Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Three Hour Tour
Unfortunately, this post has nothing to do with Gilligan's Island. I was going to title the post "Three Year Detour", which actually describes what I am going to talk about, but it just sounded so much like Three Hour Tour that I couldn't resist.
So. My Three Year Detour. As I sit at the cusp of my departure from Palo Alto, I pondered for a bit the events that brought me to the area. A little over three years ago, I "B-minused" out of grad school (they do things a little differently in Boston, turns out. Who knew a B- was a failing grade?). I was unable to juggle acute Traumatic Brain Injury and graduate school at the same time, and had to leave. For the first time in my life I was left without a plan for my life. I am the sort of person that will plan their life out 10 years in advance, but in that moment I had nothing. I had no idea where I was going to go or what I was going to do. I had worked for so long for something I thought was good and right, only to see it swiftly taken away from me. In that moment I got a Priesthood Blessing from my home teacher, and in the blessing, God said that as I bear my testimony, holding on to the things that I know to be true, and take a step into the dark, light will follow me. The blessing also said that we often cannot see God's plan as it is unfolding around us, but I should know that God does indeed have a specific plan for me. So with those words in mind, I followed the prompting I had to move to Palo Alto, a place where I didn't know anyone and at the time that I moved did not have a job. But I trusted God, that He knew what He was doing and He would make things all right.
Three years later, at the brink of leaving, I've looked back over my time and learned a few things about why God wanted me out here. First and foremost, I have found that there were people here in this area that God wanted me to help. There were people who told me specifically that I came into their lives at the exact right moment and gave them the exact help that they needed. There are moments where I felt that someone needed a little extra support, or friendship, or love, and that God had brought me here at this time to help these people. Secondly, I have definitely discovered that there are things that I have experienced here and things that I have learned about myself, about other people, and about God, that I couldn't have learned in any other place, and I know that I will be eternally blessed because of it.
The funny thing I realized while thinking about where I was at in life when I moved here compared to now as I am leaving, God is putting me back in almost the exact same position that He took me out of. When I left Boston, I had two years left of graduate school before becoming a physical therapist. Now, I am also two years of graduate school away from becoming a physical therapist. But this time my location is WAY better, my program more tailored to where I want to focus my career and where I want to end up, and my school works hand in hand with a program in Italy. So in other words, my current life situation is similar to what I left behind, but ONE BAZILLION time better! It turns out when God tells you "Hang on a sec, I need you to do something for me..." and we follow through, God know how to show His gratitude! When we do anything God commands, He blesses abundantly.
I know that as we strive to commune more with God and listen daily to the Spirit, He can guide us and lead us to the exact things we can do to help those around us, and He can teach us the exact lessons that we need at this moment in our life. And as we do His will, He blesses in every instant. While it was hard for me to understand why I was coming to Palo Alto, I am grateful that I came, that I took a 3 year time out from my life plans to work hand in hand with God. It turns out that as we make our way along our journey of life, when God is in charge of the detours, it makes for a much more scenic route on the road to the Promised Land, a route that we will be forever grateful we decided to tread.