. What happened? I graduated high school with promise and graduated college cum laude and at 22! How did this happen?!
Well let’s look at the facts first. There were trials and blessings I never could have anticipated in all of those years. There was a recession that led to jobs that didn’t pay what I wished for and I could not figure out how to get a job in a field I wanted. I tried, it just didn’t work. But I was blessed in having jobs that paid the bills and taught me so much more than I could have imagined. I also wrote a book and got it published! That is no small feat! Granted it also was just an eBook and marketing it was way more than I bargained for. But a dream did come true. Alas, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. I felt trapped, stuck, and helpless. I prayed about overcoming my feelings of failure and that as I searched through my feelings (thank you therapy) that I would find a solution along with peace.
One night I got an answer that hit me so hard and it was not in a way I was expecting. I was talking, laughing, and flirting with some friends when I had a question pop into head. “Would you date and or marry that boy over there? I thought about it and though I was not necessarily interested in that guy, I thought ya, if he is a worthy priesthood holder, and as long as he is mature and it works, why wouldn’t I? God wasn’t asking me to marry him, but to examine if there was any reason why I couldn’t, if a relationship were to occur. See he was about 8+ years younger than me. But in that moment I realized his age really did not matter as long as who he was, was all of the important things in life. Then the following occurred, “Then why does it matter to you how old you are? Why are you judging yourself based on your age when you are willing to admit for him it doesn’t matter as long as you are the person you are.” Wow. Ok. Holy Ghost. You got me there. How could I judge myself, when I know I did everything I could to try to be in all the right places at the right times. So I could not consider myself a failure and I could not compare my timeline with someone else’s. In fact, all I was doing is comparing MY idea of what MY timeline of my life should be, when the only timeline that should matter to me is the timeline God has for me. Boom. My mind was blown. I was working on a mortal limited view timeline when God was working with an eternal timeline. I should have been more worried about the eternal timeline.
I could no longer make a quick judgement call about someone based on their age alone. I could no longer consider myself a failure for what I had or had not accomplished in my twenties. I knew I had done my best with what I had been given. I never stopped trying to improve. So why was that not good enough for myself? I would accept a friend with the same story. I had to also accept that God’s timeline for me probably looked nothing like what I had mapped out. And guess what? That is ok! More than ok! He did not care what I did by thirty. He cares about obedience. He cares about if I am in the right place at the right time to help His other children. He knows what will make my life the best. He knows that I would voluntarily wait if I knew something 10 times better was around the corner if I just had to wait another year or two. He knows the person that will help me when I stink at calming down. He knows when my children need to be born. He knows when I need to have the job that will bring me to the right place at the right time. He knows when I need to have the money and everything set for that house I need, but can’t even see how it is so right for me. Through our mortal eyes, circumstances do not always fit perfectly and they often take hard work. But when you look back on certain times in your life and see how perfectly those imperfect pieces fit together to make something so much better than you could have imagined? Do you see times and experiences where they turned out almost magically, though you could never ever have anticipated how or with whom, etc? Ya. That is how God works.
If you and I are faithful, if we truly trust in our Heavenly Father, then we will have experiences where we see that God took our measly plans, we thought He tossed them aside from our perspective, but he really was moving them out of the way for plans that are bigger than we could have ever fathomed or dreamed for. He wants what is best for us. He wants our righteous desires and dreams to come true. But we have simple carnal minds. He has a better plan. It usually is not a straight or easy road. His roads involve years of patience, sacrifice, tears, and times where you are just sure it is all just messed up. But when His roads play out a bit more we see something more beautiful than what our brains could have planned or worked out. I promise you God can make miracles happen in your life. He, in fact, is probably working on them right now; you just do not see all of the background and side work. Our brains and our vision are too narrow for that. But I promise you, you are on His mind and He is working His magic to make your life better. However, there will always be trials, sacrifice, loss, and more. But He has a plan. You just have to trust Him and let Him do it. This is probably the HARDEST step. Trust. I do not know if we ever perfect that in this life. When we do trust and turn our troubles over to our Savior, He heals us and shows us that if we are patient there is a way to happiness. We usually have to buck off Satan from our wagon, as he usually likes to sneak a ride in when we are down. But I promise God has a plan for you, but His timeline might not match yours. His timeline is an eternal timeline. He does not need you perfect today. He is playing the long game. We are too, but we don’t see it. He helps us gain perspective every once and a while so we know He has us. He will create the best timeline for us. We just have to turn to Him and trust. So hold on. His eternal timeline is working for you.